Rules Guy: Is it permissible to play a shot croquet-style?

ball against tree

A croquet-style shot would come in handy if you find your ball against a tree. But is it legal?

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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.

Golfer replacing ball in fairway
Rules Guy: Is there a penalty for picking up and replacing a playing partner’s ball?
By: Rules Guy

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.

Got a rules question? Of course you do! Whatever it may be, send yours to and the question may be answered in an upcoming issue of GOLF. Until then, play by the Rules!

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