Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ask Linda #743a-Must you replace a distracting marker?

Hi Linda,

I was thinking about this question [Ask Linda #743-Replacing one marker with another] and was wondering, if the Lulu asked to replace her marker was able to say “no.” As a female, I have many markers with bright colors and symbols and animals imprinted on the face. They are magnetic and attach to your hat. Besides, I don’t look at the marker, I am looking at my ball.

Lulu from New Jersey

Dear Lulu,

I am not overly fond of the decorative, sparkly markers. On a sunny day they can be a distraction to other players when the sun reflects off the marker into a player’s eyes. I am a traditionalist, and I stick to the standard, small round marker sans sparkling adornments. The last thing I want to do is distract someone who is putting and delay play by having to replace my marker.

Getting to your question… Good etiquette dictates that players do nothing to distract one another. If you refuse to replace your marker with someone else’s, which you are within your rights to do, your opponent or fellow competitor has other options. She may ask you to move the marker one or more club-head lengths to the side, or she may ask you to turn the marker upside-down. You would be obligated to comply with either of those requests. (If you turn it upside-down, you must first replace your ball. Since the position of the ball must always be marked, if you simply flip the marker over you will incur a one-stroke penalty.)

If you receive repeated requests to move or flip a distracting marker, you might want to replace it with a more conventional one. Your consideration will be appreciated, and the pace of play will improve.

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