A video of a golfer deflecting his own golf ball has gone viral this week, and the rule might actually quite surprise you.
In the video below, posted by our friends over at Golf Rules Questions on Instagram, the player in question steps in to hit a 3-wood from off the fairway but ends up topping the ball and then deflecting his ball forwards on the follow through.
So what happens in this instance, you ask?
According to GRQ, "there is NO PENALTY for accidentally deflecting your golf ball, and you now play it from where it lies under Rule 11.1."
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW AND SCROLL DOWN FOR THE OFFICIAL DEFINITION OF RULE 11.1
a) No Penalty to Any Player
If a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits any person or outside influence:
- There is no penalty to any player.
- This is true even if the ball hits the player, the opponent or any other player or any of their caddies or equipment.
Exception – Ball Played on Putting Green in Stroke Play: If the player’s ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were on the putting green before the stroke, the player gets the general penalty (two penalty strokes).
b) Ball Must Be Played as It Lies
If a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits any person or outside influence, the ball must be played as it lies, except in two situations:
Exception 1 – When Ball Played from Anywhere Except Putting Green Comes to Rest on Any Person, Animal or Moving Outside Influence: The player must not play the ball as it lies. Instead, the player must take relief.
- When Ball Is Anywhere Except on Putting Green. The player must drop the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3):
- Reference Point: The estimated point right under where the ball first came to rest on the person, animal or moving outside influence.
- Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: One club-length, but with these limits:
- Limits on Location of Relief Area:
- Must be in the same area of the course as the reference point, and
- Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point.
- When Ball Is on Putting Green. The player must place the original ball or another ball on the estimated spot right under where the ball first came to rest on the person, animal or moving outside influence, using the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.
Exception 2 – When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green: The stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2), except in these two cases:
- Ball in Motion Hits Another Ball at Rest or Ball-Marker on Putting Green. The stroke counts and the ball must be played as it lies. (See Rule 11.1a for whether a penalty applies in stroke play).
- Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Flagstick or Person Attending Flagstick. This is covered by Rule 13.2b(2), not by this Rule.
[Model Local Rule available: Local Rule D-7 Limiting When Stroke Made From Putting Green Must Be Replayed Under Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b