8 Scenarios When Shots Don't Count

In this video, Neil Tappin and Jeremy Ellwood discuss 8 scenarios when, under the rules, shots that are hit do not count!

8 Scenarios When Shots Don't Count

In this video, Neil Tappin and Jeremy Ellwood discuss 8 scenarios when, under the rules, shots that are hit do not count!

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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Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

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Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer/adidas Tour 360 22