Rules Corner Blog

Dropping A Ball On The Putting Green

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By Rob Ockenfuss

Kohler, Wis. – The putting green is a special place on the golf course, to which certain permissions and prohibitions in the Rules of Golf apply.

One of those prohibitions is related to dropping the ball on the putting green. Typically, the player is not allowed to drop a ball on a putting green. For example, if a player is taking relief from an obstruction through the green, the nearest point of relief must not be on the putting green and the ball cannot be dropped on the putting green, even if the putting green is within one club-length of the nearest point of relief (Rule 24-2).The same conditions would apply for a player taking relief from an area of ground under repair near the putting green (Rule 25).

However, there are some limited exceptions.  One exception was used during the first round of on Thursday when Eun-Hee Ji and Ashley Armstrong each dropped their ball on the putting green on the 14th hole when taking relief from the lateral water hazard bordering the right side of the putting green.

Nothing in Rule 26 (Water Hazard Rule) prohibits the player from dropping on the putting green. As these players were dropping the ball no closer to the hole and within two club-lengths of the margin of the lateral water hazard, they were permitted to drop the ball on the putting green.

Rob Ockenfuss is a Manager, Rules Inquiries. Email him at 


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