Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ask Linda #1075-Put ball in pocket

Hi Linda,
Thanks for all you do!

Recently I have had several people tell me, in no uncertain terms, not to put the ball in my pocket after I mark and pick it up on the green.
I know that this is not the case - Rule 16 just says you can lift and clean it; it never mentions where it has to be kept. What is going to happen to it in my pocket??

I think they are confusing it with Rule 21 but even there it does not say anything about where you have to keep it (although everyone says it has to be in plain sight, held between 2 fingers, etc., etc.)

I would appreciate your comments on this.

Lulu from Northport (Long Island, New York) and Florida

Dear Lulu,

Thanks for the laugh, Lulu. This may be one of the funniest misunderstandings I have received from a reader.

Of course you may put the ball in your pocket after you mark and lift it on the putting green. Any time you are entitled to clean the ball, there is no restriction on where you may store it until it’s time to replace it.

The player should not put the ball in her pocket when she is not entitled to clean it [as in Rules 5-3 (determining if unfit for play), 12-2 (identification), and 22 (assisting or interfering with play)]. In those situations, it would be hard to prove that the ball was not cleaned, and the player would incur a one-stroke penalty.

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.