Friday, November 25, 2011
Ask Linda #379-Lifting another player’s ball
I play in a group of about a dozen friends every Saturday and sometimes on Wednesday evenings. There is some betting, and one of the times is a formal league. Some of the players mark other players’ balls on the green to expedite the pace of play, if a player has a difficult time on a certain hole or is raking a bunker and is lagging behind a bit. I do not like other players marking my ball or otherwise touching it while it is in play, and I believe that it is a bad practice since each player is responsible for his own ball. They will even mark others' golf balls during outings or tournaments.
Please let me know the proper etiquette and rules that we should follow for this matter.
There is no penalty in stroke play if a fellow competitor marks and lifts your ball without your authority [Decision 20-1/4. This Decision cites Rule 18-4, which states that there is no penalty in stroke play for moving a fellow competitor’s ball.]
In match play, if your opponent lifts your ball without your authority, your opponent incurs a one-stroke penalty for moving your ball [Decision 20-1/2, Rule 18-3b].
No one should be lifting another player’s ball without that player’s permission. If you do not want other competitors to lift your ball, tell them. It would be poor etiquette indeed to lift another player’s ball when he has expressly told you not to do so.
Personally, I have no objection to other players marking my ball when the purpose is to speed up play. However, I would never dream of lifting another player’s ball without first securing their permission.
Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.