Monday, April 9, 2018

Ask Linda #1736-Deliberately touch ball

I am very grateful, daily, for the good info you offer to the golfing world. I quote you often and suggest that my fellow golfers get wiser about the rules by tuning in to you.
I often prepare to hit on the practice range and find that my ball sits sometimes in a precarious spot, which can be steadied by merely tapping, slightly, the ball on the top. It is not “moved” by definition.
May the same action be allowed in play in the fairway? How hard a tap? May the ball be touched at all without it being moved? What constitutes improvement of one’s lie? Seems to be a gray area for me.
Lou from Surprise, Arizona

Dear Lou,
Let’s see if I can change this gray area to a black and white one for you. The Rules are very clear on this matter. A player is not permitted to purposely touch a ball in play [Rule 18-2 (i)]. The penalty is one stroke. If the ball it moved, it must be replaced.

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