No penalty points for a ball that disappears

An incident during the 2nd round of this week's PGA Tour tournament in Detroit allowed us to discover a new subtlety in the rules of golf. It is possible to “lose” your ball and not receive a penalty

by Andrea Gussoni
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No penalty points for a ball that disappears
© Getty Images Sport - Ross Kinnaird / Staff

An incident during the 2nd round of this week's PGA Tour tournament in Detroit allowed us to discover a new subtlety in the rules of golf. It is possible to “lose” your ball and not receive a penalty. It was a ball that should have been found in the middle of the fairway which gave rise to a rather comical discussion between Akshay Bhatia and a referee during the 2nd round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

We thought that the play of the winner of the Valero Texas Open had split the fairway in two, but not to the point of disappearing into the bowels of the course! In reality she plunged into one of the openings of a drain located there!

Golf, rules

“I'm pretty sure it's a Callaway ball at the bottom,” explained a rather worried Akshay Bhatia to the official as he leaned down to try to identify his ball. But the referee immediately reassured him by explaining that in this specific case, it was not necessary to recover it.

“We don’t need to find her”. " Are you sure ?" replies the 22-year-old player, surprised but still smiling. Thanks to this decision, the 29th player in the world was able to sign par and maintain control of the tournament on Friday evening.

Note that Bhatia returned his 8th card of the season of 66 or less on Thursday! No one has done better in 2024 on the PGA Tour. The rules of golf are relatively complicated compared to other sports because they are applied outdoors, close to nature and animals.

Respect for the rules is a basic element in the game of golf, which, almost always based on the self-control and free conscience of the players, often sees distorted results, consciously at times, but often unconsciously or through carelessness, due to non-compliance on the part of many players of the game rules.

In addition to rules, golf adheres to a code of conduct, known as etiquette, which generally means playing the round with due respect for the golf course and other players. Etiquette is an essential component of this sport.

Pga Tour
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