Striking the Ball

Ball to be Fairly Struck At

The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned.


In making a stroke, a player must not:

a. accept physical assistance or protection from the elements; or

b. allow his caddie, his partner or his partner's caddie to position himself on or close to an extension of the line of play or the line of putt behind the ball.

Penalty for breach of rule 14-1 or 14-2:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.

Artificial Devices and Unusual Equipment

The R& A reserves the right, at any time, to change the Rules relating to artificial devices and unusual equipment and make or change the interpretations relating to these Rules.

A player in doubt as to whether use of an item would constitute a breach of Rule 14-3 should consult the R& A.

A manufacturer may submit to the R& A a sample of an item to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether its use during a stipulated round would cause a player to be in breach of Rule 14-3. The sample becomes the property of the R& A for reference purposes. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample before manufacturing and/or marketing the item, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that use of the item would be contrary to the Rules.

Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment:

a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or

b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or

c. That might assist him in gripping the club, except that:

(i) plain gloves may be worn;

(ii) resin, powder and drying or moisturising agents may be used; and

(iii) a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip.

Penalty for breach of rule 14-3:

Striking the Ball More than Once

If a player's club strikes the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, the player must count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.

Playing Moving Ball

A player must not make a strokeat his ball while it is moving.

  • Ball falling off tee - Rule 11-3
  • Striking the ball more than once - Rule 14-4
  • Ball moving in water - Rule 14-6
When the ball begins to move only after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke, he incurs no penalty under this Rule for playing a moving ball, but he is not exempt from any penalty under the following Rules:

  • Ball at rest moved by player - Rule 18-2a
  • Ball at rest moving after address - Rule 18-2b
(Ball purposely deflected or stopped by player, partner or caddie - see Rule 1-2)

Ball Moving in Water

When a ball is moving in water in awater hazard, the player may, without penalty, make a stroke, but he must not delay making his stroke in order to allow the wind or current to improve the position of the ball. A ball moving in water in a water hazard may be lifted if the player elects to invoke Rule 26.

Penalty for breach of rule 14-5 or 14-6:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.