Monday, July 19, 2010

Ask Linda #222-Wrong putting green

Linda, can you clarify Rule 25-3 Wrong Putting Green?

A player's ball landed on the fringe of a wrong putting green (an alternate green on a hole, not one on another hole).

She felt she was entitled to a free lift because her stance would have to be on the wrong putting green to hit her ball on the fringe and she considered this interference with her stance allowed by Rule 25-3.

Is she entitled to lift her ball off of the fringe to avoid standing on the wrong putting green when swinging?

Thanks for clarifying this!


Dear Lulu,

Rule 25-3 (Wrong Putting Green) refers to the ball only. If the ball has settled on a wrong putting green, then a player is required to lift the ball and drop it within one club-length of the nearest point of relief that is not nearer the hole. He may not drop it in a hazard or (obviously) on a putting green. There is no penalty for this required drop.

I can well imagine greenkeepers weeping into their beer as they read this answer and envision players taking a full swing at a ball lying on the apron (or “fringe”) with their feet planted on the green. Please, please, please take the time to carefully repair any damage you may cause in playing this shot.

If your course is set up so that balls hit from a particular tee often end up on a wrong putting green, it is permissible to write a Local Rule that ties the apron into the green. Players would then be required to take relief off the green and off the apron.


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