PGA Rules Re: Lost Ball / Switching Balls and Other Rules for Golf

Rule 15: Playing a Wrong Ball

A. In match play, if you play a ball that is not yours, you lose the hole unless the wrong ball is played in a water hazard; if you play a wrong ball in a hazard, you must then play the right ball.

B. In stroke play, if you play a ball that is not yours, you must take a two-stroke penalty unless the wrong ball was played in a water hazard. You must then play out the hole with your own ball. If you do not do so, you are disqualified.

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Rule 5: Changing Balls

Normally, you may not change balls during the play of a hole. There really is no set number of golf balls allowed each player per round of golf. A player may use a different ball to begin each of the 18 holes. However, they can not change balls during the playing of a hole unless the ball is lost or damaged. However, if you damage or cut your ball, you may do so after first telling your opponent or a fellow competitor.

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If you want the full set of rules to explore and discover for yourself, click here to go to our rules page with links to both the USGA and R&A websites.

  3 comments for “PGA Rules Re: Lost Ball / Switching Balls and Other Rules for Golf

  1. Julissa Keshishian says:

    Good site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  2. mike says:

    What is the official ruling of this scenario? If you run out of golf balls on the course are you allowed to continue play after a trip to the club house or is your tournament completed at that time.


    • Pat says:

      You can carry as many golf balls as you wish in a round of golf. If you run out of balls in the middle of a round and your buddies are willing to let you run back to the clubhouse for more, then, I think you should be able to keep on playing… but I would only do it if you won’t slow down play for everyone else on the course.

      In some competitions the committee may invoke a “one ball rule” which means you must play your round using only one type of ball. If you begin the round using a Pro V1 you can switch to another ball but it has to be a Pro V1. If you run out of Pro V1 balls during the competition, you are out of luck. (If you’re playing at an unfamiliar course it would be wise to get a couple of sleeves of the same ball before you head out.)

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