Lifting and cleaning your golf ball

Question:

If I am allowed to lift my ball under a Rule am I always allowed to clean it?

Answer: NO

Rule 21: When you lift your ball using a Rule it may be cleaned

EXCEPT when it has been lifted:

Because it is interfering or assisting with play, Rule 22.

For identification, in which case it may only be cleaned to the extent necessary for its identification. Rule 12-2.

To determine if it is unfit for play, Rule 5-3.

Question:

If I am not allowed to clean my ball when it is lifted are there any special procedures I should follow?

Answer: YES

In order to be sure you do not incur a one stroke penalty for removing anything from your ball:

Lift the ball carefully and hold it preferably with two fingers.

Make sure the ball can be seen at all times so it is certain that nothing has been removed.

Replace the ball carefully in the exact position it was before.

This may seem overly cautious but why get a penalty stroke for not being careful?

I hope this helps you.

Hilary

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