One of the many changes to the rules in 2019 was this obscure little rule about announcing your intent before lifting and identifying your golf ball.
Previously the rule stated a player must announce their intent to lift the ball to identify it. (You had to make sure you told another player that you were going to pick up your ball) This could be the case when your ball is in deep rough, or in some other spot where it’s hard to know if it’s your ball or not.
In 2019 that rule changed and you no longer need to announce your intent to lift your golf ball to identify it. However, there are still a few important rules to follow while IDing a ball.
Rule 7.3 tells us you must mark the location of the golf ball you’re identifying before lifting it.
Mark the ball by placing a marker or a tee next to it, or by marking the spot with your club. Once you have identified the ball put it back in the original spot, making sure to recreate the lie.
Rule 6.3a tells us that players should put an identifying mark on their golf ball. This can be a dot, a circle, or any marking that designates that the ball is yours.
Keep in mind that you will earn the general penalty if you hit another player’s ball, so I would suggest you put your unique mark on every single ball you tee up out there! Better safe than sorry, right?
Marcela launched Girlfriends Guide To Golf and her On-Course Rules Experiences to grow the game, help women learn the rules of golf, and feel more confident out on the course.