Michael Campbell struck his ball with a practice swing – was it a stroke?

Hi all.

Recently Michael Campbell was involved in a Rules incident on the teeing ground.

-> You can see the episode at this link (Facebook). 

As you can see he made a practice swing approximately 5 inches behind the ball and accidentally struck it!

Two things could be considered:

  1. Was it a stroke? Answer: No, since he had no intention to strike and move the ball.
  2. Did he incur a penalty? Answer: No. The ball was not (yet) in play.

So he could place the ball on the tee again, and play his first stroke.

If the same thing had happened on the fairway, though, he would have incurred a one stroke penalty (since his ball then would have been in play) and should have replaced the ball.

/Brian

3 Comments
  1. Jimmy Mashberg says

    If he struck the ball in the fairway (as you postulate above) why wouldn’t it just be considered a stroke, counted as such, and played from where it finished (ie not replacing the ball)?

  2. Steven N says

    Because a key element of the definition of a stroke is the intention to strike and move the ball. In this case he hit the ball accidentally and had no intention to strike the ball.

  3. Terry says

    “If the same thing had happened on the fairway, though, he would have incurred a one stroke penalty (since his ball then would have been in play) and should have replaced the ball.”

    If he fails to replace the ball and plays it from the new place he incurs a two-stroke penalty.

    In neither case does he count the unintended hit as a stroke.

    Is this correct?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.