Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ask Linda #1490-Lift ball on green without marking

A player in stroke play chipped up onto the green and in her haste to keep things moving, she lifted her ball (without first marking it) and walked to the other side of the green to clean it. Once there, she realized her failure to mark the ball, but was unable to determine exactly where her ball was on the green before she lifted it. I know there is a one-stroke penalty for lifting the ball without first marking it. Due to the fact that she does not know the exact spot of where her ball was before it was lifted, is there any additional penalty when she places the ball back on the green?
Lulu from North Port, Florida

Dear Lulu,

No additional penalty.

The penalty for lifting a ball in play without marking its position is one stroke [Rule 18-2]. The penalty increases to two strokes only if the ball is not replaced.

When a player lifts a ball on the putting green without first marking it, and it is not possible to determine the exact spot where the ball must be replaced, the player must use her best judgment to determine where the ball originally lay and place it on that spot [Rule 20-3c (iii)].

If the player’s ball had not been on the putting green, she would have to drop it [Rule 20-3c (i) and (ii)].

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