Playing Moving Ball – Phil Mickelson and the U.S. Open

Most everyone saw or heard about what Phil Mickelson did at the U.S. Open this year. Here is the Rule that the U. S. Open Committee decided Phil violated which resulted in his receiving a 2 stroke penalty.

14-5. Playing Moving Ball

A player must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving.


  • Ball falling off tee – Rule 11-3
  • Striking the ball more than once – Rule 14-4
  • Ball moving in water – Rule 14-6

When the ball begins to move only after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke, he incurs no penalty under this Rule for playing a moving ball, but he is not exempt from any penalty under Rule 18-2 (Ball at rest moved by player).

(Ball purposely deflected or stopped by player, partner or caddie – see Rule 1-2)

Here is the Definition of a Stroke:
A “stroke” is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke.
For those of us that saw what Phil did, he clearly made a stroke at the ball as it rolled by the hole.
Bill Pultz-Rules Chairman

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