What to Do If You Hit Your Golf Ball Out of Bounds

out of bounds golf

In this article we are going to discuss one very basic rule of the game of golf.  And when I say basic, I mean very basic!  These are rules that even a beginner should have an understanding of before stepping one foot onto the golf course!

When The Ball Goes Out Of Bounds

Golf is unlike any other mainstream sport, however, when it comes to boundaries, the game is very similar to basketball, football, baseball, etc. The golf course has a strict playing field and there are areas known as the “out-of-bounds” locations.

If you hit your ball into the out-of-bounds area, the rules state that you must hit your shot the next time from the very same spot in which the ball has landed, regardless of how awful the terrain is. In addition, you must add a penalty stroke to your scorecard.

In golf, the out-of-bounds area can be seen visibly by either a fence or a set of white stakes which are placed approximately 25 yards apart from each other. You can clearly see the out-of-bounds markers from both sides of the fairway when playing each hole. However, many golf holes that are located deep inside the course may not have such boundaries, so it is possible to hit your ball onto the fairway of an entirely separate hole.

Hitting the ball out-of-bounds is an unfortunate part of becoming a better player, and even many seasoned veterans occasionally have a bad shot into this area. Not only are you penalized with one stroke, you are also in a position where you lose distance on your next shot.

The term for this is called the “stroke & distance”. What this means is that you must place your ball as close as you can near the area in which you were standing when you first hit the ball out-of-bounds, in an attempt to make the shot another time. It’s never fun if you hit your very first shot out-of-bounds because, by following the rules, you actually end up hitting the ball as your third stroke.


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