Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ask Linda #1775-Follow-through hits opponent’s ball

A golfer swings and hits her ball. On her follow-through, she hits her opponent’s ball. What is the penalty? Same as hitting a wrong ball? Two strokes?
Lulu from Longview, Washington

Dear Lulu,

I assume this is match play, since you referred to the other player as the “opponent.”

The penalty is one stroke, and the opponent must replace her ball [Rule 18-3b; Decision 18-3b/1].

In order for this to occur, both balls must have been in close proximity. It was the player’s responsibility to anticipate the possibility of her follow-through contacting her opponent’s ball. She should have told her opponent to mark and lift her ball, which is her right under Rule 22-2. Since she did not take the precaution of having the ball lifted, she cannot avoid penalty for having moved it.

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