How to Switch a Golf Ball During a Hole

By William McCoy
You can switch your ball anytime between holes, but after teeing off on a given hole, it's a different story.
You can switch your ball anytime between holes, but after teeing off on a given hole, it's a different story.

If you're playing an informal round of golf by yourself or with some friends, switching your ball for a different ball during a hole isn't likely to bring down the golf police on you, but if you're playing by official USGA rules, it could cost you on the scorecard. There are only a few conditions that allow changing from one ball to another between tee-off on a particular hole and holing out.

Determine that your ball meets one of the rules conditions allowing the switch of a ball during the play of a hole. The ball must have become damaged to the point of being unfit for play, or must be lost, out of bounds, in a water hazard or unrecoverable.

Show your fellow players that your ball is damaged beyond being playable if that is the case, and replace it with a similar ball to continue play.

Make a drop with another ball according to the relevant rules if your ball is in a water hazard or lost.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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