Friday, October 18, 2013

Ask Linda #735-Whiff ball on tee

Whiffed the ball at the tee, ball fell off the tee, I picked up the ball to re-tee but moved my tee to a different spot before taking my next stroke. What number will I be playing now?
Lulu from Ontario

Dear Lulu,

Let’s start with the correct procedure.

When you whiff your ball on the tee, your ball is in play [Definition of Stroke]. Since the whiff caused the ball to fall off the tee, you will play the ball as it lies on the ground. The whiff is your first shot; hitting the ball on the ground is your second.

Let’s look at what you did. You tried to hit the ball and missed (stroke #1). You lifted your ball in play and returned to where you hit your previous shot (I understand this was a very short walk – stay with me here). You re-teed the ball in a different spot that was still within the teeing ground. This is called playing under stroke and distance, which includes a one-stroke penalty. Your second tee shot is your third shot on the hole.

When a player elects to return to where she hit her previous shot, and the location happens to be the teeing ground, she may play the ball from anywhere within the teeing ground and the ball may be re-teed [Rule 20-5a].

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