Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Ball in Motion Strikes another Ball

What happens if your ball is struck by another player’s ball? First, check out this video of José Maria Olazabal’s ball striking José Maria Cañizares’s ball during the 1992 Volvo PGA Championship.

For those receiving this blog by email click on this link:

The easy bit to remember about this Rules situation is that whenever a ball in play and at rest is moved by another ball in motion after a stroke, the moved ball must always be replaced (Rule 18-5). It is a principle of the Rules of Golf that a player is entitled to the lie and line of play that they had when their ball came to rest. When a ball is to be replaced, the player, his partner or the person who moved it must place it on the spot from which it was lifted or moved (Rule 20-3a). The players must make their best judgement to estimate where the ball was lying before it was moved. The player whose ball hit the ball at rest must play their ball from wherever it came to rest.

There is no penalty when a ball played from off the putting green moves another ball. However, in stroke play, when a ball played from the putting green hits another ball on the putting green the person making the stroke incurs a penalty of two strokes. This is not the case in match play, where no penalty is incurred (Rule 19-5a); another example of where match play differs significantly from stroke play. The logic behind this is that in match play no-one else is involved other than the opponents playing the same hole; whereas in stroke play the players are competing against everyone else entered in the competition, whose interests have to be protected.

One interesting Decision on Rule 19-5 is that in stroke play, if a ball putted from the putting green comes to rest touching another ball on the green but does not move it, no penalty is incurred, Decision 19-5/4.

Good golfing,

 

The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2011 and may not be copied without permission.

36 comments:

Gerry said...

Barry - Just a question on this subject - what is the ruling if both balls are on the green I play my shot which stops inches from the hole. My opponent plays his shot and it bounces off my ball and into the hole - I assume 2 shot penalty for stroke play but he gains a shot from it going in the hole? (This actually happened last week)
Thanks for any guidance Gerry

Barry Rhodes said...

Gerry,

The ball that was moved and fell into the hole must be replaced where it was. Rule 18-5;

If a ball in play and at rest is moved by another ball in motion after a stroke, the moved ball must be replaced.

Of course, if the ball was knocked further away from the hole it would aslo have to be replaced.

Barry

Anonymous said...

In other words Gerry was correct. His opponent benefitted from bouncing off his ball into the hole, but his opponent must also suffer a 2 stroke penalty.
But why on earth didnt Gerry mark his ball (or play it out) before his opponent took his fateful shot?

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

First let me correct my above reply to Gerry, which I seem to have misread. In match play, the player making the putt had holed out and the ball that was moved must be replaced. In stroke play, the player making the putt incurs a penalty of two strokes, but has holed out, and the ball that was moved must be replaced. Rule 19-5.

Why would a player leave their ball close to the hole? Well, we hope it is because they did not get to their ball before their fellow competitor made their putt, but there is always the possibility that they wanted them to incur a penalty!

Barry

Jerry Maher said...

I played in match where 2 players putted at the same time. The player whose had the right to putt hit the moving ball of the player who putted out of turn and went in the hole. We were unsure of the ruling. What would you rule for each player?

Barry Rhodes said...

Jerry,

This is a complicated area of the Rules as there are so many variables. Presuming that both balls were on the putting green, were struck at the same time and were both moving when they collided, the ruling is that both balls must be replaced and replayed with no penalty to either player (Rule 19-5).

The ruling would probably be different if any of the above circumstances were different.

Barry

Hung Le said...

How about ball A was chipped from a fringe and hit the moving ball B which was putt from the green, then ball A went into the hole. I think the rulling from Rule 19-5 is ball A is holed out and ball B must be replaced and replayed without penalty to either players. Could you please provide the correct ruling for this situation? Thank you.

Barry Rhodes said...

Hung Le,

You have missed two important pieces of information from your question; whose ball was farthest away and were both balls played together?

Assuming that it was B's turn to play first and both balls were played at the same time then your ruling was correct; no penalty to either player, A's ball is holed and B's ball has to be replaced and replayed.

Barry

Hung Le said...

Hi Barry. Thank you for your quick reply. In my case it was stroke play and ball A farthest away from the hole and both balls were played at the same time. Were player B (ball B) got 2 strokes penalty because it was not his turn to play? Thank you for your help.

Barry Rhodes said...

Hung le,

The ruling is the same as my first reply above. There is no penalty for playing out of turn in stroke play, unless it is to give a player an advantage, and A does not incur a penalty under Rule 16-1f, as it was his turn to play.

Barry

Hung Le said...

Thanks Barry and sorry for bothering you again. After your answer, there is another argument in our group: is it different ruling between stroke play and match play for our case, becuase Rule 19-5b for my case didn't mention about stroke and match at all so I assume there would not be any differences, am I correct?

Barry Rhodes said...

Hung Le,

In match play, Rule 19-3 applies. In my opinion, because the balls were played at the same time, the person that was further away from the hole lost their right to have their opponent's stroke cancelled; therefore both balls should be played as they lie.

Barry

Frank Cimato said...

Player A's ball was in the line of player B. Both were on the green. Player A refused to mark his ball, and Player B hit his putt into Players A ball. Who's at fault? is it only common courtesy to mark your ball or should player A be forced to mark his ball?

Given this was a friendly game and both players love to mess with each other.

Barry Rhodes said...

Frank,

In competitive golf, A should be reported to the Committee for refusing to mark his ball and they should certainly impose a sanction, on him for a breach of etiquette. The only on-course remedy, if A refuses to mark his ball on B's line of putt, is for B to request that A plays first. As B putted anyway he incurred a penalty of 2 strokes for striking A's ball at rest, under Rule 19-5a.

Regards,

Barry

HungLe said...

Barry,
Thank you for your answers. This is another case: in stroke play, ball A and B were both on green, ball A was farthest away. Ball A after putting hit ball B also in motion after putting. My ruling is:
- If A and B both played together: no penalty to A and B (Rule 19-5b, Rule 10-2c)
- If A played first and B played while ball A was already in motion: 2 strokes penalty applied to B (Rule 16-1f)
- If B played first then A played: no penalty to both sides (Rule 19-5b 16-1f)
In all cases, the strokes are cancelled, both balls must be replaced and replayed (19-5b)
Could you please check if my ruling is correct for above cases.
Regards,

Barry Rhodes said...

Hung Le,

Yes, your rulings are correct. Well done! This is a difficult Rules subject. In your scenarios the balls were both in motion; there are additional complications if one ball comes to rest before it is struck by the other ball in motion.

Barry

Anonymous said...

Hi Barry. Reading your replies to Hung Le.

I'm struggling with Rule 16-1f. Not the easiest to get one's head around.

My understanding of the wording provided, is that if it was NOT YOUR TURN to play and you make a stroke while another ball that was played from the putting green is still in motion, you receive the penalty for breach of 16-1. This applies even if your ball was OFF the Putting Green. The 16-1f wording does not mention the location of your ball.

Rule 10-2c does not apply (there's even reference to 16-1f under 10-2c).

So, even if your ball does not collide with the ball that has just been putted by another player on the putting green, you receive a two stroke penalty in stroke play and a loss of hole in match play.

Not sure if you do the excellent Metropolitan Golf Association Quiz every year, but Q13 this year also agrees with interpretation of Rule 16-1f.

Do you think I have this right?

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

Yes, I think that you have it right. I am not sure if you are querying a particular answer of mine to Hung Le.

In my opinion, Rule 16-1f does not apply if both balls are struck at the same time, as neither ball was struck "while another ball is in motion".

Barry

Anonymous said...

In team match play format, two partners are both on the putting green. Player A hits his putt near the hole. Before he can mark, his partner putts and hits the ball of player A. What is the ruling?

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

No penalty, as I explained in the 3rd paragraph of this blog! Rule 19-5a.

Barry

Jackie McGee said...

You do not incur a 2 putt penalty your ball just gets put where it was, right next to the hole!

Barry Rhodes said...

Jackie,

But I do not understand. Arte you asking a question? What are the circumstances?

Barry

Unknown said...

Barrie,
If it's a par 3 and player A has their ball land 5 ft from the pin off the tee and then player B has their ball hit player A's off the tee and player A's ball goes in does it count as a hole in one for player A? Or does the ball come back up and placed back to original position? If it comes back up is there a penalty for player B?

Barry Rhodes said...

Unknown,

The very first paragraph of this blog includes this sentence;

Whenever a ball in play and at rest is moved by another ball in motion after a stroke, the moved ball must always be replaced (Rule 18-5).

In the circumstance that you describe it was definitely not a hole in one and neither pl;ayer incurred a penalty.

Barry

Unknown said...

Barry just to be clear, B does NOT have to make his ball? However is he required to putt first if requested? Thanks

Barry Rhodes said...

Unknown,

I am confused. Is it Frank's question above that you are referring to? In match play, Decision 2/3 rules that a player would lose the hole if they refused to mark their ball in their opponent's line of play. It is less clear in stroke play, as there is no penalty for playing out of turn, so it is reasonable to permit the player to putt their ball first instead of marking it to the side. However, if the refusal is unreasonable I certainly recommend that the Committee should apply a sanction on the player.

Barry

Shelagh Picton said...

Barry, I played in a stableford comp and my ball landed in the middle of the fairway, one of the other players teed off and her ball hit mine knocking it into the rough, is it correct that I played it where my ball came to rest in the rough?

Shelagh

Barry Rhodes said...

Shelagh,

No! As your ball was at rest before it was moved by the other ball, no penalty is incurred and you have to replace your ball where it was before it was moved. The other player's ball is played from where it came to rest.

Regards,

Barry

Shelagh Picton said...

Barry, thanks you for your quick reply.
I understand what you have said but a friend is questioning, if the ball goes further on the fairway, I said you still have to bring it back to its rest position. Is that correct?
I have opened a can of worms, ladies are saying what happens if the ball gets knocked In a bunker , I said the same applies take it back to were it was at rest, but they don't believe me, have you got the rule please? I understand but you always get people who doubt.
Shelagh

Barry Rhodes said...

Shelagh,

If your friends do not believe you and me just ask them to read Rule 18-5, which I referred to in the first paragraph of the blog and again in the comments above. There are no exceptions!

You cannot expect me to repeatedly answer the same question.

Barry

Chuck P said...

In match play is there a penalty while putting on the green you hit your opponent ball.

tks chuck

Barry Rhodes said...

Chuck,

No, Rule 19-5;

If a player's ball in motion after a stroke is deflected or stopped by a ball in play and at rest, the player must play his ball as it lies. In match play, there is no penalty. In stroke play, there is no penalty, unless both balls lay on the putting green prior to the stroke, in which case the player incurs a penalty of two strokes.

Barry

Jim Matheson said...

Last week, in match play, one player sank a long putt and as he was walking towards the hole to retrieve his ball, the other player putts and it goes in the hole and bounces out after hitting the ball already in the hole. In this match, both players were penalized, but was that correct?

Barry Rhodes said...

Jim,

In the circumstance that you describe, neither player incurred any penalty, whether in match play or stroke play. The first player had holed out; there is no requiremnt to remove a ball from the hole before another player makes a stroke. The second player's ball was still in play after striking the ball in the hole and bouncing out (which is highly unusual following a putt!). They must then hole out, unless their putt was conceeded by their opponent.

Barry

Unknown said...

Barry can you please quote the rules or decision which explains that there is no panelty for putting while another ball is in the hole.

Barry Rhodes said...

Unknown,

The ball in the hole is out of play. The Definition of Holed states;

A ball is "holed" when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole.

Put the two together and you can see why there is no penalty for putting while another ball is in the hole. This is a common myth.

Barry