Stroke to “moving” ball in bush OK?!

Hi all!

After the problems arising for Mickelson striking a moving ball in the U.S. Open, I think you should see this funny/interesting video (Facebook):

-> Player strikes a ball in a bush, moving in the wind.

The question is, whether or not the player incurred two penalty strokes under Rule 14-5 for playing a moving ball?

Well, the Rules of Golf does not define when a ball is “moving”, but only when it has “moved”.

Two things could be considered:

1) Decision 18/3 states:

Q. A ball rests in the fork of a branch of a tree. The player climbs the tree to play his next stroke. The branch bends under his weight. Although the ball has moved relative to the ground, it has not moved relative to the fork. Is the ball deemed to have moved?

A. The ball is deemed not to have moved since it did not move in relation to the fork of the tree in which it was lodged.

2) The Definition of “Move or Moved” states: “A ball is deemed to have “moved” if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place.” Maybe you can from that conclude, that the ball needs to leave its position to de deemed to be moving.


My interpretation would be that the ball is not moving, because it does not move in relation to the branch on which it lies in/on.

Therefore it was an (excellent!) stroke and the player incurs no penalty.



  1. […] And note also, that the ball was deemed to be at rest after the 10 seconds, although the ball (according to Johnson) in fact was still moving! Quite fun – read also this article about the opposite situation, where a ball in a bush was deemed not to me moving, altho…! […]

  2. Anonymous says

    but it has moved relative to its position in relation to the ground. need a lawyer to argue this one

  3. Anonymous says

    By that logic why not simply break the branch off and carry it to a more convenient location? The ball is still in the fork… 🙂

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