Rule 13 - Putting Greens

13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens

Rule 13.1c(2) Interpretations:

See 8.1b/7 for when damage partially on and partially off putting green may be repaired.

13.1c(2)/1 – Line of Play on Putting Green Accidentally Damaged May Be Repaired

A player is entitled to the conditions affecting the strokeConditions Affecting the Stroke: The lie of the player’s ball at rest, the area of intended stance, the area of intended swing, the line of play and the relief area where the player will drop or place a ball. that he or she had when his or her ball came to rest unless natural forcesNatural Forces: The effects of nature such as wind, water or when something happens for no apparent reason because of the effects of gravity. or the player caused the damage (Rule 8.1d). However, damage caused by the player to his or her own line of playLine of Play: The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.(...Continued) on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued) may be repaired under Rule 13.1c(2).

For example, if a player creates spike marks in assessing the line of playLine of Play: The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.(...Continued), he or she may take reasonable actions to repair the damage.

13.1c(2)/2 – Damaged Hole Is Part of Damage on the Putting Green

Damage to the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) is covered by Rule 13.1c as part of damage on a putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued). The player may repair a damaged holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) unless the damage is natural wear that Rule 13.1c does not allow to be repaired.

For example, if the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) is damaged in removing the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued), it may be repaired by the player under Rule 13.1c, even if the damage has changed the dimensions of the hole.

However, if a holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) has been damaged and the player cannot repair the damage (such as the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) cannot be made round again) or where natural wear that the player may not repair results in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) not being round, the player should request that the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.(...Continued) repair it.

13.1c(2)/3 – Player May Request Help from Committee When Unable to Repair Damage On Putting Green

If a player is unable to repair damage on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued), such as an indentation from a club or an old holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) plug that has sunk below the surface, the player may request that the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.(...Continued) repair the damage.

If the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.(...Continued) is unable to repair the damage and the player’s ball lies on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued), the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.(...Continued) could consider providing relief to the player under Rule 16.1 by defining the damaged area as ground under repairGround Under Repair: Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise). Any defined ground under repair includes both:(...Continued).

13.1d(1)/1 – No Penalty for Accidental Movement of Ball or Ball-Marker on Putting Green

Under Rule 13.1d(1) examples of actions that are accidental include when:

In these examples of accidental movementMoved: When a ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).(...Continued), the ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.(...Continued) must be replaced and there is no penalty to anyone. If the exact spot from where the ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.(...Continued) was movedMoved: When a ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).(...Continued) is not known, it must be estimated (Rule 14.2c).

13.1d(2)/1 – Ball Must Be Replaced if It Moves AfterPlacing a Ball to Take Relief

A player’s ball is on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued) and he or she has interference from an abnormal course conditionAbnormal Course Condition: Any of these four defined conditions:. The player decides to take free relief under Rule 16.1d. Once the ball is placed, it is treated as if it has been lifted and replaced under Rule 13.1d(2).

For example, a player’s ball is in temporary waterTemporary Water: Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that:(...Continued) on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued). He or she decides to take relief and places a ball on the spot of the nearest point of complete reliefNearest Point of Complete Relief: The reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), dangerous animal condition (Rule 16.2), wrong green (Rule 13.1f) or no play zone (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules.(...Continued). While the player is preparing to make the strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.(...Continued), natural forcesNatural Forces: The effects of nature such as wind, water or when something happens for no apparent reason because of the effects of gravity. cause the ball to moveMoved: When a ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).(...Continued). The player must replaceReplace: To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.(...Continued) the ball on the spot of the nearest point of complete reliefNearest Point of Complete Relief: The reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), dangerous animal condition (Rule 16.2), wrong green (Rule 13.1f) or no play zone (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules.(...Continued).

13.1e/1 – Deliberately Testing Any Putting Green Is Not Allowed

Rule 13.1e prohibits a player from taking two specific actions on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued) or a wrong greenWrong Green: Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole the player is playing. Wrong greens include:(...Continued) for the purpose of finding out information about how a ball might roll on it. It does not prohibit a player from taking other actions even when done for the purpose of testing or from inadvertently taking the prohibited actions.

An example of an action that is a breach of Rule 13.1e is when:

Examples of actions that are not a breach of Rule 13.1e are when:

13.2 The Flagstick

13.2a(1)/1 – Player Has the Right to Leave Flagstick in Position Preceding Group Left It

A player is entitled to play the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee:(...Continued) as he or she finds it, which includes the position in which the preceding group left the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued).

For example, if the preceding group replaced the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) in a position that is leaning away from the player, the player has the right to play with the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) in that position should he or she find this advantageous.

If another player or caddieCaddie: Someone who helps a player during a round, including in these ways:(...Continued) centres the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued), the player may keep it in that position or have the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) restored to its previous position.

13.2a(4)/1 – Unattended Flagstick Removed Without Player’s Authority May Be Replaced

If a player chooses to play with the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) and another player takes the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) out of the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) without the player’s authority, it may be put back in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) while the player’s ball is in motion.

However, if the other player’s action was a breach of Rule 13.2a(4), he or she does not avoid a penalty by replacing the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued).

13.2b(1)/1 – Flagstick Attendee May Stand Anywhere

A person attending the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) may stand anywhere when holding the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) in, above or next to the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued).

For example, the attendee may stand directly behind or to either side of the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) to avoid standing on another player’s line of playLine of Play: The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.(...Continued).

13.2b(1)/2 – Player May Make Stroke While Holding Flagstick

Rule 13.2b(1) allows a player to make a one-handed strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.(...Continued) while holding the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) with the other hand. However, the player may not use the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) to steady himself or herself while making a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.(...Continued) (Rule 4.3a).

For example, a player may:

13.3 Ball Overhanging Hole

13.3a/1 – Meaning of Reasonable Time for Player to Reach Hole

Determining the limits of a reasonable time to reach the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) depends on the circumstances of the strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.(...Continued) and includes time for a player’s natural or spontaneous reaction to the ball not going into the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued).

For example, a player may have played the shot from well off the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued) and it may take him or her several minutes to reach the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) while other players play their shots and all walk to the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued). Or, the player may need to take an indirect route to the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) by walking around the line of playLine of Play: The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.(...Continued) of another player on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:(...Continued).

13.3b/1 – What to Do When Player’s Ball Overhanging Hole Moves When Player Removes Flagstick

After the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. The flagstick includes the flag and any other material or objects attached to the pole.(...Continued) is removed by the player, if the player’s ball overhanging the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:(...Continued) movesMoved: When a ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).(...Continued), he or she must proceed as follows: