8 Scenarios When Shots Don’t Count
1. Playing out of turn in matchplay
Ready golf may be necessary in stroke-play but in matchplay it is not as simple as that and there are clear tactics to be utilised if a player has played out of turn.
In matchplay the player furthest from the hole must play first and if that sequence is broken by a player, the opponent has a choice of asking them to play the shot again, or just forget about it. This might be an advantage if the player has hit a bad shot into water or into a tough lie for example.
2. Hitting shots on the wrong tee or outside of the tee in matchplay
In matchplay if a player plays from outside of the teeing area, or from the wrong tee, the opponent can ask the player to hit the shot again and cancel the shot that has just been hit.
3. Unsure of a ruling
When a player is unsure of the rules or uncertain about a ruling on the course, in some cases the rules of golf allow a player to play two balls.
The player then has to make clear which ball they want to count if the rule is deemed acceptable, and then the player finishes the hole with two balls.
Of course the shots hit with the ball that ultimately doesn’t count, don’t count.
4. Playing out of order in alternate shot/foursomes
If a player plays out of turn in an alternate shot format then the shots that are hit out of turn are not counted and the pair also receive a two-shot penalty as well in stroke-play.
They also have to make sure they correct the error before teeing off on the next hole or turning in the scorecard.
5. On the green
There are several instances where a shot doesn’t count on the green. For example if you make a stroke and your ball hits an animal, another person or a moveable obstruction, then you get to play the ball again from where you originally putted from. Of course this rule only applies if your ball is on the green.
Additionally if you putt and it strikes a ball in motion then you would be able to play it again as well. You would not be allowed to do this if your ball hits a ball at rest on the green or you hit a ball-marker.
6. Provisional ball
If you hit a ball into trouble, you should sensibly hit a provisional ball in case you don’t find the original.
Hypothetically if you hit your first shot a long way down the hole but is flirting with trouble, if you then top your provisional, and then duff your way along the hole but still find the original, luckily all of those provisional ball shots do not count.
It is worth remembering that you can continue to play your provisional ball until you are near the area of where the original ball went.
7. Ball breaks into pieces
If a ball breaks up as the result of a stroke you then get to play the stroke again from where you played it from.
8. Power cables
This is often a local rule in which if a player hits a power cable present on a golf course then the player would be allowed to play the stroke again for no penalty.
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