Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ask Linda #1241-Caddie replaces ball on green

Hi Linda,

If a player marks and lifts his ball on the green, is his caddie allowed to then replace that ball and align markings on that ball with the intended line of putt?  Rule 20-3a seems to say “no.”

Lou from Bahrain

Dear Lou,

That is correct, Lou. The caddie is not permitted to replace the player’s ball on the green (or anywhere else, for that matter) unless he is the one who lifted it. The only people entitled to replace a player’s ball are the player, the person who lifted the ball, and the player’s partner [Rule 20-3a]. If anyone else replaces the ball, and the error is not corrected, the player incurs a one-stroke penalty.

While we’re on this topic, there are still some people who insist that the person who lifted the ball must replace it. This is not true. While this person may replace the ball, there is no requirement that he do so – the player or his partner are always entitled to replace the ball.

With regard to lifting the ball, the player and his partner are always entitled to lift the player’s ball. Any other person lifting the ball must have the player’s permission [Rule 20-1].

For a list of acts the caddie may perform, please read Decision 6-4/10.

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