What Happens If You Knock The Golf Ball Off A Tee?

There is always a possibility of knocking the golf ball off the tee. It happens to beginner players all the way up to the highest level. You need to know what to do if this happens. Here is what you should know:

What Happens If You Knock The Golf Ball Off A Tee?

According to rule 6.2b (5) and 6.2b (6) golfers are allowed to re-tee the golf ball if they accidentally knock the ball off the tee. No penalty is given because it does not count as a stroke. The player should simply put the ball back on the tee and make his shot.

However if you attempt to hit the golf ball but end up whiffing it, then that count as a stroke and the player is not allowed to re-tee the ball. A whiff happens when you swing at the golf ball and miss.

In fact, any stroke in which a player intend to hit the ball counts. It doesn’t matter how far the golf ball goes from off the tee. If you swing and miss as you try to hit the ball, then it counts as a stroke.

When To Re-Tee The Golf Ball

There are different scenarios in which a player can re-tee their golf ball after knocking it over. Here are the events in which this applies:

1. Practice Swings

Almost every player does a few practice swings before their rounds. They’ll swing their clubs back and forth to get into rhythm next to the teeing area.

In rare cases, the golf club may knock the ball off the tee as the golfer makes a few practice swings.  This is nothing to worry about.

Rule 13.1d (1)  specfically grants players the opportunity to replace it without a penalty, if they hit the ball during a practice swing on the putting green.

Just pick up the ball off the ground and place it back on the tee. As long as you weren’t attempting to hit the golf ball, you should be fine. No penalty should be given.

However, you should know that this doesn’t apply to anywhere else on the golf course but the teeing area. So if you hit the golf ball while doing practice swings  on the fairway, bunkers etc, then that counts as a stroke, whether you meant to hit it or not.

2. Environmental Factors

Fresh and strong breeze can sometimes knock the golf ball off the tee. If the wind speed is between 25 to 31 miles per hour, then chances are the golf ball may roll off the tee during such conditions. Since you can’t control environmental factors, you are not given a penalty if the wind knocks the golf ball off the tee.

If the wind still persists, then it’s recommended that you wait until it blows over and then re-tee the golf ball. Then again, these scenarios are very rare even in windy conditions. But it’s good to know what to do if it ever happens.

3. Knock the ball over with your foot

Knocking the ball off the tee with either of your foot is obviously a genuine mistake. You’d be surprised that this happens more often than you think. But it’s nothing to worry about.

Because you didn’t attempt to hit the golf ball, then it doesn’t count as  a stroke, nor would you receive any penalty.

Players Who Have Knocked The Golf Ball Off The Tee

Now that we’ve discussed some of the scenarios in which a golf ball may be knocked off the tee, we’ll now look at some of the most prominent players that have managed to fall for this mistake. Here is a list of them:

  • Zach Johnson
  • Bubba Watson
  • Witnessed Simpson

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is a professional American golfer who has had 12 victories on the PGA Tour including 2 major championships. Zach Johnson is one player that is most plagued with knocking the ball off the tee as this happens more than once in his games.

You’d think that this only happens to amateur players, but this proves that even professional player can fall victim to knocking the ball off the tee.

On day two of the WM Phoenix Open 2022, Zach stepped into his tee shot at the driveable par-4 17th but was then distracted by someone in the crowd. As he was backing off, he accidentally waggled his club by the golf ball and knocked it off the tee peg.

Johnson had managed to struck his golf ball unintentionally while on the tee for the second time in three years🤦‍♂️

How To Prevent Knocking The Ball Off The Tee?

This advice is perhaps most fitted for amateur players as this rarely happens to professional players. To prevent knocking the golf ball off the tee, here is what you should check:

One of the main causes of knocking the golf ball off the tee is practice shots. If you tend to make the mistake of hitting the golf ball from off the tee while making a few practice swings, then you should step away a bit from the tee peg.

If you want to feel more comfortable, then don’t swing around the tee area, period. Use a replica instead, such as a coin to practice your golf shots until you are ready to make your stroke around the teeing area.

The reason why amateurs players are more proned to knocking the ball off the tee while practicing is because they haven’t developed a good swing rhythm. Meaning, their backswing and downswing technique is very inconsistent which can lead to knocking the ball off the tee.

If you are an amateur, just practice working on your backswing and downswing so that when you are around the teeing area you don’t knock the ball off the tee with your clubhead.

Final Verdict

Knocking the ball off the tee is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to the best of players in the world. If it happens to you, just remember there is nothing to worry about as long as it wasn’t intentional. Simply pick the ball up, place it back on the tee and you are good to go!

Post you may like: Do golf tees make a difference?



Scroll to Top