Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ask Linda #698-Prohibited to mark ball on green

Dear Linda,

 “Rules you can use” – love the column!

Is there some time when I’m not allowed to mark my ball on the green in stroke play? I swear I heard the announcer say in the Masters broadcast that two players could not mark their balls because the third member of their threesome had a bunker shot to play.

Dear Lou,

That’s a new one on me, Lou. I would suggest that you don’t put much stock in Rules information given out by sports announcers.

In stroke play, players customarily mark their balls on the green so that they can clean them, and so that other competitors will not be at risk for the two-stroke penalty that comes with hitting another ball on the green when the player putts his own ball from on the green.

If two balls are on the green and the third player has yet to hit onto the green, that third player may request that the balls on the green be marked if they are in his way, or any player may ask that a ball be lifted that he feels might assist that third player [Rule 22].

If the balls lying on the green neither assist nor interfere with play, there is neither a requirement to lift them nor a prohibition against lifting them; if it will save time to leave the balls in place, it’s best to leave them.

One instance I can think of where you would not be permitted to mark and lift the balls on the green is as follows:

Two balls lie on the green. The third player has a 120-yard shot to the green, and he asks that the balls be marked because they interfere with his play. This request is denied, because waiting for the other two players to walk all the way up to the green before hitting his ball would unduly delay play.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.