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Is it legal to use your putter to line up your putt? - Page 4

post #55 of 59
Originally Posted by Golfwhat View Post

Hi I'm new to this forum. Still can't figure out how to post a new question So I'm replying to this similar one. I have a friend who ground his putter After he had aligned his ball. Then he picked up the ball and realigning it again While keeping the putter in place. Is this legal?


This might help.



Method Used to Mark Position of Ball


Q.The Note to Rule 20-1 provides that "the position of a ball to be lifted should be marked by placing a ball-marker, a small coin or other similar object immediately behind the ball." Is a player penalized if he uses an object that is not similar to a ball-marker or small coin to mark the position of his ball?


A.No. The provision in the Note to Rule 20-1 is a recommendation of best practice, but there is no penalty for failing to act in accordance with the Note.

Examples of methods of marking the position of a ball that are not recommended, but are permissible, are as follows:

  • placing the toe of a club at the side of, or behind, the ball;
  • using a tee;
  • using a loose impediment;
  • scratching a line, provided the putting green is not tested (Rule 16-1d) and a line for putting is not indicated (Rule 8-2b). As this practice may cause damage to the putting green, it is discouraged.

However, under Rule 20-1 it is necessary to physically mark the position of the ball. Reference to an existing mark on the ground does not constitute marking the position of a ball. For example, it is not permissible to mark the position with reference to a blemish on the putting green.

When moving a ball or ball-marker to the side to prevent it from interfering with another player's stance or stroke, the player may measure from the side of the ball or ball-marker. In order to accurately replace the ball on the spot from which it was lifted, the steps used to move the ball or ball-marker to the side should be reversed.

post #56 of 59
He ground his club behind the ball after he position the ball. At this point the ball is in the center of his putter. He then kept one hand on the club to keep it in place and then use the other hand to pick up the ball to realign. He then stand back up pick up his club and then ground it again before he putt. He's been playing this way for a while with me but other people are starting to point that out so I'm just trying to find out for sure what is legal. Thank you for your help!
post #57 of 59

Also, looking at this thread, I see there was some confusion regarding R8-2b


I did ask the USGA on this.  Touching the green behind the hole, or off to the side is a breach of the rule if you are doing so to indicate a line for putting.  In otherwords, if anyone (players, caddies) touches the green to indicate a direction for playing a stroke, while your ball is on the green, it is a penalty.

post #58 of 59

The decision says toe, however it was probably written before all the different shaped heads have come on the market.  Some look like pancake flippers, others TV antennas.


The whole idea is to accurately replace the ball.  Can your friend do this with his putter?  Is he using a line on the top of the putter?  Using a putter is not necessarily a breach.  Not getting the ball accurately marked is.

post #59 of 59

You say the ball is at the centre of the face.


If the face is more than 4" wide and there is no alignment mark in the centre, in the light of Decision 21-1/20, I would suggest that the ball is not marked with sufficient accuracy.




Player Places Ball-Marker Approximately Two Inches Behind Ball

Q.A player consistently places his ball-marker approximately two inches behind the ball on the green. He says that he does so to ensure that he does not accidentally move the ball. Does such a procedure comply with the Rules?

A.No. A player who places a ball-marker two inches behind his ball cannot be considered to have marked the position of the ball with sufficient accuracy. Accordingly, each time he does so, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke, as provided in Rule 20-1, and must place the ball as near as possible to the spot from which it was lifted (Rule 20-3c).

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