Monday, November 1, 2010

Ask Linda #252-Reach over hole to tap in putt

Hi Linda,
Situation: Player 'just misses' her putt. She reaches her putter over the hole and taps the ball in the hole. The ball moves toward her, as she has not moved from the side of the hole from which she originally putted. Our Pro says that is OK. Some of us "older" Gals remember that being against the rules. What do you think? Thanks for this and all the other great explanations you have published! Lulu

Dear Lulu,

Your pro is correct, Lulu. While it is true that a player is not permitted to putt a ball while straddling the line of putt (the “line of putt” is the path you expect the ball to take on the way to the hole), or while standing on the line of putt [Rule 16-1e], you cannot be violating any part of this rule if your feet are on the other side of the hole. That’s because the line of putt ends at the hole [Definition of Line of Putt]. However, you must be careful to actually stroke the ball. If you place your putter right behind the ball and just push it into the hole, you are violating Rule 14-1, which does not permit you to push, scrape, or spoon the ball.

Reaching over the hole to tap the ball in can be helpful in speeding up play during a casual round of golf, but I would not recommend such an unreliable procedure under tournament conditions.

Copyright © 2010 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.