3 Putting Green Rules You Need To Know

Today I’m sharing 3 putting green rules you need to know – let’s see if you’ve encountered any of these before. 

Last week my friend Karen and I played a fun Four Ball Match Play round with Andy Proudman and Matt Blacket at our home course, The Santaluz Club.

Matt is a former European Tour Player and Andy Proudman is a PGA teaching pro and co-founder of Me And My Golf.  They obviously know the rules, but I am always on the lookout for issues that come up during a real round of golf. And, to be honest, I kind of like to catch people violating the rules!

In the first situation, Karen and Matt are partners and it’s a Four Ball Match Play. Matt is helping read Karen’s putt for her and is showing her where to die the ball. 

Is Matt permitted to touch the ground to indicate the line of play for his partner?

The answer lies in rule 10, Advice and Caddies. 10.2b(2) “The player or his caddie may touch the putting green with a hand, foot, or anything he or she is holding to indicate the line of play.”

…………………..And remember that a player may help their partner in any way that a caddie can.

So, yes, Matt can touch the putting green and I didn’t catch him in a violation.

Can a player set their putter down on the green to line up their putt as Andy appears to be doing in this video?

According to rule 10.2b(2), a player must not set an object down to show the line of play. In this case though, Andy has not set the object down, the putter is still in his hands, so no penalty here.

Here, my partner Andy is standing behind me and reading my putt. Would Andy incur a penalty here?

Rule 10.2b(4) says, “when a player begins taking a stance for the stroke, the player’s partner or caddie must not deliberately stand behind in a location on or close to an extension of the line behind the ball for any reason.”

The key phrase here is, when a player “begins taking a stance,” and as you can see I had not yet begun to take my stance. As long as Andy moves away before I begin to take my stance, there is no penalty.

Oh and P.S., I didn’t make the putt!

Accidental Double Hit

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp9rKcvlLJ_/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Accidental Double Hit is No Longer a Penalty!

One of the changes that I’m really happy about is Rule 10.1 – an accidental double hit is no longer a penalty!

If you accidentally double hit your ball (which can happen sometimes when when you’re in a rough or when you’re in a bunker) there is no longer a penalty.  And it can happen anywhere on the course. Just play it as it lies and go on with your round! Pretty cool, huh?

The Nitty Gritty:

Rule 10.1a (USGA)

If the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty.

Check out USGA’s site for exceptions and further details, but we can breathe a sigh of relief here. 

Repairing Spike Marks On Putting Green 2019 Golf Rules

Repairing Spike Marks On Putting Green in 2019

In 2019 you’ll be happy to know that you’ll be able to repair spike marks on the green before you putt.  

Rule 13 states you’ll be able to repair any damage to the green, which would include pitch marks, spike marks, damage from the flagstick being dragged on the green, and any other damage.

However, you will not be able to repair greens that have been aerated/punched, vertical mowing, or regular wear and tear. 

The Nitty Gritty:

Rule 13.C2 (USGA)

Repair of Damage. A player may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:

  • By using his or her hand, foot or other part of the body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
  • Without unreasonably delaying play (see Rule 5.6a).

But if the player improves the putting green by taking actions that exceed what is reasonable to restore the putting green to its original condition (such as by creating a pathway to the hole or by using an object that is not allowed), the player gets the general penalty for breach of Rule 8.1a.

“Damage on the putting green ” means any damage caused by a person or outside influence, such as:

  • Ball marks, shoe damage (such as spike marks) and scrapes or indentations caused by equipment or a flagstick,
  • Old hole plugs, turf plugs, seams of cut turf and scrapes or indentations from maintenance tools or vehicles,
  • Animal tracks or hoof indentations, and
  • Embedded objects (such as a stone, acorn or tee).

But “damage on the putting green” does not include any damage or conditions that result from:

  • Normal practices for maintaining the overall condition of the putting green (such as aeration holes and grooves from vertical mowing),
  • Irrigation or rain or other natural forces,
  • Natural surface imperfections (such as weeds or areas of bare, diseased or uneven growth), or
  • Natural wear of the hole.

Check out USGA’s site for exceptions and further details, but we can breathe a sigh of relief here.

Check out How to Mark Your Ball on the Green.