The 6 Weirdest Places Tour Players Have Hit Golf Balls

By: | Wed 19 Feb 2020 | Comments


At last week’s Genesis Open, Tiger Woods endured an unusual situation. On the third hole of the final round, Woods, thankfully already long out of contention, blazed his tee shot well wide of the fairway and into… a rubbish bin. Yes, you heard that correctly – a temporary bin where many spectators had dropped their garbage. Fortunately, Woods didn’t have to play the ball as it lay (though he did have to retrieve it from the bin) and got a free drop in the rough, but the bizarre spectacle got us thinking: what are the oddest places pro golfers have hit golf balls during a tournament round? We’ve gathered up some the weirdest places pro shots have finished below.

Rory McIlroy hits a ball into a fan’s pocket – 2014

Golf fans getting hit by golf balls is unfortunately a pretty common sight in professional golf. Not so common, however? Golf balls hitting fans and dropping into their pockets. The odds must be a thousand to one, yet this is exactly what happened to Rory McIlroy on the 14th hole of the second round of the 2014 Tour Championship when his rogue tee ball struck a tree and fell down into a spectator’s trousers. For a few moments, the unlucky fan thought he might have a patented McIlroy 5 iron grazing his nuts, but thankfully Rule 24-1b gives relief from immovable obstructions and the Irishman got a free drop and was able to scramble par.

 

Sergio Garcia hits a ball into a fork of a tree – 2013

We all know Garcia, like his idol Seve, used to practice some adventurous shots in his youth – for golfers who can stretch their memory back to 1999, the Spaniard is synonymous with the incredible slicing recovery shot he pulled off chasing Tiger in the ’99 PGA. But at the Bay Hill Invitational seven years ago, Garcia faced an altogether more daunting prospect when he ball came to rest not behind a tree, but on top of it, wedged in a fork in the trunk. Even more amazing? The golfer didn’t take a drop, hitting it out of the tree and back onto the fairway one-handed. You might say the stroke was – ahem – barking mad…

 

Phil Mickelson hits his ball into a hospitality stand – 2014

They don’t call Phil Mickelson the wizard for nothing. And this shot he hit in the second round of the 2014 Barclays shows why. After gunning for the green on the short par 4 5th hole, Lefty found himself in a spot pro golfers don’t usually find themselves: a hospitality stand. So what did he do? You guessed it, he strode right up into the stand and hit it out. Unfortunately, Mickelson botched the recovery and bogeyed the hole. Believe it or not, he then went ahead and blazed the same tee shot into the same grandstand in the third round. However, this time he was able to hit the green and recover a par.

 

Rory McIlroy hits his ball into a golf buggy – 2019

Rory McIlroy hits his ball into some weird spots, so much so that this 2019 effort, when he blasted his drive so far wide on the par 5 15th hole that it ended up in a golf cart glove box, is fairly unextraordinary by his lofty standards. Compared to what most other pro golfers manage, however, it’s certainly strange enough to gain a spot on this list. Though we think the Irishman would have preferred to just hit it in the fairway.

Jim Furyk hits his ball halfway down a cliff – 2015

Pebble Beach is notorious for throwing up some rocky (excuse the pun) lies and few of them have been more precarious than this horrible side-hanger drawn by Jim Furyk in the 2015 AT&T Pro Am. The hole? The par 5 6th, where a sprayed drive left Jim looking down on his ball stranded halfway down the cliffs. The man with the wonkiest swing in golf had two options: take a drop, or risk his scorecard (and his health) trying to clip his ball back into play from the rocks. He took the second option, and the Pebble Beach crowd held its breath. The golfer faded from view, a club was glimpsed whirring among the rocks and the ball popped out back onto the fairway. A miraculous shot.

 

Rory McIlroy hits his ball into members’ accommodation – 2011

If Rory McIlroy never wins a green jacket, the tee shot he hit on the 10th hole of the 2011 competition will be the one that he curses. We all know what happened: entering the back nine on Sunday, McIlroy was nursing a 1 shot lead, only to hurtle down the leaderboard when he snaphooked his teeshot on 10 so far left that it ended up wedged between the patrons’ houses. Despite this loose tee ball, McIlroy was still very much in the championship – if he could get out with only a bogey, birdie 13, pick up another at 15 and one more… It wasn’t to be. When he walked off the 18th green, he was counting up an 80, one of the highest final round scores by a Sunday morning leader in Masters history. Ouch.  


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