Friday, March 7, 2014

Ask Linda #806-Wind blows ball off tee

Hi Linda,
We had a debate over ball falling off tee on 8th tee off area caused by wind and person was in middle of back swing and completed swing missing the ball completely. His intention was to hit the ball and fully completed the swing. After laughing our heads off, debate was whether the ball was in play or not and should there have been a penalty or allowed to re-tee without penalty?
Lou from Australia

Dear Lou,

A ball is in play as soon as the player makes a stroke on the teeing ground [Definition of “Ball in Play”]. The player in your scenario made a stroke, since he swung his club with the intention of hitting the ball [Definition of “Stroke”]. The fact that the wind blew the ball off the tee is irrelevant.

There is no penalty. He must count the whiff as his first stroke. If he plays the ball where it lies on the ground, that stroke will be his second. If he re-tees, he will be playing under stroke and distance, rendering his second attempt to hit the ball his third stroke on the hole.

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