June 21 - 2009

As we all know, golf is not only hard but sometimes slightly cruel. Recently, a past president of our Men's club found this out. During a round, while putting on the green, a lesson for us all occurred. While attempting to take a practice stroke above the ball, his practice stroke accidentally clipped the ball and moved it forward a few feet. At that moment, we would all probably have the same reaction, "I didn't mean to do that, it was only a practice stroke!" The next feeling is usually frustration and a little confusion as to how to proceed. ALMOST everything that occurs during a round of golf, has happened before. In this instance, Rule 18. Ball at Rest Moved, has the decision:

Rule 18-2

Practice Swing Accidentally Moves Ball in Play

Q. While making a practice swing, a player accidentally moved his ball in play with his club. What is the ruling?

A. He incurs a one stroke penalty and must replace the ball to its original position. If he fails to replace the ball, he will incur a total penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. Please refer to the Penalty Statement under Rule 18. (Rule 18-2a and Decision 18-2a/20)