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Tomputt

Accidental Tee Shot

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Yesterday, when teeing off on the first hole, my playing partner "accidently" hit his ball and the ball skidded off to right of the T box.  He calims it was an "incidental" stike of the ball and he was allowed to "T" it back up without penalty.  Is he correct??

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I think your playing partner was correct. Once the ball is in play, incidental contact is penalized one stroke, but from the tee box, there is no penalty if there was no attempt to make a swing at the ball.
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I think your playing partner was correct. Once the ball is in play, incidental contact is penalized one stroke, but from the tee box, there is no penalty if there was no attempt to make a swing at the ball.

Do you have a reference for that? Not saying you're wrong, but I can't find anything in the rules about that.

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I think your playing partner was correct. Once the ball is in play, incidental contact is penalized one stroke, but from the tee box, there is no penalty if there was no attempt to make a swing at the ball.


Correct. The ball is not in play until a stroke has been played from the Teeing Ground.

Rule 11-3 pertains....



11-3. Ball Falling off Tee

If a ball, when not in play, falls off a tee or is knocked off a tee by the player in addressing it, it may be re-teed, without penalty. However, if a stroke is made at the ball in these circumstances, whether the ball is moving or not, the stroke counts, but there is no penalty.

Stroke

A “ stroke ’’ is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke .

Since the player did not intend to strike the ball, he did not make a stroke, and the ball was not put into play.  He replaces the ball and continues, no penalty, just as if he had inadvertently knocked it off the tee while addressing it.

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Correct. The ball is not in play until a stroke has been played from the Teeing Ground.

Rule 11-3 pertains....

11-3. Ball Falling off Tee

If a ball, when not in play, falls off a tee or is knocked off a tee by the player in addressing it, it may be re-teed, without penalty. However, if a stroke is made at the ball in these circumstances, whether the ball is moving or not, the stroke counts, but there is no penalty.

Stroke

A “stroke’’ is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke.

Since the player did not intend to strike the ball, he did not make a stroke, and the ball was not put into play.  He replaces the ball and continues, no penalty, just as if he had inadvertently knocked it off the tee while addressing it.

Another rule that doesn't make sense to me. If you accidentally hit it with your practice swing off the tee...re-tee and carry on as if nothing happened. You do it from the fairway, one stroke penalty. :doh:

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Thanks for citing the actual rule, David. [quote name="Slice of Life" url="/t/76989/incidental-t-shot#post_1050819"] Another rule that doesn't make sense to me. If you accidentally hit it with your practice swing off the tee...re-tee and carry on as if nothing happened. You do it from the fairway, one stroke penalty. :doh: [/quote] You should read about the incident that burned this rule into my memory bank forever. About a few months ago, there was a great thread on here about a female golfer who hit a worm burner off the tee while trying to hold up her swing (or so she said). Since she wasn't trying make a "stroke" as defined above (apparently she attempted to hold up before starting her downswing but was unable to do so because of momentum) she was able to re-hit her tee shot without penalty. I tried searching the archives for the relevant thread but I couldn't find it.
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Another rule that doesn't make sense to me. If you accidentally hit it with your practice swing off the tee...re-tee and carry on as if nothing happened. You do it from the fairway, one stroke penalty.

In one instance the ball is "in play", in the other, it isn't.

At some point the ball has to be put into play, whether at the beginning of a round, or after finishing the previous hole.  The way that's been determined is simply when you make a stroke at the ball, it becomes "in play".  If that weren't the case, you couldn't move it from one spot on the tee box to another, or even adjust the height of the tee.  When you think it through, putting the ball into play with a "stroke" is really the only thing that does make sense.

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Another rule that doesn't make sense to me. If you accidentally hit it with your practice swing off the tee...re-tee and carry on as if nothing happened. You do it from the fairway, one stroke penalty.

Why doesn't that make sense to you?  It seems pretty straightforward to me.  There has to be a defined moment where the ball goes from being "out of play" to "in play" and what better moment than the first stroke?

Once the ball is placed on the tee seems like an odd time for it to be declared in play because sometimes guys don't use tees, sometimes guys pick up and move tees, sometimes guys realize they didn't push it down far enough and push it in some more ... there is no cut and dried moment where it could easily be declared "in play" prior to the first stroke.

Imagine watching a Browns game in windy conditions where they just scored with seconds left to take a 5 point lead.  As they're lining up to kick off, the kicker puts the ball on the tee and starts walking back to get ready to start the play, and while he's doing it the ball falls off the tee.  One of the Steelers front line guys runs up, grabs it, waltzes in for a touchdown as time expires and the Steelers win.

Pretty silly, huh??

EDIT: @David in FL said it better and faster. :-P

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Funny aside, in the otherwise fantastic novel Golf in the Kingdom, the author gets this wrong. The main character knocks his ball off the tee by accident and is made to count it.

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I did this in a tournament recently. On the tee box of a par 3 I was taking a practice swing above the teed ball and accidently hit it about 20 yards to the next tee box. I went and got my ball, re teed and played my stroke to the green and two putted. My marker asked me what I scored and I said 3. There was a look of bewilderment on his part. He did check with the committee when we were done

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slice of Life

Another rule that doesn't make sense to me. If you accidentally hit it with your practice swing off the tee...re-tee and carry on as if nothing happened. You do it from the fairway, one stroke penalty.

So would you want the ball to be in play as soon as it is teed, or no penalty for accidently hitting a ball in play in the fairway?

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Imagine watching a Browns game in windy conditions where they just scored with seconds left to take a 5 point lead.  As they're lining up to kick off, the kicker puts the ball on the tee and starts walking back to get ready to start the play, and while he's doing it the ball falls off the tee.  One of the Steelers front line guys runs up, grabs it, waltzes in for a touchdown as time expires and the Steelers win.

Pretty silly, huh??

More accurate example would be if the kicker accidentally kicked it off of the tee while "practice kicking". In which case, the ball would be in play, and the Steelers WOULD win.

:-P

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I did this in a tournament recently. On the tee box of a par 3 I was taking a practice swing above the teed ball and accidently hit it about 20 yards to the next tee box. I went and got my ball, re teed and played my stroke to the green and two putted. My marker asked me what I scored and I said 3. There was a look of bewilderment on his part. He did check with the committee when we were done

So would you want the ball to be in play as soon as it is teed, or no penalty for accidently hitting a ball in play in the fairway?

I get what you guys are saying....I just find it odd that if you accidentally whack the ball off the tee with your club...nothing happens. :-D

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Thanks for citing the actual rule, David.

You should read about the incident that burned this rule into my memory bank forever. About a few months ago, there was a great thread on here about a female golfer who hit a worm burner off the tee while trying to hold up her swing (or so she said). Since she wasn't trying make a "stroke" as defined above (apparently she attempted to hold up before starting her downswing but was unable to do so because of momentum) she was able to re-hit her tee shot without penalty.

I tried searching the archives for the relevant thread but I couldn't find it.

She would not in fact be able to take her tee shot again without penalty if I understand correctly that she was attempting in the first place to play the ball.    If you stop your downswing or manage to divert it before hitting the ball, that's fine, but if you hit the ball at all, it counts as a stroke..  If she then re-teed and played another shot, she was proceeding under Rule 27-1 (Stroke and distance) and was playing her 3rd shot.

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...there was a great thread on here about a female golfer who hit a worm burner off the tee while trying to hold up her swing ... she was able to re-hit her tee shot without penalty.

I tried searching the archives for the relevant thread but I couldn't find it.

This is the thread in question:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/25109/rule-question-on-paula-creamer

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I did this in a tournament recently. On the tee box of a par 3 I was taking a practice swing above the teed ball and accidently hit it about 20 yards to the next tee box. I went and got my ball, re teed and played my stroke to the green and two putted. My marker asked me what I scored and I said 3. There was a look of bewilderment on his part. He did check with the committee when we were done

So would you want the ball to be in play as soon as it is teed, or no penalty for accidently hitting a ball in play in the fairway?

Seems to leave open the possibility that someone who hits an errant tee shot could claim it was a practice swing or accidental contact and therefore be allowed to re-tee without penalty.

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Seems to leave open the possibility that someone who hits an errant tee shot could claim it was a practice swing or accidental contact and therefore be allowed to re-tee without penalty.

Only if they lie.  The rules assume no one lies.

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Seems to leave open the possibility that someone who hits an errant tee shot could claim it was a practice swing or accidental contact and therefore be allowed to re-tee without penalty.

It's generally pretty clear whether someone intended to hit the ball or not.  Even when I've seen someone completely whiff the ball, I've never had a doubt as to their intent......

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