NCG'S Golf Glossary: What is a penalty?

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a penalty?

A penalty in golf is often referred to as a penalty stroke. A penalty stroke is an additional stroke or strokes added to a players score, usually for a breach of rules or for losing the golf ball.

In matchplay a penalty usually results in the loss of the hole.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“The player hit his ball out of bounds and therefore received a one shot penalty before hitting their next shot”

What are the origins?

The first rules of golf mentioned that players received penalties.

You can receive a penalty for numerous rule breaches, one of the most common in club golfers is hitting the ball out of bounds or into some form of hazard like we said above.

Any other business?

Penalty decisions have been a hot topic in golf in recent years. Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods and Lexi Thompson have all fallen foul of a viewer ringing up who has spotted a rules infringement. The latter two were both penalised for technically signing an incorrect scorecard.

However, this has recently changed and you can no longer be penalised because of this. Once your scorecard is signed for and the player didn’t know of any rules infringement they can’t be penalised for an incorrect scorecard.

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