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THE PUTTING GREEN: GENERAL

16/1

Mud on Ball Touches Putting Green But Ball Itself Does Not Touch Green

Q.A player's ball lies off the putting green, overhanging but not touching the green. A clump of mud adhering to the ball touches the green. Is the ball considered to be on the green?

A.No. However, if a ball lies on the green but does not actually touch the green because it is perched on mud, the ball is considered to be on the green.

16/2

Ball Embedded in Side of Hole; All of Ball Below Lip of Hole

Q.A player's ball embeds in the side of a hole. All of the ball is below the level of the lip of the hole. What is the ruling?

A.The ball should be considered holed even though all of the ball is not within the circumference of the hole as required by the Definition of "Holed."

16/3

Ball Embedded in Side of Hole; All of Ball Not Below Lip of Hole

Q.A player's ball embeds in the side of a hole. Part of the ball is above the level of the lip of the hole. What is the ruling?

A.The ball is not holed – see Definition of "Holed." The player may play the ball as it lies or lift the ball under Rule 16-1b, repair the damage under Rule 16-1c and place the ball on the lip of the hole.

Decisions related to 16/2 and 16/3:

13/4 Ball Completely Embedded in Lip of Bunker.

25-2/5 Ball Embedded in Grass Bank or Face of Bunker.

33-8/39 Local Rule for Bunker Faces Consisting of Stacked Turf.

33-8/39.5 Local Rule Deeming Partially Grass-Covered Wall of Bunker to Be Part of Bunker.

16/4

Hole-Liner Not Sunk Deep Enough

Q.Players discover that a hole-liner, although sunk below the putting green surface, is not sunk at least one-inch below the surface as prescribed in the Definition of "Hole." What should they do?

A.The players should call the matter to the attention of a member of the Committee if one is present. If feasible, the member of the Committee should attempt to have the fault corrected.

However, the players must continue play in the meantime, because correction might not be possible and, if possible, might take considerable time. (Revised)

16/5

Ball Strikes Edge of Hole-Liner and Bounces Out of Hole

Q.A player's ball struck the rim of a hole-liner, which had not been sunk deep enough, and bounced out of the hole. Should the ball be considered holed in such circumstances?

A.No. Under the Definition of "Holed," the ball must be at rest within the circumference of the hole.

16/5.5

Player Holes Short Putt and Allegedly Removes Ball from Hole Before It Is at Rest

Q.A player strikes a short putt into the hole and removes the ball from the hole. His opponent or a fellow-competitor claims he heard the ball bouncing in the bottom of the hole-liner at the time the player was removing the ball from the hole, and therefore the ball cannot be considered holed in view of the Definition of "Holed" which states: "A ball is holed when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole ...". What is the ruling?

A.The ball is holed. The words "at rest" are in the Definition of "Holed" to make it clear that if a ball falls below the lip and thereafter bounces out, it is not holed.

Related Decision:

1-2/5 Player Putts with One Hand and Catches Ball in Hole with Other Hand.

16/6 (Reserved)

16/7

Two Holes on Each Green of Nine-Hole Course

Q.1. Is it permissible for a Committee to make two holes on each green of a nine-hole course, one (A) for use in play of the first nine holes and the other (B) for use in play of the second nine?

2. If so, what is the status of hole B on each green when hole A is in use, and vice versa?

A.1. Yes.

2. The hole not in use on each green is a hole made by a greenkeeper – see Definition of "Ground Under Repair" – and Rule 25-1 is applicable.

Related Decision:

16-1c/3 Old Hole Plug Sunk or Raised on Line of Putt.

Other Decisions related to "The Putting Green: General": See "Ball Lifted," "Ball Placed or Replaced" and "Putting Green" in the Index.

TOUCHING LINE OF PUTT

16-1a/1

Brushing Aside or Mopping Up Casual Water on Line of Putt

Q.May a player whose ball lies on the putting green brush aside casual water on his line of putt, or mop it up with a towel?

A.No. Such action would be a breach of Rule 16-1a (Touching Line of Putt).

16-1a/2 (Reserved)

16-1a/3

Removing Dew or Frost from Line of Putt

Q.May a player brush dew or frost from his line of putt?

A.No. Rule 16-1a prohibits touching the line of putt except in removal of loose impediments, repair of ball marks, etc. Dew or frost are not loose impediments – see Definition of "Loose Impediments." Accordingly, such action would be a breach of Rule 16-1a.

Related Decision:

13-2/35 Removal of Dew or Frost.

16-1a/4

Removing Casual Water from Hole

Q.A player, whose ball lies on the putting green, removes casual water from the hole without touching the inside of the hole. Is this permissible?

A.As the player has not touched the line of putt, he is not in breach of Rule 16-1a. However, the player is in breach of Rule 13-2 which prohibits improving the line of play by removing water. The player incurs a penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.

Related Decisions:

16-1d/4 Testing for Wetness of Surface of Putting Green Behind Ball.

33/1 Removal of Casual Water or Loose Impediments on Putting Green by Committee.

16-1a/5

Touching Inside of Hole

Q.Prior to putting, a player touched the inside of the hole. Should he be considered to have touched his line of putt in breach of Rule 16-1a?

A.Yes, unless the hole was materially damaged and the player was entitled to repair it – see Decision 16-1a/6. The line of putt includes the hole except in the unusual case when a player makes a stroke from the putting green away from the hole.

16-1a/6

Damaged Hole; Procedure for Player

Q.Prior to putting, a player discovers that the hole has been damaged. What is the proper procedure?

A.If the damage is not clearly identifiable as a ball mark, then:

(a) If the damage is such that the proper dimensions of the hole have not been changed materially, the player should continue play without repairing the hole. If he touches the hole in such circumstances, a breach of Rule 16-1a occurs.

(b) If the proper dimensions of the hole have been changed materially, the player should request the Committee to have the hole repaired. If a member of the Committee is not readily available, the player may repair the damage, without penalty.

If a player repairs a materially damaged hole when a member of the Committee is readily available, he incurs a penalty for a breach of Rule 16-1a.

Decisions related to 16-1a/5 and 16-1a/6:

1-2/3.5 Player Repairs Hole After Holing Out But Before Opponent, Fellow-Competitor or Partner Holes Out.

33-2b/1.5 Committee Wishes to Move Hole During Stroke-Play Round Due to Severity of Location.

33-2b/2 Relocating Hole After Ball Already Positioned Nearby on Putting Green.

16-1a/7

Player Repairs Depression on Line of Putt Created When Partially Embedded Acorn Removed

Q.A player removed with his hand an embedded acorn on his line of putt. The acorn was not solidly embedded, so it was a loose impediment. The player then repaired the depression in which the acorn lay. Was the repair of the depression a breach of Rule 16-1a?

A.Yes.

Related Decision:

23/9 Embedded Acorn.

16-1a/8

Loose Impediments Removed from Line of Putt with Cap or Towel

Q.A player touches his line of putt in brushing aside loose impediments with his cap or with a towel. Is this permissible?

A.Yes, provided he did not press anything down.

16-1a/9

Brushing Loose Impediments Off Line of Putt with Palm of Hand

Q.A player, with about one dozen strokes with the whole palm of his hand, attempted to remove small leaves, which are difficult to remove by any method, from his line of putt. Is this permissible?

A.Yes, provided the player did not press anything down (Rule 16-1a(i)) and, if the surface were roughened, he did not do so with the intention of testing the surface of the putting green (Rule 16-1d). Given the nature of his acts, any doubt as to whether he pressed anything down should be resolved against the player.

Related Decision:

16-1d/6 Caddie Roughens Surface of Putting Green But Player Does Not Benefit.

16-1a/10

Loose Impediments Brushed Along Line of Putt Rather Than to Side

Q.In removing loose impediments from his line of putt by brushing with a putter, a player brushed along the line for about one foot before brushing the impediments to the side. Did the player infringe Rule 16-1?

A.Under Rule 16-1a, a player is allowed to brush aside loose impediments on his line of putt. The casual movement of the putter along the line of putt would not be a breach of the Rules unless in the process the player did something to the putting green that improved his line of putt, (e.g., pressed down a raised tuft of grass), in which case he would be in breach of Rule 13-2.

16-1a/11

Raised Tuft of Grass on Line of Putt Brushed to Determine Whether It Is Loose

Q.A player cannot determine whether a raised tuft of grass on his line of putt is loose or is attached to its roots. The player brushes the raised tuft lightly with his hand to make a determination and discovers that the tuft is attached. What is the ruling?

A.A player is entitled to touch and move a natural object on his line of putt for the specific purpose of determining whether the object is loose, provided that if the object is found not to be loose, (1) it has not become detached and (2) it is returned to its original position before the next stroke if failure to do so would result in a breach of Rule 13-2. The touching of the line of putt in these circumstances is not a breach of Rule 16-1a.

Except as otherwise permitted in the Rules (e.g., in repairing a ball mark), if a player touches or moves a natural object on his line of putt other than to determine whether it is loose and it is found to be attached, the player cannot avoid a breach of Rule 16-1a by returning the object to its original position.

Related Decision:

13-2/26 Natural Object Interfering with Swing Moved to Determine Whether It Is Loose.

16-1a/12

Player Walks on Line of Putt

Q.A player walked on his line of putt. Did he incur a penalty for a breach of Rule 16-1a?

A.Yes, if he did so intentionally. No, if he did so accidentally and the act did not improve the line.

16-1a/13

Line of Putt Damaged Accidentally by Opponent, Fellow-Competitor or Their Caddies

Q.An opponent, fellow-competitor or one of their caddies accidentally steps on and damages the player's line of putt. What is the ruling?

A.There is no penalty. Rule 1-2 is not applicable as the physical conditions were not altered with the intent of affecting the playing of the hole.

In equity (Rule 1-4), the player may have the line of putt restored to its original condition. The player is entitled to the lie and line of putt he had when his ball came to rest. The line of putt may be restored by anyone.

If it is not possible to restore the line of putt, the player would be justified in requesting the Committee to grant relief. If the damage is severe enough, the Committee may declare the area to be ground under repair, in which case the competitor may take relief under Rule 25-1b(iii).

Related Decisions: See "Equity: player entitled to lie, line of play and stance when ball comes to rest after stroke" in the Index.

16-1a/14 (Reserved)

16-1a/15

Mushroom Growing on Line of Putt

Q.A mushroom is growing on a player's line of putt. Is the player entitled to relief?

A.The player would be justified in discontinuing play and requesting the Committee to remove the mushroom. The Committee should comply.

If such an abnormal condition is a recurring problem on a course, the Committee should make a Local Rule to the effect that mushrooms on the putting green are to be treated as ground under repair.

Related Decision:

16-1c/3 Old Hole Plug Sunk or Raised on Line of Putt.

16-1a/16

Spike Mark on Line of Putt Repaired During Repair of Ball Mark

Q.A player stepped on a ball mark in the act of repairing it and incidentally pressed down a spike mark on his line of putt. Did the player incur a penalty under Rule 16-1a?

A.Yes, unless the spike mark was so close to the ball mark that it was impractical to repair the ball mark without affecting the spike mark.

Related Decisions:

13-2/36 Competitor Sanctions Repair of Spike Damage on His Line of Putt by Fellow-Competitor.

16-1c/4 Repair of Spike Mark Damage Around Hole.

16-1a/16.5

Spike Mark on Line of Putt Pressed Down When Player Repairs Old Hole Plug

Q.An old hole plug is raised on the player's line of putt. The player steps on the hole plug to make it level with the surface of the putting green. In so doing he presses down a spike mark within the hole plug. Was the player in breach of Rule 16-1a when he pressed down the spike mark?

A.No. Rule 16-1a permits touching the line of putt "in repairing old hole plugs."

If the spike mark had been near but not within the old hole plug, the ruling would be different. In these circumstances, the player would have been able to step on the hole plug without affecting the spike mark.

16-1a/17

Ball Lifted on Putting Green Placed Ahead of Ball-Marker and Then Moved Back to Original Position

Q.When replacing his ball on the putting green, a player has a habit of placing the ball ahead of his ball-marker and then rolling or sliding the ball to its original position. Is such a procedure permissible?

A.Such a procedure is not recommended but is not a breach of Rule 16-1a, which permits touching the line of putt in lifting (or replacing) the ball. However, if in the process the player does something to the putting green that improves his line of putt (e.g., presses down a raised tuft of grass), he is in breach of Rule 13-2.

Related Decisions:

16-1d/3 Player Returns Ball to Spot from Which It Was Lifted by Rolling It with Putter.

20-1/19 Placing Object Marking Position of Ball Other Than Behind Ball.

Other Decisions related to Rule 16-1a: See "Line of Putt" and "Putting Green: line of putt" in the Index.

LIFTING BALL ON PUTTING GREEN

16-1b/1

Ball on Putting Green Lifted Because Player Feared Ball Might Move

Q.A player lifted his ball on the putting green under Rule 16-1b, cleaned it and replaced it. As the player approached the ball to make his next stroke, he feared the ball might move. So he lifted the ball again, replaced it and played. What is the ruling?

A.There is no penalty, provided the player marked the position of his ball both times. Rule 16-1b permits the lifting of a ball on the putting green in these circumstances.

16-1b/2

Ball Lifted from Putting Green; Ball Replaced While Another Ball in Motion But Then Lifted Because Moving Ball Might Strike It

Q.A's ball comes to rest on the putting green 20 feet from the hole. He marks the position of and lifts his ball so that B, whose ball is also on the putting green, but farther from the hole, can play first. While B's ball is in motion, A replaces his ball. He then realizes that B's ball might strike his ball. A re-marks the position of and lifts his ball to ensure the balls will not collide. What is the ruling?

A.There is no penalty. The replacing and subsequent lifting of A's ball is considered to be an extension of his initial authority to lift the ball under Rule 16-1b, and accordingly the prohibition in that Rule against lifting a ball while another ball is in motion does not apply. Rule 22 does not apply in this case because the ball was initially lifted under Rule 16-1b.

16-1b/3

Ball Lifted from Putting Green; Ball Replaced While Another Ball in Motion Subsequently Deflects Ball

Q.A's ball comes to rest on the putting green 20 feet from the hole. He marks the position of and lifts his ball so that B, whose ball is also on the putting green, but farther from the hole, can play first. While B's ball is in motion, A replaces his ball. B's ball strikes A's ball. What is the ruling?

A.If A's action was unintentional (i.e., not for the purpose of deflecting B's ball), Rule 19-5a applies. There is no penalty to either player since A had lifted his ball and it was not lying on the putting green immediately prior to B's stroke. A must replace his ball, and B must play his ball as it lies.

If A's action was for the purpose of deflecting B's ball, A is in breach of Rule 1-2 (Exerting Influence on Movement of Ball or Altering Physical Conditions). The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play, unless the Committee decides to impose a penalty of disqualification – see the penalty statement under Rule 1-2. In stroke play, B must replay his stroke, without penalty – see Note under Rule 19-1. Rule 16-1b does not apply as this Rule deals with the lifting of a ball on a putting green, but not its placement.

16-1b/4

Ball Lifted from Putting Green by Opponent or Fellow-Competitor While Player's Ball in Motion

Q.A's ball is on the putting green 20 yards from the hole. The ball of B, his opponent or fellow-competitor, is also on the putting green five yards to the right of the hole. A putts and, while the ball is in motion and still 15 yards from the hole, B marks and lifts his ball in order to clean it prior to making his stroke. A played a poor putt and his ball came to rest a yard short of B's ball-marker. What is the ruling?

A.Under Rule 16-1b, B is penalized if lifting his ball might have influenced the movement of A's ball. The determination as to whether there is a reasonable possibility that B's ball might have influenced the movement of A's ball is made by reference to the situation at the time B lifted his ball.

In this case, as B's ball was lying some distance from A's intended line of putt and A's ball had only traveled a short distance at the time that B lifted his ball, it was reasonable for B to assume that the lifting of his ball would not influence the movement of A's ball, despite the fact that A's ball came to rest quite close to the spot from which B's ball was lifted.

When assessing the possibility that A's ball might have collided with B's ball and thus that, by lifting his ball, B might have influenced the movement of A's ball, the following are among the factors that should be taken into account:

  • the distance of B's ball from A's line of putt
  • the line on which A's ball was moving, and
  • the contours of the putting green.

Any doubt as to whether there is a reasonable possibility that the lifting of the ball might have influenced the movement of the ball in motion is resolved against the player who lifted his ball.

Decisions related to 16-1b/3 and 16-1b/4:

1-2/0.5 Serious Breach of Rule 1-2.

1-2/1 Line of Putt Altered Purposely by Opponent or Fellow-Competitor by Stepping on It.

17-3/2 Opponent or Fellow-Competitor Attending Flagstick for Player Fails to Remove It; Player's Ball Strikes Flagstick.

19-1/5 Ball Deliberately Deflected or Stopped on Putting Green by Fellow-Competitor.

Other Decisions related to Rule 16-1b: See "Ball Lifted: putting green" in the Index.

REPAIR OF HOLE PLUGS AND BALL MARKS ON PUTTING GREEN

16-1c/1

Repair of Ball Mark a Second Time

Q.A ball mark has been repaired by a player. The ball mark is on the line of putt of a following player. May the following player further repair the ball mark?

A.Yes, provided it is still clearly identifiable as a ball mark.

16-1c/1.5

Ball Mark Partially on and Partially Off Putting Green Is on Line of Play

Q.If a player's ball lies just off the putting green and there is a ball mark on his line of play, he is entitled to repair the ball mark if it is on the green (Rule 16-1c), but not if it is off the green (Rule 13-2). What is the ruling if a ball mark on the line of play is partially on and partially off the green?

A.Since it is impracticable to allow the repair of only that part of the ball mark which is on the putting green, the player may repair the entire ball mark.

16-1c/2

Ball Mark in Position to Assist Opponent

Q.A and B are playing a match. At a par-3 hole, both are on the green with their tee shots. A's ball comes to rest four feet from the hole. B's ball is fifteen feet from the hole. Upon reaching the green, A prepares to repair his ball mark. B tells A not to do so until he (B) has putted because A's ball mark is so situated that B's ball might be deflected into the hole by it. A objects, stating that he wishes to repair his ball mark immediately. May A do so?

A.No, if A repairs the ball mark, he loses the hole (see Decision 2/3) for intentionally denying B's right to have the ball mark left in position. Although A is permitted to repair the ball mark under Rule 16-1c, and accordingly would not be in breach of Rule 1-2 for doing so (see Exception 1 to Rule 1-2), he must comply with B's request not to repair the ball mark. (Revised)

16-1c/3

Old Hole Plug Sunk or Raised on Line of Putt

Q.A player's ball lies on the green. An old hole plug is sunk or raised on the player's line of putt. What relief is available to the player?

A.The player may attempt to raise or lower the plug to make it level with the surface of the putting green – Rule 16-1c. If this is impossible, he may discontinue play and request the Committee to raise or lower the plug. If the Committee cannot level the plug without unduly delaying play, the Committee should declare the plug to be ground under repair, in which case the player would be entitled to relief under Rule 25-1b(iii).

Related Decisions:

16/7 Two Holes on Each Green of Nine-Hole Course.

16-1a/15 Mushroom Growing on Line of Putt.

25/17 Sunken Hole Plug.

25/18 Hole of Removed Stake Defining Water Hazard.

33-8/30 Local Rule Permitting the Repair of Turf Plugs on the Putting Green That Are Not 41„4 Inches in Diameter.

16-1c/4

Repair of Spike Mark Damage Around Hole

Q.A player's ball lies on or near the putting green. Before playing his next stroke, he taps down spike marks in the vicinity of the hole. Is this permissible?

A.No. Such action would be a breach of Rule 16-1c since repair of spike marks in the vicinity of the hole might assist the player in his subsequent play of the hole.

Related Decisions:

13-2/36 Competitor Sanctions Repair of Spike Damage on His Line of Putt by Fellow-Competitor.

16-1a/16 Spike Mark on Line of Putt Repaired During Repair of Ball Mark.

TESTING SURFACE OF PUTTING GREEN

16-1d/1

Player Concedes Opponent's Next Stroke and Rolls or Knocks Ball to Opponent

Q.A player concedes his opponent's next stroke and either picks up the opponent's ball and rolls it to the opponent or knocks it back to him with a club. The player did so only for the purpose of returning the opponent's ball to him, not to test the surface of the putting green. Was the player in breach of Rule 16-1d (Testing Surface)?

A.No. Such casual action is not a breach of Rule 16-1d.

16-1d/2

Player Concedes Opponent's Next Stroke and Knocks His Ball Away Along Own Line of Putt

Q.A player concedes his opponent's next stroke and knocks his ball away on the same line on which he (the player) must subsequently putt. Is this a breach of Rule 16-1d?

A.It is a question of fact whether or not the player's action was for the purpose of testing the surface of the putting green. The manner and apparent purpose of the action would be the determining factors in each individual case.

16-1d/3

Player Returns Ball to Spot from Which It Was Lifted by Rolling It with Putter

Q.A player marks the position of his ball on the putting green, lifts the ball and sets it aside. When it is his turn to putt, he rolls the ball with his putter back to the spot from which it was lifted. Was the player in breach of Rule 16-1d (Testing Surface)?

A.No, provided the action of rolling the ball was not for the purpose of testing the surface of the green. This method of replacing a ball is not recommended, but it is not a breach of the Rules.

Decision related to 16-1d/1 through 16-1d/3:

16-1a/17 Ball Lifted on Putting Green Placed Ahead of Ball-Marker and Then Moved Back to Original Position.

16-1d/4

Testing for Wetness of Surface of Putting Green Behind Ball

Q.A player placed the palm of his hand on the putting green behind his ball to determine if the green was wet. He did not roughen or scrape the surface. Was the player in breach of Rule 16-1d (Testing Surface)?

A.No. Rule 16-1d only prohibits rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the putting surface for testing purposes. Since the line of putt was not touched, Rule 16-1a also was not infringed.

Related Decisions:

16-1a/4 Removing Casual Water from Hole.

33/1 Removal of Casual Water or Loose Impediments on Putting Green by Committee.

16-1d/5

Rubbing Ball on Putting Green for Cleaning Purposes

Q.May a player clean his ball by rubbing it on the putting green?

A.Yes, provided the act is not for the purpose of testing the surface of the putting green. It is recommended that a ball be cleaned in other ways to eliminate any question as to the player's intentions.

16-1d/6

Caddie Roughens Surface of Putting Green But Player Does Not Benefit

Q.A player's caddie tests the surface of the putting green by roughening the grass. The player tells him immediately that he is not allowed to do that under the Rules. The player receives no information from the caddie about the condition of the green. Is the player penalized under Rule 16-1d?

A.Yes. The reference to the player in Rule 16-1d includes his caddie. Thus, the Rule prohibits the caddie, as well as the player, from testing the surface of the putting green. Under Rule 6-1, the player incurs the applicable penalty for a breach of a Rule by his caddie.

Related Decisions:

8-1/17 Request for Advice Made in Error to Opponent's Caddie Withdrawn Before Advice Given.

16-1a/9 Brushing Loose Impediments Off Line of Putt with Palm of Hand.

STANDING ASTRIDE OR ON LINE OF PUTT

16-1e/1

Meaning of "Line of Putt" in Context of "Standing Astride or on Line of Putt"

 

Q.With reference to the above illustration, the broken line is a direct line from the ball to the hole and the solid line is the line on which the player intends his ball to travel. Which line is the "line of putt" for purposes of application of Rule 16-1e (Standing Astride or on Line of Putt)? If the broken line is the "line of putt," the player will be in breach of Rule 16-1e. If the solid line is the "line of putt," he will not be in breach of the Rule.

A.The solid line is the "line of putt."

BALL OVERHANGING HOLE

16-2/0.5

Ball Overhanging Hole Is Lifted, Cleaned and Replaced; Ball Then Falls into Hole

Q.After an approach shot, a player's ball is overhanging the hole. The player walks up to the hole without unreasonable delay and notices that there is mud on the ball. The player marks the position of the ball and lifts it. He then cleans the ball and replaces it. The ball remains on the lip of the hole for about five seconds and then, as the player is preparing to tap it into the hole, the ball falls into the hole. What is the ruling?

A.Under Rule 16-2, if a ball falls into the hole after it is deemed to be at rest, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke and he shall add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole. In this case, when the player marked the position of the ball it must have been at rest. The ball must be considered to have been at rest when it was replaced; otherwise, it would have to be replaced again (Rule 20-3d).

Accordingly, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke and must add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole.

16-2/1(Reserved)

16-2/2

Ball Overhanging Hole Knocked Away by Opponent Before Player Determines Status

Q.In a match between A and B, A putts and his ball apparently comes to rest, but is overhanging the hole. Within five seconds, B concedes A's next stroke and knocks his ball away. Was B entitled to knock A's ball away?

A.No. Under Rule 16-2, A is allowed a reasonable time to reach the hole and an additional ten seconds to determine whether his ball is at rest. Since B infringed A's rights, in equity (Rule 1-4), B lost the hole, assuming that A's putt was not for a half, in which case Rule 2-2 (Halved Hole) would apply.

Related Decisions:

1-2/4 Player Jumps Close to Hole to Cause Ball to Drop; Ball Moves.

2-4/2 Ball Falls into Hole After Concession of Next Stroke.

18-2b/10 Ball Falls into Hole After Being Addressed.

16-2/3 (Reserved)

16-2/4

Ball Overhanging Lip of Hole Moves When Flagstick Removed

Q.After a stroke from just off the putting green, a player's ball comes to rest overhanging the lip of the hole but not resting against the unattended flagstick. The player reaches the hole without unreasonable delay and removes the flagstick. The ball either rolls away from the hole or falls into the hole. What is the ruling?

A.It is a question of fact whether the player's actions caused the ball to move and any doubt should be resolved against the player.

The flagstick is a movable obstruction. If the movement of the ball was directly attributable to the removal of the flagstick, the ball must be replaced on the lip of the hole without penalty (Rule 24-1a). If the player caused the ball to move but the movement of the ball was not directly attributable to the removal of the flagstick, the ball must be replaced on the lip of the hole, and the player incurs a penalty stroke under Rule 18-2a.

If the player's actions did not cause the ball to move and the ball fell into the hole, the provisions of Rule 16-2 apply, whether the removal of the flagstick occurs before or after the lapse of time contemplated by Rule 16-2.

If the player's actions did not cause the ball to move and the ball moved to another position, the player must play the ball from that new position.

If an opponent or fellow-competitor were to remove the flagstick without the player's authority, before the ball is deemed to be at rest under Rule 16-2 and as a result of this action causes the ball to move, the opponent or fellow-competitor has infringed the player's rights as, under Rule 16-2, the player is allowed a reasonable time to reach the hole and an additional ten seconds to determine whether his ball is at rest. In equity (Rule 1-4), the opponent or fellow-competitor incurs the loss-of-hole penalty in match play or a two-stroke penalty in stroke play. The player incurs no penalty and, in stroke play, must place the ball on the lip of the hole.

If an opponent or fellow-competitor were to remove the flagstick without the player's authority, before the ball is deemed to be at rest under Rule 16-2, and this does not cause the ball to move, and the ball falls into the hole, the provisions of Rule 16-2 apply.

Related Decisions:

2-4/8 Player Concedes Opponent's Next Stroke and Plays Before Opponent Has Opportunity to Lift Ball.

3-4/1 Competitor Not Given Opportunity to Lift Ball Assisting Fellow-Competitor.

17-4/2 Ball Resting Against Flagstick; Putt Conceded and Ball Removed Before Player Can Remove Flagstick.

22/6 Competitor Requests That Ball in Position to Assist Him Not Be Lifted.

30-3f/11 Request to Lift Ball That Might Assist Partner Not Honored.

16-2/5

Ball Overhanging Lip of Hole Moves and Strikes Flagstick During Removal of Flagstick

Q.After a stroke from off the putting green, a player's ball overhangs the lip of the hole. While the player is removing the flagstick, the ball falls into the hole, striking the flagstick. The player's actions did not cause the ball to move. What is the ruling?

A.In equity (Rule 1-4), there is no penalty under Rule 17. If the ball came to rest within the circumference of the hole with all of it below the level of the lip of the hole, the ball is holed. If, after striking the flagstick, the ball is deflected out of the hole, the ball must be placed on the lip of the hole without penalty.

The answer with regard to Rule 17 is not affected by how much time elapses before the ball falls into the hole after the player reaches the hole.

There would be a penalty stroke under Rule 16-2 if the ball falls into the hole after it is deemed to be at rest under that Rule.

If, prior to the lapse of the period specified by Rule 16-2, an opponent or fellow-competitor were removing the flagstick without the player's authority and the ball fell into the hole and struck the flagstick before coming to rest outside the hole, the opponent or fellow-competitor would, in equity (Rule 1-4), incur the loss-of-hole penalty in match play or a two-stroke penalty in stroke play as he would be considered to have infringed the player's rights under Rule 16-2. In such a case in stroke play, the player would be required to replace the ball on the lip of the hole.

Rules

Decisions

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