Teeing Area Rules

 

Trust me when I tell you that knowing the teeing area rules will help prevent penalties and confusion during your golf round.

I have a number of friends who tend to tee their ball up either right at the front edge of the tee markers or in front of them. I’m not sure why, but somehow they have fallen into this bad habit. It’s a slippery slope when you’re used to placing your tee that close to the front edge, and something I would recommend you try to avoid.

Teeing your ball up in front of the tee markers will cost you a two-stroke penalty in stroke play or you may have to replay your shot in match play, but there’s more to the story here (as usual).

Here's What Happens If You Don't Tee Your Ball Inside the Teeing Area

 Teeing Area

According to the USGA Rules of Golf, the teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where

  • The front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee-markers set by the committee, and
  • The side edges are defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers

Ball In Motion Accidentally Hits a Person or Outside Influence

Rule 11 Ball In Motion Accidentally Hits a Person or Outside Influence

According to rule 11, when a ball in motion accidentally hits a person or Outside Influence*, no problem no penalty. This includes any person, yourself, animal, or equipment. You would play the ball as it lies.

There is an exception on the putting green:

“If the player’s ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were on the putting green before the stroke, the player gets the General Penalty.” (Page 91 of Rules of Golf 2019)

The Nitty Gritty:

Rule 11.1a (USGA)

If a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits any person or Outside Influence*:

  • There is no penalty to any player

This is true even if the ball hits the player themselves, the opponent, any other player, a caddie or anyone’s equipment.

*Outside Influence: Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to your ball or equipment or to the course: Any person (including another player), except you or your caddie or your partner or opponent or any of their caddies, any animal, and any natural or artificial object or anything else (including another ball in motion), except for natural forces.

Advice from Caddies 2019

Getting Advice from Caddies

Rule 10.2b(4) contains new restrictions when getting assistance from caddies.

Have you ever seen an LPGA event on TV where a caddie has stood behind a player to line her up on the tee box so she knows exactly what direction she should be hitting?

Well, that is now a penalty! 

You can no longer have your caddie or partner line you up before you take your stance. This is on the putting green, on the tee, anywhere in the fairway, or anywhere on the course.

The Nitty Gritty

Rule 10.2(4) Restriction on Caddie Standing Behind Player. When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made:

  • The player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.
  • If the player takes a stance in breach of this Rule, he or she cannot avoid penalty by backing away.

Exception – Ball on Putting Green: When the player’s ball is on the putting green, there is no penalty under this Rule if the player backs away from the stance and does not begin to take the stance again until after the caddie has moved out of that location.

See Rules 22, 23 and 24 (in forms of play involving partners, a player’s partner and the partner’s caddie may take the same actions (with the same limitations) as the player’s caddie may take under Rules 10.2b(2) and (4)

Check out Rule 11,  Ball In Motion Accidentally Hits a Person or Outside Influence.