Monday, May 16, 2011

Ask Linda #300-Preferred Lies Procedure

Hi Linda,

I recently played in a tournament where “lift, clean and place” was in effect. Is there a procedure that must be followed when you lift the ball, clean it, and replace it? Some players were just rolling the ball over with their clubhead. Is this permitted, or does the ball have to be marked before it is lifted?

Thank you.
Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

“Lift, clean, and place” is common lingo for the official Local Rule called “Preferred Lies” (also called “Winter Rules”). When Preferred Lies are in effect, the player must mark the position of his ball before lifting and cleaning it. He must then place the ball on a spot that is no closer to the hole and is within the distance specified by the Committee (e.g., six inches, one club-length, etc.). That spot may not be on a putting green or in a hazard. You can find the recommended wording for this Local Rule in the back of the USGA Rules of Golf under Appendix I, Part B: Specimen Local Rules, Section 4, c.

Players are never permitted to roll the ball over with their clubhead. That would be a violation of Rule 18-2a (Ball at Rest Moved by Player), which carries a one-stroke penalty and requires that the ball be replaced.

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.