One of the most embarrassing shots in golf occurs when you hit it twice?
In a match play event at my club in Texas four years ago, I had battled back to win the closing three holes to square my match. My opponent and I both were just short of the green on the first playoff hole, but only 20 feet from the cup. I was away. A putter would have been the easy choice to get the ball close enough for a sure par. However, since my opponent was getting a handicap stroke on the next playoff hole, I selected a wedge, wanting to land the ball just over the fringe and try to put the pressure on him by chipping it in the cup. That’s when I caught the ball on my follow through, hitting it a second time and sending it ricocheting off to the left.
“What happened?” my opponent asked.
“I just ‘Chened it’,” I answered, letting him know that a penalty applied.
Rule 14-4 is quite clear about such a situation: “If a player’s club strikes the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, the player shall count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.” Thus, I was laying four on the green. When I missed my putt for bogey, I conceded his par putt from three feet.
To those who might not remember, T.C. Chen was leading the 19885 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills by four strokes. His approach on the par 5 fifth hole finished in thick rough about 15 feet off the green with the pin tucked just 12 feet onto the green. Chen’s flop shot with a wedge caught the ball a second time on the follow through, leaving the ball on the fringe. Viably shaken since he now lay five, Chen took three more putts for an eight. Chen ended up losing the title to Andy North by a stroke.
In a European Tour event last year, a player did not realize he had hit the ball twice until a video confirmed it.
What are other embarrassing shots? A whiff where you miss the ball entirely—yes I’ve done that when my club got caught by a tree limb when I tried to advance the ball left-handed back to the fairway—and the shank, where the ball is hit off the hosel of the iron.