By Rules Guy
Friday, June 29, 2007

While on the green you decide you want to remove some impediments in your line between your ball and the cup. Of the following, which is allowed?

A. There are no exceptions; touching the line with your hand or club is a 2-stroke penalty.

B. Only spike marks can be repaired.

C. Only sand or loose soil can be cleaned off (without pressing down), or old hole plugs and ball marks.

Go to the next page for the answer.

While on the green you decide you want to remove some impediments in your line between your ball and the cup. Of the following, which is allowed?

A. There are no exceptions; touching the line with your hand or club is a 2-stroke penalty.

B. Only spike marks can be repaired.

C. Only sand or loose soil can be cleaned off (without pressing down), or old hole plugs and ball marks.

ANSWER: C. A key element to Rule 16-1 is that the line of the putt generally cannot be touched without penalty. But there are a few notable exceptions, including removing sand or loose soil with your club or hand, repairing old ball marks and any "incidental contact" when the line is touched in lifting the ball. It is important to note that any other green imperfections—especially spike marks—must be left alone

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