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Does the Rule About "Oscillating" Still Apply?


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Couldn't find an answer to this question in the 2019 rule book. It's always been my understanding that if you address the ball and it "oscillates," there's no penalty as long as the ball returns to its original position. But is there a difference in the ruling if the clubhead actually makes contact with the ball as opposed to just causing it to move by addressing it? 

Here's a situation that never happened to me in 40+ years of playing golf but has now happened twice in the last week. I'm addressing the ball on the putting green, and due to carelessness I accidentally touch the ball with the putterhead. The ball moves about one-eighth of an inch but then rolls back to the original position. Penalty or not? 

What's in the bag:
Driver: TaylorMade Rocketballz (non-adjustable), 10.5 degrees, stock graphite shaft R flex
Hybrids: Kasco, 17 and 25 degrees, stock graphite shafts
Irons: Golfsmith Tour Cavity Forged, 4-PW, graphite shafts R, 2 degrees upright
Wedges: TaylorMade Black Oxide, 52, 56, and 60 degrees, graphite shafts
Putter: Rife Barbados w/SuperStroke grip 
Ball: Bridgestone RXS

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  • iacas changed the title to Does the Rule About "Oscillating" Still Apply?
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To (barely) elaborate, too, @RandyBobbitt, this rule was unchanged from 2018 if the Local Rule re: the putting green was in place. Balls have been able to "oscillate" for years and years now, and balls on the putting green accidentally moved (not just oscillated) have been no penalty for a few as well with the LR in place.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Note: This thread is 1110 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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