Did you know this rule about hitting animals with your ball when putting?

We like to keep our readers informed on as many rules of golf as we can, but have you ever read the rule on hitting an animal with your ball?

Matt Chivers's picture
Sun, 15 Aug 2021
Did you know this rule about hitting animals with your ball when putting?

The R&A's comprehensive rules guide leaves absolutely no stone unturned when it comes to what you can and can't do on the golf course.

It is important to be as clued up as possible on the rules of golf because you never know what strange situation you can find yourself in during your next round.

Recently, a video emerged on social media of a golfer standing over his putt and while his ball was on the way to the hole, it hit a duck that was walking across the green.

It is safe to say that not many golfers will have experienced such a bizarre scenario on the golf course before but it certainly begs the question: what is the rule in these circumstances?

According to Rule 11.1b, when a ball is played from on the putting green and it accidentally hits any person, animal or movable obstruction including another ball in motion on the green, the player must cancel that stroke and replace the ball and replay the stroke.

So there is no need to worry. You will not incur a penalty or add another stroke to your score. You just need to place your ball roughly where you think you putted from and take the putt again.

Before seeing this footage, I don't think I have ever seen a situation where a player has hit a duck, or any animal when putting their ball. As a word of advice, you may want to make sure that the animal has cleared the area before you take your decisive stroke.