Playing The Wrong Ball
We are often asked in the pro shop what the penalty and procedure is when someone plays the wrong ball. While we always recommend marking your ball clearly with a permanent marking pen and identifying your ball before each shot, the amount of similar branded balls combined with shots being played from thick rough still results in golfers carelessly playing the wrong ball on the odd occasion. The rules of golf state that you must hole out with the same ball you play from the tee, except when the ball is lost, hit out of bounds or substituted due to damage of the ball. If you find yourself hitting another golfer’s ball you will be penalised in a number of different ways depending on the event of the day and the circumstances. Below are examples of the most common situations;
If you realize you have played the wrong ball before completing the hole, you must take a 2 stroke penalty and continue playing the hole with your correct ball you started the hole with. If your original ball is lost you must proceed under stroke and distance (note – regardless of how many times you have hit the wrong ball on the hole it’s only a penalty of 2 strokes). If you complete the hole before realizing you must wipe the hole.
You must take a 2 stroke penalty and continue playing the hole with your correct ball you started the hole with. If your original ball is lost you must proceed under stroke and distance. If you complete the hole and start the next hole before realizing you have used the wrong ball you are disqualified from the day’s event.
You automatically lose the hole to your opponent.