Rickie Fowler penalized for dropping from shoulder height in WGC-Mexico Championship.

Hi all.

Apparently the 2019 Rules of Golf are difficult to remember.

Thus, Rickie Fowler this Friday incurred a one stroke penalty in WGC-Mexico Championship for dropping from shoulder height, and not correcting the error before the stroke:

Fowlers stroke was out of bounds and therefore he should play from the spot, where he last played from with a one stroke penalty.

By the way it seems like Fowler was unaware of another new (changed) Rule in 2019: When playing from the spot you last played from, you don’t have to play from the exact same spot anymore – you can drop a ball within one club-length of that spot, not nearer the hole. It looks like he in fact could have dropped on the fairway (rather than in the rough) completely in accordance with the Rules!

Weird that such simple Rules can cause so many problems. But of course old habits are difficult to get rid of.

According to Golfweek, Fowler was not too happy about the new knee height dropping Rule:

I think, with the new rules that have been put in place, it’s not doing any favors for our sport. I think it will definitely be changed…So, no, like I said, it was on me, but I think it’s a terrible change.

It will most definitely not be the last time someone drops from shoulder height…:-).


  1. Tam Haw says

    Hey Ricki, I saw your drop in Mexico and understand you don’t like the new drop rule?
    Think of it this way. The game is Scottish, Drap the ba” frae the bottom of yur kilt. Aye.

    1. Mary says
  2. Dagbone says

    Folwer could have turned this episode into a teachable moment for all golfers, but instead chose to blame the Rules themselves–despite the fact that the new Rules would have allowed him to potentially improve his lie. Very disappointing.

  3. Ponky Firer says

    Dropping the ball from knee high is not a good rule. The older / senior players will have to bend uncomfortably to do this. The knee is lower than hanging arms length.
    More sensibly the rule should read the ball shall be dropped from any position between shoulder height and knee height.

    This would make it easy for every golfer and be easier to “police”

  4. Alan says

    A very sensible suggestion!
    However, common sense was never a way of thinking by those who write the rules.

  5. Martin Maher says

    If you want to play golf you should familiarise yourself with the rules.. it’s that simple. I cannot understand why professional golfers have so many problems with the rules..pure laziness in my opinion..they would prefer to complain about the rules rather than putting in a little time studying them.

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