Rules Guy: Is it legal to play a shot croquet-style from off the green?

August 4, 2019

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

I know putting croquet-style is illegal, but what about elsewhere? My friend’s ball was up against a tree. I thought he was going to backhand it back into play; instead, he straddled his target line and hit it between his legs. We were just playing for fun, but was this legal? —RICHARD JOHNS, VIA E-MAIL

Well, prior to the start of 2019, it was legal — but, alas and alack, not anymore. The most recent Rules changes rendered the croquet-style shot verboten anywhere on the field of play, per Rule 10.1c, and any “tweeners” will cost you the general penalty of two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in match play. Would-be Steph Currys, save the between-the-legs move for the court, not the course.

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