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Touching line of putt

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

I know you can MAY not touch the line of your putt.  I also know you probably SHOULD not touch anything close to the line of the putt. but...Is is mentioned anywhere in the rules or decisions about the how stringent this is to be interpreted.  To illustrate (using a diagram I stole from something demonstrating an Aimpoint point... If I or my caddy were to touch the line going off to the right once it passed the line of the putt, would that be permissable.  Could my caddy touch the green at the spot where the words aimpoint appear?  My interpretration of the rule is that we could.  Of course we would have to deal with the resultant kerfufle and the subsequent discussion of what really is the line of the putt.. 

 

Anyone have any intelligence on this?

 

aimpoint apex.jpg

post #2 of 64

As with many rules questions you don't even need to leave the definitions section:

 

The “line of putt’’ is the line that the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke on the putting green. Except with respect to Rule 16-1e, the line of putt includes a reasonable distance on either side of the intended line. The line of puttdoes not extend beyond the hole.

 

It's generally against the rules to touch your line on the putting green (more so when you're not removing loose impediments, etc.). Which is fine, as there's no advantage to gain over just putting your finger or the butt of a club or whatever a few inches above the green and saying "aim here" and then moving out of the way. So play it safe and just hover or something.

post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 

I agree.. I was just looking for confirmation.. this happened in fourball match this weekend when partner had read line and with flagstick pointed quite a ways away from line of putt and in doing so the stick slipped a bit and touched the green.  The opponents said the line had been touched and that as that was the line we intended to putt along (initially) that is was a penalty...  We put the hole in abeyance until later and as it turned out it was a non issue at the end of the day.. Head pro had left by the time we left the grill...so I came to the experts.  Nice to know I was once again right e2_whistling.gif

post #4 of 64

I believe Rule 8-2b prevents this.  8-2b talks about the line for putting, which is different than the line of putt covered in rule 16-1.. What you are talking about is the line for putting.

 

 

 

8-2. Indicating Line Of Play

a. Other Than on Putting Green

Except on the putting green, a player may have the line of play indicated to him by anyone, but no one may be positioned by the player on or close to the line or an extension of the line beyond the hole while the stroke is being made. Any mark placed by the player or with his knowledge to indicate the line must be removed before the stroke is made.

Exception:Flagstick attended or held up – see Rule 17-1.

b. On the Putting Green

When the player’s ball is on the putting green, the player, his partner or either of their caddies may, before but not during the stroke, point out a line for putting, but in so doing the putting green must not be touched. A mark must not be placed anywhere to indicate a line for putting.

post #5 of 64

16-1

The line of the putt must not be touched except:

(iii) in measuring

 

 

My question is, what does "in measuring" mean with this?

post #6 of 64

Measuring is related to distance not line.

post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

Measuring is related to distance not line.

 I am still not quite following what it is saying exactly.   Is it more of a match play thing?

post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post
 

 I am still not quite following what it is saying exactly.   Is it more of a match play thing?

 

If you need to determine who is away. Technically it applies to stroke play too.

post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

If you need to determine who is away. Technically it applies to stroke play too.

Gotcha, thanks guys.

post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post
 

16-1

The line of the putt must not be touched except:

(iii) in measuring

 

 

My question is, what does "in measuring" mean with this?

 

I believe this exception concerns a occasional measuring incident.

 

for example :

 

- you take steps to mesure à 15 yard/45 foot putt and walk on your intended putting line.

- in a match play to be sure who plays first on a delicate 5 footer you mesure with club and touche the line.

post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubble View Post

I believe this exception concerns a occasional measuring incident.

for example :

- you take steps to mesure à 15 yard/45 foot putt and walk on your intended putting line.
- in a match play to be sure who plays first on a delicate 5 footer you mesure with club and touche the line.

Going further..... Rule 16-1 does say "in measuring" and then refers to Rule 18-6, which says "in measuring while proceeding under or determining the application of a Rule".
If the player is measuring for any other purpose, such as to find out how long his putt is, it's not excused. However, Decision 16-1a/12 does excuse a player for accidentally stepping on his line of putt.

And, as someone else has pointed out - the "line of putt" is not the same as a "line for putting". When pointing out a line for putting, the putting green must not be touched. In the original post, touching the green at the words AimPoint to point out a line for putting is a breach of the Rule 8-2b and the player incurs a penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

I believe Rule 8-2b prevents this.  8-2b talks about the line for putting, which is different than the line of putt covered in rule 16-1.. What you are talking about is the line for putting.

 

 

 

8-2. Indicating Line Of Play

b. On the Putting Green

When the player’s ball is on the putting green, the player, his partner or either of their caddies may, before but not during the stroke, point out a line for putting, but in so doing the putting green must not be touched. A mark must not be placed anywhere to indicate a line for putting.

 

Exactly this. So the answer to the original question is no, you may not touch the green to indicate the line FOR putting even if that point you touch is not on or near your line OF putt.

 

EDIT: It seems rogolf beat me by more than 2 hours ;-)

post #13 of 64
I remember playing a tournament and I would do the routine like Dave Stockton Place my putter head in front of the ball on my line of putt then lift my putter to place behind the ball. I was getting sneers from playing partners I m sure because I was touching my line of putt but it's once of those "exception" to the rule
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchoye View Post

I remember playing a tournament and I would do the routine like Dave Stockton Place my putter head in front of the ball on my line of putt then lift my putter to place behind the ball. I was getting sneers from playing partners I m sure because I was touching my line of putt but it's once of those "exception" to the rule

 

Certainly contemplated by the Rules.

Addressing The Ball

A player has “addressed the ball” when he has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance.

post #15 of 64

Nothing about when ball on the fringe however.  I was 6 feet off the green and placed a cigarette butt just on the edge of the fringe to examine my proposed line. Looked ok, then i removed the butt and putted.

 

However, from the ball still on the fringe, could i have placed the butt on the green, proceeded to examine the line, removed the butt and putted without penalty? 

post #16 of 64
Yes. R8-2b only applies when the ball is on the green. In your case the applicable rule is 8-2a. Any object placed on your line of play must be removed before your stroke, however there is no longer a restriction with touching the green.
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Nothing about when ball on the fringe however.  I was 6 feet off the green and placed a cigarette butt just on the edge of the fringe to examine my proposed line. Looked ok, then i removed the butt and putted.

 

However, from the ball still on the fringe, could i have placed the butt on the green, proceeded to examine the line, removed the butt and putted without penalty? 

 

Yes, because you don't have a line of putt unless your ball lies on the putting green.  When your ball lies through the green, you only have a line of play.

post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Yes, because you don't have a line of putt unless your ball lies on the putting green.  When your ball lies through the green, you only have a line of play.

 

And something that might not be readily apparent to some, you have a "line of play" for every stroke on the course......this includes the green.  Also, although the ball must be on the green, the "line of putt" is not restricted to just the green's surface.  It can include the apron in some situations.

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