There are some rules in golf that defy logic.
Rule 18.2 – Ball (in play) moves accidentally – 1 stroke penalty
When a golfer accidentally moves their ball that is in play, a 1 stroke penalty is incurred.
The reason this is stupid
A golf ball is not considered ADDRESSED until BOTH of the following occur:
- The golfer has taken his/her stance.
- The golfer has grounded his/her club (or, in the case of a hazard, simply hovered the club).
Off the tee, when the ball accidentally moves prior to being ADDRESSED, there is NO penalty!
Since you haven’t finished addressing the ball, it is not considered YOUR fault if the ball moves.
It is considered an ACCIDENT. Which makes perfect sense.
So – why then – is there a penalty for a ball ‘in-play’ – when the same flow of events occurs. If YOU haven’t addressed the ball, any movement of the ball has to be attributed to accident – same as for the teed up ball.
Why should there be a 1-shot penalty when you had nothing to do with the ball (in some cases, you don’t even FIND the ball – you MOVE it in the process of looking for it !)