Ever Had Your Golf Ball Stolen By A Bird?

I recently received this question relating to Rule 18-2 and what to do if a bird picks up your golf ball and drops it in the rough!


“Hi there,

And a very good day to you, can you solve this one please. Recently I hit a nice drive landing in the centre of the fairway, when a rook swooped down and picked up my ball and dropped it in the rough!

So I was wondering should I have played it from where the rook dropped it or instead dropped or replaced as close to the point where the bird picked it up from.

Thank you”


“This has happened to me too. It also happened to tour pro, Steve Lowery on the putting green at Sawgrass, see the video here:

I assume that you ball was at rest when the rook, an outside agency, picked it up, in which case, under Rule 18-2 “If a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.”

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One Response to “Ever Had Your Golf Ball Stolen By A Bird?”

  1. Rich says:

    Man, that video is great!

    Hahah…seagull. Who’d have ever thunk he’d like a golf ball for lunch…rofl!

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