An air-ball in a pairs’ game. How embarrassing. But how would you proceed from here? Our rules expert is here to help
There is probably only one thing that makes you want to disappear into a hole more than an air-shot. And that’s a whiff in a competition in front of your partner.
Yet, that’s the golfing fate worse than death that we are considering today. It’s a foursomes competition, you’ve tried to take your tee shot, and completely missed the ball.
What happens now in alternate shot? Are you playing again? Is your partner taking over? Can you move the ball’s position on the tee? That’s a lot of questions. So here are the answers…
Foursomes golf: Who is taking the next shot?
We all know that partners play alternating shots in foursomes. The word ‘stroke’ is what’s actually used in the rules and it is absolutely key. Here’s why.
A stroke is defined as the “forward movement of the club made to strike the ball”.
If you’ve taken that action – intending to hit the ball and you don’t stop in time – then you’ve made a stroke. That’s regardless of whether you’ve made contact or not.
So if you whiff it completely in a foursomes and you meant to hit it, step aside. Your partner is now up.
Get this wrong, and you’ll receive the general penalty (two shots in stroke play and loss of hole in match play) for making a stroke in the wrong order.
If you don’t correct that mistake in stroke play, before making a stroke to begin another hole, your side will be disqualified.
There is an interesting clarification that sheds some light into how far down the rabbit hole the rules teams need to go when thinking about what players might do in this kind of situation.
It involves a player intentionally missing the ball off the tee to try and change whose turn it is to play.
But they’ve not made a stroke, and so it’s still their turn to play. If they had intended to strike the ball, and accidentally missed it, their partner is up. All clear?
Now we’ve got that sorted, what if your partner doesn’t like where you had teed it up? Can they change it? Yes, they can and all is revealed in Rule 6.2b (6).
Let’s break it down. The ball is in play, because a stroke has been made at it, and the rule says that if the player’s ball is still in the teeing area in those circumstances, they can “lift or move the ball without penalty and play that ball or another ball from anywhere in the teeing area from a tee or the ground… including playing the ball as it lies”.
What do you think about these foursomes golf rules? Have you faced a similar situation in a game? Let me know with a tweet.
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