Tour Pro Runs Out Of Golf Balls During Champions Tour Event

Rick Garboski had a second round to forget at the Hoag Classic, as he ran out of golf balls after just four holes

The 18th hole at Woodlands Country Club
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Everyone who plays golf has a nightmare story. Whether it is the time you made a seriously high number on one hole, or perhaps the occasion where you forgot to bring a club out for your round, everyone has that one moment that stands out for the wrong reason.

It happens to all of us and, in this case, even to some of the world's best, with PGA Champions Tour player, Rick Garboski, having a day to forget at the Haog Classic when, after just four holes, he discovered that he was running a bit short on golf balls!

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In a tweet by 13-time PGA Tour winner, Mark Calcavecchia, the former Champion Golfer of the Year revealed Garboski's unfortunate incident, tweeting: "Saw something today that was an all time 1st in 41 years of pro golf. Rick Groboski ran out of balls. Only had 3. Thought he had 6. Anyways after 2 balls in the drink on 4 had to borrow a ball. 2 shot penalty. Then had to drop back a group to wait for locker room guy to bring some out."

Yes, you read that correctly, Garboski ran out of golf balls and had to wait for someone to bring him some more! 

If a golfer does run out of golf balls, then he/she is allowed to ask their playing partner to borrow a ball or two under Rule 4.2a(1). However, the other player is under no obligation to lend them one. 

Pepperell hits a tee shot

The same incident has previously happened with Eddie Pepperell...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You may remember a similar incident at the 2019 Turkish Airlines Open, where Eddie Pepperell was disqualified during the third round after he also ran out of golf balls.

Paired with Martin Kaymer and George Coetzee, the Englishman had started his round on the back nine when he reached the par-5 fourth hole. After coming off of back-to-back bogeys, he then proceeded to hit his ball into the water before hitting another four or five more in the drink. He was officially disqualified for "failure to complete a hole."

"Eddie hit his shots to the green then came over to tell us he had run out of balls," Kaymer told reporters in Turkey. "Then he walked off. I thought he lost four or five. We are about 80% sure it was five, 20% four. He was quick, so it was hard to keep track. 

"He did not ask if he could borrow one from me or George. It did not look like he wanted to play. He did not putt with his putter on the third hole; he putted with a wedge. So there was a lot happening.

"I have never seen anything like that before. I only watched it on television, in 'Tin Cup.' This is the first time I have seen it live."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x