Double Hit in Golf – Rule 14-4

Rule 14-4

Watch out for the double hit!

Today was an interesting round. There were many ups and downs, but I encountered a situation that I have not seen in about 150 rounds of golf. It is truly a rare thing and it happened twice in the same round!

On the third hole, I was playing the ball out of the long grass to beside the green. There was not much room to get my club down on the ball to make a clean hit, so I tried a scoop like shot. I used a steep down swing, mixed with a steep up swing to try to pop the ball out of the long wet grass. As I made contact with the ball, my follow through felt strange. Almost as if I was carrying the ball and helping it to the hole.

After completing the hole, I asked my playing partners what they thought. One thought I hit the ball twice. And another thought that I scooped the ball and contacted the ball only once – but for a longer than normal time. Now understand that all of this happens in milliseconds, but it was quite noticeable that something strange happened. Not knowing exactly what had happened, I called the double hit ruling on myself at the fourth tee box.

The other situation happened on the 16th hole. One of my playing partners, Mike, obviously struck the ball twice as he followed through on his short chip shot. His lie was similar to mine on the third hole and the ball did not pop out as quickly as he anticipated. So, he hit the ball again at about knee level. He also called the double hit on himself.

Rule 14-4 is very clear. Striking the Ball More Than Once – If a player’s club strikes the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, the player must count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.

Both Mike and I ended up with a double on our respective holes and walked away a little disappointed, but clear that a rules infraction had occurred.

Now here is the rub. On my shot, one of my playing partners suggested that I did not hit the ball twice, but scooped the ball. Such that the ball stayed in contact with the club head longer, but did not leave until part way through my follow through. I tried to find a ruling or anything to suggest this was legal or illegal. I cannot find anything.

So readers, I need some help. Has anyone had this happen to them before? If so, what is the ruling? Any feedback or similar story would be great. I am curious to know what you think?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

11 thoughts on “Double Hit in Golf – Rule 14-4

  1. funny – this happened to me today on a chip – my initial reaction was a double hit, but my other playing partners said that they didn’t;t think i hit it twice. it was sooooo quick, but clear that something weird had happened. i asked the pro shop and they concluded it was a double hit, but i never felt a double or heard the sound of it hitting twice.not sure what the ruling should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question. My experience is that if it feels funny, chances are that it was a double hit. I had the same thing happen in a tournament and assessed myself a penalty, my playing partners did not notice, but assessed myself a penalty anyway. That is what the spirit of the golf rules are all about.



  2. When did double it rule come I believe a British Open champ hit every ball twice the following year the rule changed and each stroke was counted as 2
    So when and who ?


    • John,

      There are several examples of professionals double hitting the ball, but none I found for the British Open. As far as every ball twice, I am not sure I know what you mean. Can you provide the answer?



  3. Pingback: Top Golf Articles of 2015 from The Grateful Golfer | The Grateful Golfer

  4. 14.1
    The ball must be firmly struck, it must not be scooped, scraped or spooned.
    Having this discussion at Torquay Golf Club (Melb Australia)


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