Monday, February 13, 2017
Ask Linda 1479-Lift ball on green in path of another ball in motion
Your latest ruling on removing a flagstick was well explained [Ask Linda #1475-Lift flagstick while putt in motion]. You should maybe add if a moving ball may hit another ball on the green, it would have to be marked and removed by the owner of that ball only, unless he gave permission for someone else to mark and pick up that ball. You said any golf equipment may be moved out of the way of a moving ball, and I assume a ball is golf equipment. Am I correct?
Lou from Davenport, Florida (winter); Wingham, Ontario, Canada (summer)
If you have not marked and lifted your ball on the green, and you suspect another player’s ball in motion may hit it, you may not mark and lift your ball while the other ball is in motion [Rule 16-1b]. Unlike a golf club that has been placed on the green, which is equipment and may therefore be lifted out of the way of a moving ball [Rule 24-1], your ball in play on the green is not equipment; it doesn’t become equipment until you mark and lift it [Definition of “Equipment”]. You will incur a two-stroke penalty in stroke play (loss of hole in match play) if you lift a ball that might influence the movement of another player’s ball in motion.
This is not to say that it is against the Rules to mark and lift your ball on the green while another ball is in motion. If your ball does not lie on the other player’s line of putt, and it does not lie where the other player’s ball might contact yours if he misses his putt, there is no penalty for marking and lifting your ball while another ball is in motion [Decision 16-1b/4].
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