Golf rules: Are you allowed to BALANCE on one foot then walk through the stroke?

This is a well executed shot, but is it legal under the Rules of Golf?

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 28 Nov 2021

Golf rules: Are you allowed to BALANCE on one foot then walk through the stroke?

Sometimes in golf we are presented with nearly impossible situations and we are left yearning for that ice cold beer in the clubhouse. 

This one is pretty interesting. It shows a player faced with a tough stance next to a green side bunker. In fact, he has no stance and is left having to balance with one foot. As he comes into impact he uses his momentum to essentially walk through the shot. 

That's a well executed shot in fairness and pretty creative. But is it permissible under the Rules of Golf? Well, the team over at @golfrules_questions have you covered. This instance comes under Rule 10.1 under the definition of stroke. 

What we have to determine is whether the player has made a striking motion at their ball rather than a pushing, scooping or scraping motion. In this example, the player has made a striking motion and therefore it is legal. So now you know. 

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This is what Rule 10.1 says in detail:

a. Fairly Striking the Ball

In making a stroke:

  • The player must fairly strike at the ball with the head of the club such that there is only momentary contact between the club and the ball and must not push, scrape or scoop the ball.

  • If the player's club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty.

b. Anchoring the Club

In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either:

  • Directly, by holding the club or a gripping hand against any part of the body (except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm), or

  • Indirectly, through use of an "anchor point," by holding a forearm against any part of the body to use a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.

If the player's club, gripping hand or forearm merely touches his or her body or clothing during the stroke, without being held against the body, there is no breach of this Rule.

For the purposes of this Rule, "forearm" means the part of the arm below the elbow joint and includes the wrist.

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