Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ask Linda #1198-Use clubhead to mark ball

Hi Linda,
We have clean and place on your own fairway, 6" not nearer the hole. In a recent tournament, a player put his clubhead down beside the ball, picked it up and gave it a quick wipe and then placed it on the fairway within 6" of his clubhead. Another player queried should he have put a proper marker down rather than using his clubhead.
I said I didn't think it was a penalty as it was in the middle of the fairway, but on the green it’s different and a marker must be used. I couldn't be 100% certain though.
As always, your help and advice is greatly appreciated.
Lou from New Zealand

Dear Lou,

You may be surprised to learn that you are permitted to mark your ball using a clubhead both on the fairway and on the putting green. The use of a ball marker or small coin is recommended for marking the position of your ball, but it is not required. Decision 20-1/16 gives examples of ways to mark your ball that are not recommended but are, nevertheless, permissible:

• placing the toe of a club at the side of, or behind, the ball;
• using a tee;
• using a loose impediment;
• scratching a line, provided the putting green is not tested (Rule 16-1d) and a line for putting is not indicated (Rule 8-2b). As this practice may cause damage to the putting green, it is discouraged.

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