Monday, July 25, 2016

Ask Linda #1346a-Practice swing moves ball on tee

Regarding your response below to the issue of a practice swing [Ask Linda #1346-Bluebells and practice swings] - would this be the same if the ball were on a tee peg on the tee? I was playing a match the other day and my opponent was swinging his club on the tee, as a practice swing, and he inadvertently hit the ball off the tee with the toe of his driver - and the ball flew about 10 yards at 90 degrees. We discussed this and we mutually agreed that it wasn't a stroke as the ball wasn't in play (?), and he continued to place the ball back on the tee peg with no penalty and we carried on. Should he have lost the hole?

Kind regards,
Lou from Cardiff, UK

Dear Lou,

Congratulations, Lou. You and your opponent made the correct decision. The ball is not in play until a player has made a stroke from the teeing ground [Definitions of “Ball in Play” and “Stroke”]; the player does not incur a penalty for accidentally moving a ball that is not in play.

There is no difference between accidentally knocking the ball off the tee peg at address and accidentally hitting it 10 yards (or any distance) with a practice swing. The ball is not in play in either case. The player may be embarrassed, but he will not be penalized.

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