Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ask Linda #1622-Changing ball markers on putting green

Hello Linda,
During a stroke play in our club championship, a member of our group marked his ball correctly and it turned out to be in my line to the hole. He then asked me if I wanted him to use a smaller marker and I said OK. I walked back to line up my putt, so I did not notice the procedure he used when he put the smaller marker down. We were riding in the same cart, so four holes later he asked if he had incurred a penalty stroke for not replacing the ball by his original marker and then putting the smaller marker down. He had just marked his larger marker with the smaller one. He slid the larger marker to the side and then placed the smaller marker where the larger marker had been. I said I did not know, so we are asking you if he should have received a penalty.
Lou from British Columbia

Dear Lou,

The position of the ball must always be marked. When the player slid the larger marker to the side, the ball was no longer marked. The player incurs a one-stroke penalty under Rule 20-1 and he must replace the marker. The proper way to change markers would be to replace the ball in front of the large marker, remove the marker, place the small marker behind the ball, and lift the ball. By following the correct procedure, the spot is always marked.

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