Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ask Linda #1145-Practice putts during round

Hi Linda.
During match play, like Ryder Cup, we often see players putt a couple after completing that hole.
We never see that in stroke play.
Is there a rule that states you can't practice putt during stroke or medal play?
Thank you.
Lou from Victoria, BC, Canada

Dear Lou,

Players are permitted to practice putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole they last played or the teeing ground of their next hole [Rule 7-2]. This Rule applies to both match play and stroke play.

You may not practice from a hazard, and you may not practice if it will unduly delay play. So if the group behind you is waiting to hit to the green, or the group in front of you is out of range of your tee shot on the next hole, you may not practice.

The reason you see the pros on television take extra putts in match play but not in stroke play has nothing to do with the formats and everything to do with the Committee. Note 2 to Rule 7-2 allows a Committee to prohibit practice on or near the putting green of the hole last played. This prohibition would appear in the Conditions of the Competition, and it does in many professional events.

When you play in a tournament, always read the Conditions of the Competition with great care. If the Conditions do not specifically prohibit practice putting on the hole you last played, you may do so, in both match play and stroke play.

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