First golf Rules for 2013

Welcome ladies:

We have an ever growing group of 18 holers, fantastic. Below is my first Rules mailing of the year and I chose it as it addresses questions I have been asked a number of times, especially about “grounding your putter in front of the ball.” This comes with great graphics.

To all of you, especially the new members, please feel free to e mail me or ask clarification on any Rules questions you have. I love questions, they keep me sharp, and it gives me an idea of what I need to cover in my mailings each month. Remember knowing the Rules can cut strokes from your score so, know them and use them!

I hope this helps you.


Pre-putt Routine

Question 1:
A left-handed player places their putter head in front of the ball as part of their putting routine;
a) Do they incur a penalty if they do not press anything down while doing so?
b) Do they incur a penalty if they do press down on the putting surface while doing so?

Answer 1:
a) No.
b) Yes.
Exception (ii) to Rule 16-1a permits a player to place their club in front of the ball when addressing it, providing they do not press anything down.

Question 2:
On a calm day with no wind, a player’s ball moves after they have placed their putter head down in front of it as part of their putting routine. Do they incur a penalty even if their club did not touch the ball?

Answer 2:
Yes, the player incurs a one stroke penalty under Rule 18-2b.

Definition of Addressing the Ball;

A player has “addressed the ball” when he has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance.

Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply.


Question 3:
If a player forgets to lift their ball marker when they replace their ball and then putt, do they incur a penalty?

Answer 3:

Note: Under Rule 20-4, a ball is in play when it is replaced, whether or not the object used to mark its position has been removed. Providing a player is not using their ball-marker to indicate their intended line of putt there is no penalty for leaving it in place while putting.


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