Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ask Linda #1743-Cleaning the ball

Hi Linda, 
When you are given a free lift from a sprinkler, are you permitted to clean your ball before you take the one-club relief?
Lulu from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Dear Lulu,

Yes. The ball may be cleaned when you are taking relief from an immovable obstruction [Rule 24-2].

There are only three Rules and one Decision that prohibit the player from cleaning the ball [see Rule 21 and Decision 20-1/0.7]:
1. Rule 5-3 (to determine if the ball is unfit for play)
2. Rule 12-2 (to identify the ball – you may clean off only as much as necessary to identify the ball)
3. Rule 22 (the ball is lifted because it may assist or interfere with play)
4. Decision 20-1/0.7 (the ball is lifted to determine if the player is entitled to relief under a Rule).

A ball marked and lifted from the putting green may always be cleaned [Rule 16-1b].

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