What happens when a ball strikes an opponent's golf bag?

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Published 12/04/2011 07:20:00
 

Paul and Craig are playing a match. Paul skulls his pitch shot from one side of the green so that it flies over the green. His ball strikes Craig's golf bag, which Craig has laid down next to the green.

Is there a penalty on either player?

There is no penalty. Craig has the choice of playing the ball as it lies or canceling the stroke and replaying it from the previous spot (Rule 19-3). Since he hit a poor shot, he probably will select the latter option -- unless the ball rebounded off the bag and onto the green. The same ruling would apply if the ball struck Craig or his caddie or any other piece of his equipment (not including his ball at the hole being played).

If Craig and Paul were fellow-competitors in stroke play, there would be no penalty and the ball would be played as it lies with no option to replay, because fellow-competitors and their equipment are considered to be outside agencies. If a player's ball is accidentally deflected by his own equipment, he loses the hole in match play. In stroke play, he is penalized two strokes and plays the ball as it lies.

Now What If?

Paul skulls his pitch shot from one side of the green so that it flies over the green. His ball strikes a golf cart, shared by Paul and Craig, which was parked near the green. What is the ruling?

How should he proceed?

A golf cart shared by two players is generally deemed to be the equipment of the player whose ball is involved. Paul loses the hole in match play or is penalized two strokes in stroke play because his ball struck his own equipment. The exception is that if Craig were driving the cart at the time the ball struck it, the cart would be considered Craig's equipment, so there would be no penalty and Paul would have the option of replaying the stroke.




Comments


1.  This is a true story. We were playing a 4 ball match play. One of my opponents was in the trees out of sight. He did not indicate which direction he was coming out. Suddenly the ball shot out of the trees at about 6" of the ground straight at me in the middle of the fairway. I jumped and unfortunately his ball hit the wheel of my trolley and stopped dead. I was approx level with him at the time. His partner asked the official for a penalty shot against me. it was explained to him by the official that he would not grant a penalty shot and explained that in the circumstances his ball would have ended in the rough the other side of the fairway and ended up with perfect lie instead. Was the official correct. should my opponent have made it clear that my trolley should be moved before playing his shot? Vic

comment by Vic - 04/08/2013 16:57

2.  No. Rules of Golf make clear that in match play there is no penalty for hitting an opponent or their equipment. The ball can be played where it ends up, or alternatively the shot can be replayed.

If the same thing happened in stroke play there is no penalty and it's just considered rub of the green/outside agency. i.e. tough/deal with it.

Not the same if the ball hits your own equipment, your partner's equipment, or caddie. Penalty is loss of hole in match play, two strokes in stroke play.

comment by Richard - 25/08/2013 09:31

3.  Richard, thanks for your comments on my opponents ball hitting my trolley. You say that the shot can be replayed or from where it lies but not sure who makes the decision? Is it the player who played the shot or the player who owned the trolley which it hit? Vic

comment by Vic - 17/09/2013 11:04

4.  According to the rules of golf, there is only a one stroke penally for hitting your own (or partner's) equipment. It is rule 19-2. "By Player, Partner, Caddie Or Equipment
If a player’s ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke."

comment by Nancy - 18/02/2014 02:48

5.  In four ball matchplay what is the rule if my ball hits my partners trolley-- do we both lose the hole or can my partner continue with no penalty?

comment by Ken - 27/08/2014 09:32

6.  Ken
If a player’s ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the player incurs a penalty of ONE stroke.

There is no longer a loss of hole penalty

comment by Doug - 08/01/2015 14:05

7.  If you play a shot intentionally against a golf buggy which is in your way is there is a penalty ? And the buggies not yours . Thanks

comment by Clive winter - 12/01/2016 21:08

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