Rule of the Week (June 17 – 23)

Written by Brian Lee
In our latest Rule of the Week we explain accidental ball movements and subsequent penalties.

Rule 18-2 – Practice Swing Accidentally Moves Ball in Play

While making a practice swing, Brenda accidentally moved her ball in play with her club. What is the ruling?

The answer depends on where the ball lies. If it is through the green, Brenda incurs a one stroke penalty, and must replace the ball to its original position. If she fails to replace the ball, she 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.
Also see (Rule 18-2 and Decision 18-2/20)

By Local Rule à used in all Golf Canada/Golf SK Championships.

Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green – Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:

  • When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.
  • The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.
  • This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.