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Is it legal to use your putter to line up your putt?

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

Say I marked my ball, and I then took my putter and laid it down on the ground (the shaft) as a line to where I want to putt. I then placed the ball, with the alignment marker on the ball on that line of the shaft of the putter, picked up the putter and then putt. Is that legal?

post #2 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajst22 View Post

Say I marked my ball, and I then took my putter and laid it down on the ground (the shaft) as a line to where I want to putt. I then placed the ball, with the alignment marker on the ball on that line of the shaft of the putter, picked up the putter and then putt. Is that legal?

 

Never heard this one.  I'm assuming you are placing the putter behind the ball.   Rule 8-2b prohibits you from touching the green in order to point out a "line for putting".  I always thought of "line for putting" as a point in the direction towards the hole....not behind the ball.  Not sure on this one....have to think about it.

post #3 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

 

Never heard this one.  I'm assuming you are placing the putter behind the ball.   Rule 8-2b prohibits you from touching the green in order to point out a "line for putting".  I always thought of "line for putting" as a point in the direction towards the hole....not behind the ball.  Not sure on this one....have to think about it.

Exactly...lining up the putter behind the ball and I wasn't sure either. Matt Kuchar actually comes to mind now because I think he does something like this.

post #4 of 59

I dont think ur allowed to lay anything on the green in front or behind to line it up. My advice is learn the spider crawl that villegas does lol.

post #5 of 59

You may not touch the line of putt but that only runs from the ball to the hole. If your club was on the side away from the hole there is no problem.

post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

You may not touch the line of putt but that only runs from the ball to the hole. If your club was on the side away from the hole there is no problem.

 

How about for full swing shots from the tee box or fairway?  Are you allowed to lay a club on the ground to verify proper alignment?

post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipless View Post

 

How about for full swing shots from the tee box or fairway?  Are you allowed to lay a club on the ground to verify proper alignment?


As long as it is no longer there when you take your swing.

post #8 of 59

Why not put the ball on the ground with the alignment mark on the ball going where you want it, then stand behind the ball and use your club (in your hands) to make sure the line is pointing the to right spot?  If the alignment mark on the ball is parallel to with your putter you're aiming correctly.  Does that make sense?  

post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajst22 View Post

Say I marked my ball, and I then took my putter and laid it down on the ground (the shaft) as a line to where I want to putt. I then placed the ball, with the alignment marker on the ball on that line of the shaft of the putter, picked up the putter and then putt. Is that legal?

 

I saw on TV someone do this today in the Open.  I have to assume that it is OK.  I don't remember the exact sequence that he did, but at one point his putter was lying on the green directly behind the ball or mark with the shaft lined up toward the hole or line toward the hole.

post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndb8fxe View Post

 

I have to assume that it is OK. 

 

You don't have to assume. There is no rule prohibiting such an action. Therefore it is OK.

 

The two conditions that must be met are that the line of putt must not be touched and the alignment club must be removed before the stroke is made.

post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

 

You don't have to assume. There is no rule prohibiting such an action. Therefore it is OK.

 

The two conditions that must be met are that the line of putt must not be touched and the alignment club must be removed before the stroke is made.

 

Rule 8.2b states that the putting green must not be touched when pointing out a line for putting.  Does laying a putter behind the ball constitutes pointing out a line for putting? If so, then I can't see how there isn't a penalty.

post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pogle View Post

Rule 8.2b states that the putting green must not be touched when pointing out a line for putting.  Does laying a putter behind the ball constitutes pointing out a line for putting? If so, then I can't see how there isn't a penalty.

Look up the definition for "line of putt" in the Rules.
Quote:
Line Of Putt

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 putt does not extend beyond the hole.

It doesn't extend beyond the hole, nor behind the golf ball.
post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


Look up the definition for "line of putt" in the Rules.
Quote:
Line Of Putt
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 putt does not extend beyond the hole.
It doesn't extend beyond the hole, nor behind the golf ball.

 

Rule 8.2 does not refer to the line of putt, it refers to a "line for putting" - they are not the same thing. 

post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pogle View Post

Rule 8.2b states that the putting green must not be touched when pointing out a line for putting.  Does laying a putter behind the ball constitutes pointing out a line for putting? If so, then I can't see how there isn't a penalty.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
16-1. General
a. Touching Line of Putt

The line of putt must not be touched except:

(i) the player may remove loose impediments, provided he does not press anything down;

(ii) the player may place the club in front of the ball when addressing it, provided he does not press anything down;
I get a bit confused by these two rules. One says you can't touch the green, the other says you can put a club down.
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pogle View Post

 

Rule 8.2 does not refer to the line of putt, it refers to a "line for putting" - they are not the same thing. 

 

But can you tell us what the difference is?

post #16 of 59

Hi Rulesman,

 

I'm trying to get this confirmed, but if you touch the green at a point beyond the hole to indicate an aim point for your partner, are you not indicating the line of play and in breach of R8-2b?  I realize the line of play does not extend past the hole, however 8-2a prohibits a mark on an extension past the hole during the stroke.  Just seems strange that if the Rules meant the LOP for R8-2b, why didn't they just say that instead of using the term Line for putting.


Edited by Dormie1360 - 6/16/12 at 7:03pm
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

Hi Rulesman,

 

I'm trying to get this confirmed, but if you touch the green at a point beyond the hole to indicate an aim point for your partner, are you not indicating the line of play and in breach of R8-2b?  I realize the line of play does not extend past the hole, however 8-2a prohibits a mark on an extension past the hole during the stroke.  Just seems strange that if the Rules meant the LOP for R8-2b, why didn't they just say that instead of using the term Line for putting.


Given the precision with which terms are used in the rules, I think you're correct and 8-2b is not limited to the Line of Putt. It seems apparent that you're not allowed to touch the green while indicating a line, regardless of whether you're on the actual Line of Putt. After all, the line you'd point out would be the starting direction, only a small portion of which would be on the Line of Putt if there's a significant break.

 

As for how this bears on the original question, I don't know. Given that you're allowed to ground your club, including ahead of the ball, you're clearly allowed to touch the green in a limited context while pointing out a line. It's easy to understand that as different from the sort of action considered in 8-2b. Laying the club on the green is a lot less clear to me.

post #18 of 59
You can put a club on the ground behind the ball. Heck, you can use your putter to mark your ball's position if you want.

I'm not sure why this is confusing.

You can't point to a spot on the green and touch it to indicate the line of the putt. You can't have an alignment aid present when making a stroke. You can't test the surface of the green.

Other than that, what other rules could possibly prevent you from setting your putter down on the green? Heck, you can set another club down behind your ball if you want, so long as you move it before you make your stroke.

BTW, rather than do whatever you're doing, get some ball markers like this and you won't need to use your putter:

320
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