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Is it bad etiquette to replace your ball on the green while someone else is lining up their putt?

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I am very much a proponent of ready golf. In the fairway, I'll laser my distance, pull my club, and be ready for my shot while others are hitting. After I've marked my ball on the green, I will replace it and stand behind it while someone who it further than me prepares to putt (I only do this if my ball is no where near my playing partner's line). For example, my playing partner is 30 feet short of the hole and has a straight uphill putt. I am hole high and have a 15 foot putt with a lot of break. I'll go ahead and read my putt and replace my ball with it aligned the way I want it. I do this while my playing partner is doing the same for his putt. Many times, my playing partner will see what I'm doing and ask if it's his turn or mine. I reply saying he's out and I'm just getting ready for when it's my turn. Is this bad etiquette? I don't want to distract someone else while they are preparing to putt. At the same time, I feel most golfers are the worst at playing ready golf when they are on the green. I would never do this if my ball was anywhere near another's line or when they are actually over the ball and ready to putt.
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I would personally find it distracting and in bad taste. I can appreciate playing ready golf, but the extra 30 seconds saved probably isn't worth making your playing partners uncomfortable.

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I think that in known company and when appropriate this is how golf should be played.. Out of the line and off to the side and of course be still during the final moments prior to others putting. This really speeds up the game and keeps things moving. Nothing worse than someone waiting to start their entire routine until a putt is holed. Just a waist of time. You should be reading aligning and generally getting ready for all shots while others are playing as long as its not distracting.

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Originally Posted by granitegolf

I think that in known company and when appropriate this is how golf should be played.. Out of the line and off to the side and of course be still during the final moments prior to others putting. This really speeds up the game and keeps things moving. Nothing worse than someone waiting to start their entire routine until a putt is holed. Just a waist of time. You should be reading aligning and generally getting ready for all shots while others are playing as long as its not distracting.

True, but replacing the ball isn't necessary to read a putt.

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Originally Posted by geauxforbroke

True, but replacing the ball isn't necessary to read a putt.

It is if you use a line on your ball to putt with. Well not "needed" but it does speed things up if you start working on your line when you have spare time. I try and get as ready as possible as long as it does not affect my playing partners.

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I wouldn't have any problem with it.  I wouldn't be surprised if some found it distracting though......

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I would personally find it distracting and in bad taste. I can appreciate playing ready golf, but the extra 30 seconds saved probably isn't worth making your playing partners uncomfortable.

[quote name="granitegolf" url="/t/68302/is-it-bad-etiquette-to-replace-your-ball-on-the-green-while-someone-else-is-lining-up-their-putt#post_865391"]I think that in known company and when appropriate this is how golf should be played.. Out of the line and off to the side and of course be still during the final moments prior to others putting. This really speeds up the game and keeps things moving. Nothing worse than someone waiting to start their entire routine until a putt is holed. Just a waist of time. You should be reading aligning and generally getting ready for all shots while others are playing as long as its not distracting.  [/quote] The type of round being played is probably an important distinction here... If it's the club championship, I won't replace my ball until it's my turn. If it's our Sat/Sun morning choose up, I do this. As for "only saving 30 seconds, that adds up. If three people saved 30 seconds on every green, that would shorten the round by almost 1/2 hour...

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If you're out of sight and remain quiet, go for it. Otherwise, wait.

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First of all great question.  I've thought about it many times as I like to keep things going and often time will put my ball down at the same time someone else is replacing theirs b/c it's their turn to putt.  I don't do it when my  ball is anywhere near their line. Nor do I do it when they have started their pre-shot routine.  I'm pro-active and do it at the same time they are replacing their own ball.

Here's the way I've always seen this issue--#2 should sum it all up:

1) who says you even need to mark your ball and clean it if it's not on someones line?  If your ball is clean (or you simply don't care about cleaning your ball as many don't care) who says you can't just leave it be after your shot onto the green and step up and hit it when it's your turn.

2) If it's not on anybody's line you're fine to leave it after your approach shot.  So if you're fine to leave your ball and never mark it to begin with then what's the big deal about replacing it before it's your turn.  Answer is, it's not a big deal.  Some people may have an issue with it but that's their problem not yours. Because I would assume (or hope) they have no issue with you not even marking your ball as long as it's not on or close to their line.

This whole idea of marking every single putt is from watching the pros do it on tv.  If I leave a long putt 4' short and someone else is still out and my ball is not on their line, I leave it most of the time.  I don't go then mark it for a second time. I leave it and then putt it when it's my turn and nobody has a problem with that.

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Originally Posted by iacas

If you're out of sight and remain quiet, go for it. Otherwise, wait.

+1

It is about "out of sight" for most guys with whom I play. One buddy can not abide by having my ball on the green as he is reading his putt. Most formal clubs play by the one-ball-at-a-time on the green etiquette. When I'm a guest, I follow the example of my host.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

+1

It is about "out of sight" for most guys with whom I play. One buddy can not abide by having my ball on the green as he is reading his putt. Most formal clubs play by the one-ball-at-a-time on the green etiquette. When I'm a guest, I follow the example of my host.

Interesting,  what exactly is a "formal club"  I've never heard that before.  Do they play by their own rules?  I'm asking in all sincerity.  I played Scioto in Columbus, OH last week and there is certainly no one ball on green rule, so if Scioto is not a formal club then what is? Because everything seems pretty formal at that great place.  No hats in mens grill, no cell phones on course etc..   I've played hundreds of courses all over, many top notch just like Scioto, I've never heard of, seen or been told of a one ball at a time on the green etiquette rule.   If it's true and some courses have that rule, then I must say what an insane stupid rule.  It serves no purpose except to slow down play.

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Originally Posted by johnny2balls

Interesting,  what exactly is a "formal club"  I've never heard that before.  Do they play by their own rules?  I'm asking in all sincerity.  I played Scioto in Columbus, OH last week and there is certainly no one ball on green rule, so if Scioto is not a formal club then what is? Because everything seems pretty formal at that great place.  No hats in mens grill, no cell phones on course etc..   I've played hundreds of courses all over, many top notch just like Scioto, I've never heard of, seen or been told of a one ball at a time on the green etiquette rule.   If it's true and some courses have that rule, then I must say what an insane stupid rule.  It serves no purpose except to slow down play.

By "formal club" is what I mean clubs as you described -- you don't wear hats indoors, even in locker room, no phones anywhere, no changing your shoes in the parking lot,  and such. I wear my better and polished shoes. Almost always have caddies.

I'm not saying there is a "rule." I am saying I have observed a custom that guys are more careful about where they stand when others are swinging and putting, where they walk on the greens, and about waiting their turn to mark their ball. This is not an inditement or an endorsement. It is my observation. And as a guest at a club, I take my lead from my host. So far, in 35 years of being a guest, it is working for me. I'm a wonderful guest. :)

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I'm all for it.  I'll do everything and anything in between shots.  Putting is the slowest bit on the course unless someone is searching.

When they are actually "putting" (right from the address to contact), I freeze everything and just remain still and silent until the hit though.  I'd hope for the same in return.

If someone needs the total quiet and stillness for their entire process, I'll abide happily by that as long as they mention it courteously.  If they are snotty or 'pissy' about it, then that's a different discussion .....  same theme for pretty much everything - 'friendly and open' beats 'introverted and grumpy' every day.

- in short - if you tell me it's in 'bad taste' you made it about me, I chuckle and ask you what you 'really' need.  If you say it's distracting and you prefer a quieter/stiller atmosphere then it's about what you'd like, I smile and acknowledge a very real need the other guy wants and do everything I can to support their need.  They might both be the same message, but the first is not respectful, the second is, IMHO.

If it's a really informal group - I don't much care at all, they can chatter and move all they want.  Random noise and motion doesn't bother me much putting or hitting, it does seem to get me while pitching and chipping, though.  Don't know why those matter as much, but it's a good lesson for my about where I need to improve my concentration.

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It's all about line of sight for me, though I tend to stand still off to the side.

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I can't say that I know this isn't bad etiquette - but I can say that I don't think it should be.  IMHO, there is way too much marking of the ball and only having one ball on the green at a time is a time killer. And just silly. If you can't putt because my ball is on the green, you are just to sensitive to be playing sports. Getting more balls on the ground would def save some time on the course.

I run into the same thing where I'll try to go ahead and get my ball on the ground while another guy is doing the same.  I just let him know that I"m just getting ready for when he is finished. And of course if it isn't in his way or anything.  That is really the point isn't it?  But if your ball isn't affecting him, there is no good reason to wait.

I'd have trouble thinking this is bad etiquette since as late as the 50's or so, you couldn't even pick your ball up on the green. If it was in someone's line - tough, they had to putt around it.  I think that is true anyway.

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Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey

I can't say that I know this isn't bad etiquette - but I can say that I don't think it should be.  IMHO, there is way too much marking of the ball and only having one ball on the green at a time is a time killer. And just silly. If you can't putt because my ball is on the green, you are just to sensitive to be playing sports. Getting more balls on the ground would def save some time on the course.

I run into the same thing where I'll try to go ahead and get my ball on the ground while another guy is doing the same.  I just let him know that I"m just getting ready for when he is finished. And of course if it isn't in his way or anything.  That is really the point isn't it?  But if your ball isn't affecting him, there is no good reason to wait.

I'd have trouble thinking this is bad etiquette since as late as the 50's or so, you couldn't even pick your ball up on the green. If it was in someone's line - tough, they had to putt around it.  I think that is true anyway.

"Stymied"

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Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey

That's it.  This went into the 50's, right?

Probably. Tevino can hit a stymie putt. I certainly can not.  Not unlike a jump shot in billiards or pool.

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