Daily Rules Quiz: Marking your ball

Tuesday June 19th, 2007

One of your buddies lifts his ball on the green, but instead of using a coin or similar object to mark his ball, he uses the toe of the putter and keeps it there until he replaces his ball. As he replaces the ball, he causes the ball to move with the putterhead. He should:

A. Be penalized two strokes: one for using an illegal object to mark his ball, and another for moving his ball.

B. Replace the ball without penalty.

C. Be penalized 1 stroke for causing his ball to move.

Go to the next page for the answer.

One of your buddies lifts his ball on the green, but instead of using a coin or similar object to mark his ball, he uses the toe of the putter and keeps it there until he replaces his ball. As he replaces the ball, he causes the ball to move with the putterhead. He should:

A. Be penalized two strokes: one for using an illegal object to mark his ball, and another for moving his ball.

B. Replace the ball without penalty.

C. Be penalized 1 stroke for causing his ball to move.

ANSWER: B. According to a note at the end of Rule 20-1, the "position of the ball to be lifted should be marked by placing a ball marker, a small coin, or other similar object immediately behind the ball." But the key is that it doesn't say "should," but "shall," meaning this is a strongly recommended but not mandatory. So, your buddy marked his ball legally. Also, the movement of the ball was directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of the ball or lifting it, and there is no penalty (Rule 20-1).

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