Friday, October 28, 2016

Ask Linda #1410-Player kicks opponent’s ball in motion

While a golfer was hitting onto the green, her opponent was unaware of the ball coming towards the green and while she was turning around, inadvertently kicked her opponent's ball while it was moving as it approached the green.

I believe that since the deflection was accidental, the ball wasn't at rest, and it wasn't her partner, there is no penalty to either player and the ball should be played as it lies. Had the ball been at rest, the ball would just be replaced at that spot.

One player wanted to replace the ball "where it likely would have rolled," but I don't believe there is latitude in the Rules of Golf for "likely rolling.”

Also, would the player who hit the ball towards the green have the option of replaying the shot without penalty?  

Please advise.
Lulu from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dear Lulu,

In match play, when a player’s ball in motion is accidentally deflected by an opponent, there is no penalty. The player has two choices [Rule 19-3]:
(1) cancel the stroke and replay the shot;
(2) play the ball as it lies.

In stroke play, an accidental deflection by a fellow competitor is a “rub of the green.” There is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies [Rule 19-1].

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