Golf Rules Quiz No 5

With the very windy weather of late, Golf Rules Quiz No 5 is very pertinent.

John’s drive comes to rest on a steep slope through the green. Fearing that the ball may move, he does not address the ball (i.e. he does not ground the club) nor does he do anything else that might cause the ball to move. However, during his back swing the ball begins to move and he strikes the ball while it is in motion.

What is the ruling?


a) There is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies.

b) John incurs a one stroke penalty and the ball must be played as it lies.

c) The stroke must be cancelled; John incurs a one stroke penalty and must replace the ball.

d) John incurs a two-stroke penalty and must play the ball as it lies.


Quiz Answer.

a) There is no penalty under Rule 14-5 (striking a moving ball) because the ball began to move after John had begun his backswing. However, had John caused the ball to move or had addressed it, he’d have incurred a one-stroke penalty – Rule 18-2a or b


This golf rules quiz item supplied by Cliff Nunn, a VGA state accredited rules official and proprietor of  Golf Clubs Down Under.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017


  1. Brilliant. This rule is always an obscure but interesting one. It’s not out of the question that this situation arises at all and is important to know. Cheers.

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