Sanctions for players who do not shout "Fore"

Starting with the Soudal Open on May 23, players are now required to systematically warn spectators when one of their shots veers off course and is likely to hit the crowd. Failure to do so could result in sanctions

by Andrea Gussoni
SHARE
Sanctions for players who do not shout "Fore"
© Getty Images Sport - Stuart Franklin / Staff

Starting with the Soudal Open on May 23, players are now required to systematically warn spectators when one of their shots veers off course and is likely to hit the crowd. Failure to do so could result in sanctions.

Fore, statements

"Fore!" If you're a regular viewer of professional golf tournaments on television, you've probably seen a golfer or caddie shout this word when a shot goes astray to the left or right of the fairway, beyond the ropes where spectators gather.

"Balle" is the term used in French. Unfortunately, this warning shout is not always consistent and can lead to more serious injuries. During the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, a wayward drive by Brooks Koepka on the 6th hole of the Albatros course severely injured a spectator who subsequently lost the use of her eye.

To prevent such incidents, the DP World Tour has imposed stricter penalties on players who fail to warn the audience at the appropriate time. According to reports from Bunkered.co.uk, these penalties will be enforced starting this week at the Soudal Open, the first tournament of the European Swing held in the outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium.

The sanctions are not predetermined and may depend on the situation. "Players are reminded that the use of warnings remains in force when a danger is apparent (rule 1.2) and that this regulation of the DP World Tour and the Challenge Tour (FI2.b) requires all to adhere to accepted standards of golf etiquette.

(...) Therefore, all players and caddies are reminded that the use of such warnings is always expected when there is a risk of injury or danger of a ball hitting someone outside the rope line," reads the memo sent by the European Tour.

"Given the seriousness of ball strikes during tournaments, following the tournament committee meeting on April 15, 2024 (at Wentworth, the headquarters of the DP World Tour), it was agreed that if a player fails to shout 'Fore' when they should have done so, the player will be deemed to have breached the regulation and appropriate sanctions will be imposed by the Tournament Director," the memo continues.

It is, however, specified that these new sanctions are "not predetermined and may depend on the situation." In short, each case will be assessed based on the circumstances and severity.

SHARE