The Penalty For Hitting Your Golf Bag With Your Tee Shot

Hi, it’s Barry here, this week I answered another interesting question on The Rules of Golf:


“A player leaves his bag in the middle of the next fairway as his next tee shot will come back past where he has left his bag. If the same player hits his bag with his tee shot is their a penalty? Also if his oponnent hits this bag with his tee shot is there a penalty shot for him or the owner of the bag?”


“Good questions! There certainly is a penalty when the player hits his own bag with his ball following any stroke made on the course. Your question inferred match play by the use of the word opponent. Until 1st January 2008 this would have meant a penalty of loss of hole (two strokes in stroke play) but under the new Rules for 2008-2011 the penalty has been reduced to one stroke in both formats (Rule 19-2).

The second part of your question is also interesting as, in match play, if the player hits his opponent’s equipment (or the opponent himself!) there is no penalty but the player may cancel his stroke and play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played, or he may play the ball as it lies (Rule 19-3).

In the same situation in stroke play it is rub of the green and the ball has to be played as it lies (Rule 19-4).”

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Disclaimer: Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of this information on the Rules of Golf I am human and have been known to be wrong! Neither I, nor anyone connected with, shall be held responsible for any losses caused by reliance upon the accuracy or reliability of such information. Readers should refer to the full text of the rules and decisions as published in the official publications of the R&A and the USGA, The Rules of Golf 2008-2011 and Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2008-2009.

7 Responses to “The Penalty For Hitting Your Golf Bag With Your Tee Shot”

  1. Barry Rhodes says:


    No, there is no penalty for hitting your equipment with your club during your swing.


  2. judy says:

    Hi, I hit my raised umbrella attached to buggy on my backswing, then came down and hit my shot. Is their a penalty on the shot?

  3. Andy Moyes says:

    What is the peanlty if any for a player hitting his own bag with his back swing when playng his ball ?

  4. Barry Rhodes says:


    Rule 19-2 states that if a player’s ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke. Therefore, if the ball hits the player’s own wedge he incurs the penalty, if it is someone else’s wedge there is no penalty. In both cases the the ball is played from where it comes to rest.



  5. Barry Rhodes says:


    No, you are not permitted to repair ball damage that is off the putting surface. Rule 13-2 states that a player must not improve his line of play by eliminating irregularities of surface and this includes damage made by a ball off the putting green. Of course, Rule 16-1c states that a player may repair damage that is on the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not his ball lies on the putting green.



  6. geoffrey kelly says:

    Am I, permitted to repair a deep lob hole on the first cut [off the putting surface] immediately in front of my ball, before proceeding to putt at the pin? Thanks in advance. Geoff

  7. Steve Sheppherd says:

    Does the same rule apply if your ball hits a wedge left along the green?

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