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Rules of Golf Update - WEEK 5 –Putting Green

Topic: Course News


This week we will revisit the putting green and look at other changes that affect this area.

Putting Green

· Putting with flagstick left in the hole: There is no longer a penalty if you play a ball from the putting green and it hits the unattended flagstick in the hole. If the flag stick is attended and your ball accidently strikes the flag stick or the attendant there is also no penalty. The ball is played as it lies.

· Ball resting against flag stick: If a ball is resting against a flag stick and any part of it lies below the surface of the green, it is holed. If not, it must be placed on the lip of the hole. In the current rules you must remove the flagstick and see whether it falls in the hole.

· Repairing damage on the putting green: You may repair almost all damage (including spike marks and animal damage) on the putting green (rather than being limited to repairing only ball-marks or old hole plugs). Natural wear or imperfections, damage caused by irrigation, rain or normal maintenance (such as aeration holes and grooves) may not be repaired.

· Touching your line of putt or touching the putting green in pointing out a target: There is no longer a penalty if you or your caddie does either of these things, so long as doing so does not improve the conditions affecting your stroke.

· Replacing your ball if it moves only after you had already marked, lifted and replaced it: Anytime this happens on the putting green, you replace the ball on its spot – even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason. If the ball moves before it is marked and lifted due to natural forces it must be played from the new position.

· Your caddie marks and lifts your ball on the putting green: There is no longer a penalty if your caddie does this without your specific authorisation to do so. Note this only applies to the putting green. In the general area the caddie must be authorised by the player every time they lift the ball.

Next week we will revisit bunkers and look at other changes that affect this area. We will also look at restoring altered conditions to avoid a penalty.