Rules FAQ


Rule 20-1

Procedure for Moving Ball-Marker to the Side

Q.  When moving a ball-marker to the side, must the position of the ball be marked first and then the ball-marker moved, or can I simply measure to the side of the ball?

A.  The player may either mark the position of the ball, measure to one side of the mark, and move the ball-marker to that spot, or he may place the putter head directly to the side of the ball and place the ball-marker, thereby eliminating one step. See Decision 20-1/16.


Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video
Approach shot found this water hazard to the side of the green
During the 2002 Verizon Byron Nelson Classic, Shigeki Maruyama’s approach shot found this water hazard to the side of the green. He was penalized one stroke under Rule 26-1 and then sought the assistance of a Rules Official to determine the correct procedure for taking a drop:
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Video
Caused ball to move slightly
Tom Lehman was playing in the final round of the 1996 U.S. Open, and was one shot from the lead with one hole to go. After chipping onto the 17th green, he went to mark his ball, and caused it to move slightly.
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Video
Ball stepped on, lie altered.
On the final hole of the 2000 U.S. Open, Ernie Els' approach shot landed in the rough, just off the green. A member of the media following Els' group apparently stepped on the ball.
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