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Any whiffers here?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm a whiffer, not very often, but when it happens I count the stroke.


My whiffs take place when my backswing or vision is restricted by some sort of vegetation at ground level or low hanging tree branches. It stinks, but I count it.


Recently I witnessed a player in our group (he's in the rough with nothing in the way) take a couple of practice swings, then steps up to the ball; grounds the club; hesitates before taking a swing and whiffs.

Without missing a beat, he takes two more real quick practice swings and then hits the ball.


Scores are announced as we walk off the green and he neglected to include his whiff as a stroke.

He knows better. I do not understand.

My partner saw it happen also, we let it slide and still won our match.


So anyways... I'm a counting whiffer!


How about you... do you know any whiffers? 

Have you ever whiffed & if so, do you count it?

And if you have the courage to admit you do not count it, please explain why.

post #2 of 19
If you are intending to strike the ball, and you miss, it is definitely a stroke, and needs to be counted. I don't remember the last time I have ever whiffed at a shot. It must have been when I first started playing or I had way too many beers on the course that day ;)

My wife still whiffs at the ball occasionally. She would probably like to not count the stroke, but I make her. The wife and I play in organized couples scrambles a few times a year. I'll hit my tee shot and then we move up to the ladies tees for hers. On occasion she will swing 'for the fences' and miss completely. At that point, I tell her to just pick up, as that already counts as 1, and we are playing my ball no matter what (as long as its in play).

You don't have to count a stroke if you accidentally strike the ball on a practice swing, but a whiff counts as a stroke if you are trying to hit it.
post #3 of 19

I've never swung and completely missed but there have been plenty of times that would have been an improvement over the shot I hit.


I have accidentally hit the ball with a practice swing enough to move it. In fact I've done that several times until I finally learned to stay away from the ball with practice swings. On the tee it doesn't make much difference because it doesn't count as a stroke but I've also done it on chip shots where it was a one stroke penalty I and had to replace the ball.

post #4 of 19
I haven't totally missed as an adult, but one time I did swing and hit the too of the ball driving the tee straight into the ground with the ball just sitting on top!
post #5 of 19

I can't remember the last time I whiffed it was probably 15-16 years ago but I'd guess the majority of people at some point have whiffed. Everyone at one point was a beginner and had the struggles that beginners have when they start playing. Now there are the few who just naturally pick up the game quickly and may not have experienced the pain as much as the majority of people starting out.

post #6 of 19
Never whiffed ever love any game where you strike another object so have always had good hand eye.

Although I have hit every bad swing in the book. Very first round on a proper course hit 4 high cuts in a row over the trees and out of bounds.

Also hit some shanks for a short bit. I detest thinning it I would rather hit it fat because I can't stand that horrible feeling in your hands when you catch the leading edge.
post #7 of 19

I've whiffed a couple times in recent memory. It's happened in the midst of a very bad round when nothing is working. Embarrassing for sure, but I counted the strokes. 

post #8 of 19

Yes, count the stroke.  My last whiff was attempting to hit a ball in the back of a steep walled bunker.  Had to hit almost vertically to contact the ball and hopefully scoot it into a better spot in the bunker.  Hit the ground which deflected the club and the rest was history (and 1 more stroke).  Like the OP, my whiffs occur when attempting a difficult shot with an obstructed swing.  In tournament play I usually go the conservative route and take a drop, hit sideways, etc ...  There are times during casual play that I just have to see if I can pull the shot off.


Which brings us to the next issue, when a competitor whiffs and refuses to acknowledge it.  The OP described the classic process: careful preparation, couple of tentative practice swings, settle in over the ball, make a violent swing missing everything, then proceed like THAT was just another practice swing.  I typically will ask, after the competitor finally hits the ball, "What just happened there?"  The honest ones say they whiffed before I have to ask the question or answer that they whiffed.  Others act like "What do you mean" and I just shrug my shoulders and move on.

post #9 of 19

I have slid wedges completely under a ball before. Just happened last week. Sucked because it led to a double.

post #10 of 19
My wife is a beginner and takes a lot of "practice swings." ;)

Maybe once or twice a round (of nine holes)
post #11 of 19

If by "whiff", you mean take a full swing and never even touch the ball, then the answer is yes....


......just about every time I hit a shot out of a green-side bunker.   And yep, I count the stroke.  a3_biggrin.gif

post #12 of 19

I can hit it fat, can top the ball, but not whiff. Once tried to hit a drive 400 yards at hole 18 playing a +100 round and whiffed. Stopped counting at hole 12.a2_wink.gif

post #13 of 19

A couple of years ago I made a clean whiff with the driver and the ball sitting on a tee.  I couldn't believe it.  I looked at the ball, then at the club head, then back at the ball.  I was in total shock.  z4_blink.gif  Prior to that I really can't remember my last whiff.




P.S.  My buddies got a lot of mileage out of it.  z1_censored.gif

post #14 of 19

When my daughter was in high school, she entered a local golf tournament. On the fourth hole she drove into a ditch but had a chance to put the next shot back in play. As I watched she made a great swing, hit the ball onto the green and two putted for par. - Or, so I thought.


When I saw her on the next tee I said, "Nice par."


She replied, "No, dad, I made a 5. I whiffed a shot."


By watching her play the hole, I am convinced that no one would have ever known. I was a very proud dad.

post #15 of 19

I only ever did it once & it was with driver off a tee.   Can't explain it - total lapse of focus on teh ball perhaps.    Nothing more embarrasing I've experienced in golf ...

post #16 of 19

I had a little worse than a whiff during last years member/guest. I will use the excuse that it was about our 24th hole of the day and there were 12+ beers in me.


Basically on my whiff the ball dropped right in front of the tee - making my partner not all that happy since we were playing modified alternate shot that round.

post #17 of 19

Was playing with a buddy who was going out for the first time in 3 years today. It was a par 3 best ball scramble converted from a regular course. He took a whiff it barely grazed the top of the ball, didn't move and he asked if we count that. I let him know that it counts and his next shot won't count but to go for practice anyway.

post #18 of 19

Maybe your buddy doesn't realize he's supposed to count it?  I guess, though, if he does know then there is little way you can "prove" he was trying to hit it or not.  Even if a player addresses the ball completely and intends to hit the ball .. he could change his mind mid-swing and whiff it on purpose . .pretty sure I saw a pro do that on TV a few years ago.


edit - it was Kevin Na and here's the shot (whiff):


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