Dear Rules Guy: My opponent and I hit nearly identical drives on one hole. When we got to our balls, we found them on the side of a hill, with his ball resting nearly on top of mine! I suggested that I mark my ball, let him hit first, and then replace my ball and hit my shot. Was this correct? And would the ruling be any different if the balls had been inside a lateral hazard but still playable?
— Bryan Helyer, Glastonbury, Conn.
You don’t need my help, pal! You hit the correct mark under Rule 22-2, regardless of where the ball lies on the course. Be careful, though. If you had lifted your ball without your fellow competitor’s permission, you would have earned a one-stroke penalty for moving a ball at rest (Rule 18-2a). The next time you look to mirror your partner, make sure to leave a little.