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What the rules say about accidentally hitting your teed ball
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Q: Mabel and Alice are playing Tuesday in their ladies golf association. On the second hole, Mabel was preparing to hit her tee shot, and while taking a practice swing, she accidentally struck and moved the teed ball with her club. Alice said, “Bad luck, you need to count the shot and play the ball as it now lies.” Is Alice correct?
A: No. Mabel did not make a stroke at her ball, and since the ball was teed up, it was not yet in play. She does not incur a penalty and should re-tee the ball.
However, if Mabel had already hit her tee shot and was now taking a practice swing from the fairway and accidentally hit her ball, she must replace the ball and take a one-stroke penalty for moving a ball in play. She does not count the shot since she was not attempting to hit the ball. This was discussed in an article last July.
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf, and email me at with questions or suggestions.
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