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May 02, 2018

Bobby’s Answer

I stumbled upon a recent clip (NSFW) of a player whose putt was suddenly blown off line by a runaway leaf on the green. After this fluke incident, the player tried to regain his composure, tapped in his ball, and went about the remainder of his round.

However, seemingly unknown to him there is an interference rule that states the player must replay his stroke or be assigned a two stroke penalty. Additionally, because he did not follow this rule he was assigned an additional two stroke penalty for turning in an incorrect score card.

That’s crazy! A four stroke penalty all because of a leaf!

I can’t believe this ruling exists in golf!  I am not a fan of this ruling.  I think the player should have the option to replay the shot if he or she felt that the interference warrants a replay. This would get rid of any ambiguity in the ruling. When an object interferes with a player’s shot or a ball hits the power lines, sometimes the interference is negligible and a player should never be penalized in this situation.

Scroll down and listen to the clip of this incident from the Foreplay Podcast by Barstool Sports (Warning: NSFW) -they make a valid point that I wanted to share with you all. Sorry for the vulgarities in the commentary, it’s not me.

***Don’t wait to take strokes off of your golf game. CLICK HERE for a list of Bobby’s Signature Golf Schools!***

***Don’t wait to take strokes off of your golf game. CLICK HERE for a list of Bobby’s Signature Golf Schools!***


  1. Bobby,

    A few weeks ago someone hit a bird at the RBC Heritage and I believe the ball went into the water. He was not allowed to replay that shot and was penalized for the ball in the water. Can you address the difference between a leaf and a animal interference? I love the game it is very difficult and the rules can be more difficult!

    1. Jimmy,
      This rule 19-1 only applies when a moving ball hits a moving object when playing a stroke from the putting green.

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