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04 Apr, 2010

Penalty stroke if I touch the ball on the putting green?

Posted by: 3 Putt In: Putting Greens

When I was going to put not too long ago, at address, I touched the ball with my putter, but it did not move. Do I get a penalty stroke for this? I know I don’t get a penalty stroke when touching the ball with my club at address at the fairway (as long as the ball does not move), but maybe there are different rules for the putting green?

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4 Responses to "Penalty stroke if I touch the ball on the putting green?"

1 | Angus

April 4th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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Golf is funny. If you touched it but didn’t move, no penalty, but even if you didn’t touch it (blown by wind, or earth quake) after you soled your club on the ground, you are penalized.

I don’t pay too much attention to the rules. I play sensible golf. My rules are only two, play as it lies, and be honest with myself.

But if you play in competition, rules are rules. That’s to make sure that everybody competes fair and square.

2 | caddyshack

April 4th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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If you touched it but it did not move, then there is no penalty.

If it actually moves after you address the ball, however then you suffer a one stroke penalty and must replace the ball to the original position.

To quote the specific rule…

Rule 18: ball at Rest Moved

Definitions
All defined terms are in italics and are listed alphabetically in the Definitions section.

18-1. By Outside Agency
If a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.

Note: It is a question of fact whether a ball has been moved by an outside agency. In order to apply this Rule, it must be known or virtually certain that an outside agency has moved the ball. In the absence of such knowledge or certainty, the player must play the ball as it lies or, if the ball is not found, proceed under Rule 27-1.
(Player’s ball at rest moved by another ball – see Rule 18-5.)

18-2. By Player, Partner, Caddie or Equipment

a. General
When a player’s ball is in play, if:

(i) the player, his partner or either of their caddies lifts or moves it, touches it purposely (except with a club in the act of addressing it) or causes it to move except as permitted by a Rule, or

(ii)equipment of the player or his partner causes the ball to move,
the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.

If the ball is moved, it must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.

Under the Rules there is no penalty if a player accidentally causes his ball to move in the following circumstances:

· In searching for a ball in a hazard covered by loose impediments or sand, for a ball in an obstruction or abnormal ground condition or for a ball believed to be in water in a water hazard – Rule 12-1
· In repairing a hole plug or ball mark – Rule 16-1c
· In measuring – Rule 18-6
· In lifting a ball under a Rule – Rule 20-1
· In placing or replacing a ball under a Rule – Rule 20-3a
· In removing a loose impediment on the putting green – Rule 23-1
· In removing movable obstructions – Rule 24-1.

b. Ball Moving After Address
If a player’s ball in playmoves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and
incurs a penalty of one stroke.

The ball must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.

18-3. By Opponent, Caddie or Equipment in Match Play

a. During Search
If, during search for a player’s ball, an opponent, his caddie or his equipmentmoves the ball, touches it or causes it to move, there is no penalty. If the ball is moved, it must be replaced.

b. Other Than During Search
If, other than during search for a player’s ball, an opponent, his caddie or his equipmentmoves the ball, touches it purposely or causes it to move, except as otherwise provided in the Rules,
the opponent incurs a penalty of one stroke.

If the ball is moved, it must be replaced.
(Playing a wrong ball – see Rule 15-3.)

(Ball moved in measuring – see Rule 18-6.)

18-4. By Fellow-Competitor, Caddie or Equipment in Stroke Play
If a fellow-competitor, his caddie or his equipmentmoves the player’s ball, touches it or causes it to move, there is no penalty. If the ball is moved, it must be replaced.

(Playing a wrong ball – see Rule 15-3.)

18-5. By Another Ball
If a ball in play and at rest is moved by another ball in motion after a stroke, the moved ball must be replaced.

18-6. Ball Moved in Measuring
If a ball or ball-marker is moved in measuring while proceeding under or in determining the application of a Rule, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided he movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of measuring. Otherwise, the provisions of Rule 18-2a, 18-3b or 18-4 apply.

*Penalty for Breach of Rule:
Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.

*If a player who is required to replace a ball fails to do so, or if he makes a stroke at a ball substituted under Rule 18 when such substitution is not permitted, he incurs the general penalty for breach of Rule 18, but there is no additional penalty under this Rule.

Note 1: If a ball to be replaced under this Rule is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.

Note 2: If the original lie of a ball to be placed or replaced has been altered, see Rule 20-3b.

Note 3: If it is impossible to determine the spot on which a ball is to be placed, see Rule 20-3c.

Hope this helps!

3 | googie

April 4th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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Very simple ! If you touch the ball at address and it doesn’t move, there is no penalty. That applies anywhere on the course including the putting green. The movement of the ball and the situations where it may happen are all covered in the Rules of Golf as well as the Decisions on the Rules of Golf. Everyone who plays the game should become familiar with the rules. Often times they work in your favor. Get a book and learn them.

4 | Jim Tait

September 12th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

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On the putting green, the ball is touched by the putter, it oscillates but returns to exactly the same spot it was in before it was touched, does this count as the ball “moving” and incur a penalty? Or, as it is still in its original position, would that mean no penalty incurred? I cannot find a rule which clarifies this situation, please advise

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