September - 2014
I remember year's ago playing Pala Mesa in San Diego and experiencing something that has never happened to me again.
I was new to golf, and being unaware at that time how complex the Rules of golf can be, I had no clue what to do when I found my ball in a stream-merrily trickling, rolling, rolling, and moving slowly towards the green.
Do I stop it? Grab it? Whack It before it disappears? It was seemingly getting closer to the green, so I was happy about that. Also, my brother kept saying "Hit it! Hit it while you can!"
"I think you can hit it when it's moving in a stream!"
I was sure I had heard somewhere you are not supposed to hit a moving ball. What to do, what to do?
And the razzing from my brother didn't really help me think clearly.
Eventually, it stopped. I felt like the best thing was to grab it it, play from the grass and move on.
I really wanted to find out later if my brother was correct-he's younger than I am, and he can't know more than I do, right?
Well, he was right, but I'm sure you knew that. If you didn't, here are the three exceptions when you can hit a moving ball (with or without penalty).
14-5. Playing Moving Ball
A player must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving.
o Ball falling off tee - Rule 11-3
o Striking the ball more than once - Rule 14-4
o Ball moving in water - Rule 14-6
When the ball begins to move only after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement
of his club for the stroke, he incurs no penalty under this Rule for playing a moving ball, but he is not
exempt from any penalty under the following Rules:
o Ball at rest Moved by player - Rule 18-2A
o Ball at rest moving after Address - Rule 18-2B
(Ball purposely deflected or stopped by player, partner or caddie - see Rule 1-2)
14-6. Ball Moving In Water
When a ball is moving in water in a water hazard, the player may, without penalty, make a stroke, but he must not delay making his stroke in order to allow the wind or current to improve the position of the ball. A ball moving in water in a water hazard may be lifted if the player elects to invoke Rule 26.