January 14, 2019

Rules of Golf - Double Hit & Test Scores

Rule 10.1a - Fairly Striking the Ball

If you have been on Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen some of the viral videos of golfers using a unique method of hitting a ball from behind a tree.

In the new Rules, there is no penalty when making a stroke at a ball and the club head accidentally makes contact with the ball more than once; commonly known as a double-hit. Some golf trick-shot artists have released videos of them with a ball directly behind a tree and then chipping the ball lightly, and while the ball is in the air, they hit the ball again in the direction of the hole. Some people on social media are claiming this is legal and a clever way to get out from behind a tree; however, is it legal?

Rule 10.1a 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.

Therefore, all these videos of golfers purposely double hitting a ball to get out from behind a tree is a breach of the Rules and the penalty is harsh. Both times the player purposely strikes the ball counts as a stroke and they are penalized two additional penalty strokes for playing a moving ball.

Learn more on the Rules here.


PGA/USGA Rules Workshop

The majority of the FSGA tournament staff recently returned from spending five days in Port St. Lucie attending the PGA/USGA Rules Workshop. Every year each member of the tournament staff attends this workshop taught by a USGA representative and a member of the PGA. We spend three straight days in a classroom of about 80 people and the entire Rule Book is taught and discussed. The fourth and final day is “test day”. The test is 100 questions with the first 50 being closed book and the final 50 being open book. You are given three and one half hours to complete the test and nearly all of that time is needed. The FSGA is proud to say that twelve staff members have achieved “Expert” status in the eyes of the USGA.

The PGA/USGA Rules Workshops are open to the public. Click here to find more.

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