Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ask Linda #1130-Hit your own wrong ball

Don and John tee off. John mistakenly hits Don’s ball on his second shot. Don realizes this when he goes to a ball he discovers is John’s ball.

Don returns to spot where John hit his ball and places another ball and hits his second shot.

Don then moves toward the green and hits his third shot, mistakenly hitting the ball that John had hit in error.

Realizing his error Don then goes to the correct ball and finishes for a par. 

Is Don’s score par or does he incur a two-stroke penalty?

Since the incorrect ball Don hit was not in play is there no penalty?

Lou from Harrison Township, Michigan

Dear Lou,

Don incurs a two-stroke penalty for hitting a wrong ball.

The fact that the ball was no longer in play does not absolve the player of the penalty. A wrong ball could be another player’s ball, an abandoned ball, or the player’s original ball that is no longer in play [Definition of “Wrong Ball”].

A player placing (or dropping) a second ball on a hole should be particularly careful about identifying his ball until the original ball is reached and safely tucked away. Before he puts that second ball into play, he should tell John the brand and number of the new ball, and describe his identification mark. Sharing that information might serve to remind him to check his ball and save him from the two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong one

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