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Pro Golfers Who Climbed Trees to Play Shots


Sometimes, pro golfers hit shots that get stuck in trees. Yep, their golf ball hits a tree ... and doesn't come down. Usually, this scenario results in a 1-stroke penalty for an unplayable lie and a drop; or, if the ball can't be identified, a lost ball penalty (stroke and distance).

But sometimes, a particularly enterprising golfer will climb that tree and hit his golf ball out of it, thus saving himself the penalty. It's pretty uncommon, but a professional golfer climbing a tree to play a shot is something that has happened a few times in recent memory.

We have video of a couple such incidents below (please email us if any of the videos don't work for you). There's also a third video of related but slightly different scenario.

Sergio Garcia at the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational
In final round of the 2013 Palmer, Sergio climbed a tree and played a 1-handed punch out of the branches. Pretty impressive all around - in both the climbing and the shotmaking:

Bernhard Langer at 1981 Benson & Hedges International
Roughly 42 years before Sergio's shimmy up a tree at Bay Hill, the then-young Bernhard Langer demonstrated both his climbing skills and his shotmaking skills:

Nick Faldo at 1992 US Open
This was a slightly different scenario. Faldo didn't play his ball out of the tree, but he had to climb the tree in order to positively identify his golf ball. That allowed him to use the unplayable lie option for continuing play, rather than having to use the lost ball option.

What are your options if your golf ball is stuck in a tree? What are the proper means of proceeding under the rules? See this good explainer from on that topic.

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