2019-Rules of Golf: No penalty for an intentional double-hit?

HI all!

As you maybe know, there is no longer a penalty for accidentally striking the ball twice when you make a stroke (e.g. when playing from the rough or from a bunker) – Rule 10.1a.

Some players have suggested, that they could benefit from this change in the Rules of Golf by doing this:


But they can’t.

You can only avoid penalty, when the striking of the ball the second time is accidental, such as in the video below (by the way, as far as I am informed, this was the last professional player who was penalized under the old Rule – namely in December 2018!):

If you (as they did in the two videos on the top) intentionally strike the ball twice, you have made two strokes (two intentions) and you incur a two stroke penalty (stroke play), i.e. in all four strokes (see also USGA’s statements about this at GolfWeeks website), Rule 10.1d.

Personally I think disqualification under Rule 1.2a could be an option for the Committee (serious misconduct), since Interpretation 1.2a/1 states, that the following could be considered serious misconduct:

Deliberately not playing in accordance with the Rules and potentially gaining a significant advantage by doing so, despite incurring a penalty for a breach of the relevant Rule.

By the way this last quote could be called the “Phil Mickelson Rule”, since it was not to be found in the old Rules, and since it came quite soon after the incident in U.S. Open 2018, where there was a lot of criticism as to why Mickelson was not disqualified for playing a stroke at his ball moving on the putting green. But as a starting point the old Rules did not have such a disqualification option.

But they do now :-).


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