The efforts to work around the new Rules of Golf have bee entertaining and even inspiring. After all, it takes talent to intentionally double hit a ball as some of golf’s best trickshotters first exhibited on social media last week.
The European Tour followed suit and asked top players such as Tommy Fleetwood, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka to try, with varying degrees of success.
Here’s a look at Hannah Davies’ trick-shot stunt:
And here’s how the European Tour’s “double-hit” challenge turned out.
The double strikes were inspired by Rule 11.1. In the simpler language of golf’s refreshed rules, the kinder, gentler governing bodies are no longer penalizing player for the dreaded “double-hit” made most famous by T.C. Chen in the 1985 U.S. Open but all too-often in embarrassing fashion for everyday golfers.
While some of golf’s top trickshot artists may be magnificent with a club in their hand, they missed the part about “accidental” in the title of 11.1. With so many copycats, there is a perception that a rules loophole has been exposed.
Turns out, the penalties are stiff for intentionally trying this shot as a way to get around a tree or just for the fun of a double hit.
Golfweek asked the USGA for clarification and received this from a spokesperson:
“The videos showing golfers deliberately hitting the ball twice (such as getting around a tree) are not allowed under the Rules. Most of these videos demonstrate a player making two strokes at the ball, with the second being made at a moving ball, which results in two penalty strokes. In total, the player has made two strokes and gets a two-stroke penalty.”
Feel free to have your fun and even accidentally double hit a shot. But intentionally? That will be expensive.