I thought today I’d focus on the putting green and just a few of the many rules. Firstly the rules for the putting green are different from those that are “through the green”. Through the green is the whole area of a golf course EXCEPT for the teeing ground, the putting green of the hole being played, and all hazards on the course. The putting green is all the ground of the hole that is especially prepared for putting.
Your ball is on the green if any part of it touches the putting surface
RULE 16 The putting green
The line of putt must not be touched except:
- the player may remove LOOSE impediments for example sand, leaves or stones provided they do not press anything down
- to repair old hole plugs or ball marks
- in pressing down a ball marker
- in lifting or replacing the ball
- in moving movable obstructions (such as trash or…. yuck, yuck, cigarette butts)
This means that you cannot improve the line of your putt. So before you putt you may repair pitch marks and remove loose leaves or stones but you MAY NOT repair spike marks or remove attached grass. So be sure that what you try to remove is not growing into the surface.
Talking about improving your line of putt be very careful if you do this:
The player may place the club in front of the ball at address, but may not press anything down. two stroke penalty if you improve your line.
You are allowed to lift and clean your ball before putting but you must mark its position first with a marker and be sure to replace it in the same position. If your ball moves when you remove the marker there is NO penalty, just remark where it was, replace your ball and lift the marker a second time.
The fringe around the green is not the putting surface so the rules for the fringe are the same as for “through the green”.
We do have sprinkler heads in the fringes of all our greens. If your ball lands so that one of these is in direct line of your intended putt you MAY NOT move the ball unless the ball lies on the sprinkler head, or the sprinkler head interferes with your stance or your area of intended swing. If you do have these kinds of interference you will get free relief under Rule 24-2. You find your nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole and drop a ball there.
So please repair all your balls marks, and a few extra ones that have been missed too, and as you leave the green tamp down any spike marks you see AFTER everyone has putted out as you never know that mark might be on your line of putt on your next round.
I hope this helps you.