Get Off to a Good Start on the Teeing Ground

I tee up my ball inside the teeing ground. Then, I take my stance, a couple of waggles and I inadvertently nudge the ball of the tee. Judging there is a little slope where I was, I pick up the ball and re-tee it on another spot so that part of the ball is ahead of the tee markers and part of it is behind them. Next, I take my stance outside of the tee markers, using the tee markers to help line me up, and hit a nice draw down the right hand side of the fairway. Am I OK?

The teeing ground is a very important component of the game of golf. So important, that it is included in the definition of the Game of Golf (Rule 1-1) in that a ball must be played from the teeing ground in accordance with the Rules. As usual, a good starting place to learn about the teeing ground is the definition of the teeing ground.

The “teeing ground” is the starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee markers. A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the teeing ground.

The Teeing Ground Rule is Rule 11 and that’s where we’ll find many of the answers to our situation. Let’s break it down.

First, I nudge my ball off the tee in taking a few waggles. The third section of Rule 11 tells us that there is no penalty as long as the ball is not in play. In our case, it is not, as we have not yet made a stroke at the ball from the teeing ground. That also allows me to pick it up without penalty.

Next, I re-tee my ball so that part of it is ahead of the tee markers and the rest is behind them. The last sentence of the definition of the Teeing Ground above says that a ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the teeing ground. That being said, in our case, we’re ok as long as a part of the ball is inside the teeing ground.

Then, I proceed to take my stance outside the teeing ground. The last sentence of the first section of Rule 11 states that a player may stand outside the teeing ground to play a ball within it. Still good so far.

Finally, I use the tee markers as an alignment guide to hit the shot. That is perfectly legal and within the Rules of Golf. Just like using a broken tee on the ground or tuft of grass outside the teeing ground as an aiming point. As long as I did not place it there, I can use it.

Remember, use the index or the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help yourself to enjoy the game of golf.

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