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PUTTING - when to tap in & when to lift ??

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I've never played competition golf, so when I see guys on TV faced with what seems like a 1 to 1.5 ft putt - sometimes they putt it in, sometimes they lift.    I would always putt out at that distance, but i don't know the proper protocol.     Curious is there a rule of thumb when playing competition when and when not to lift a short putt ?

post #2 of 22

In stroke play, which is the predominent form of golf shown on TV, there is no rule that prevents a player from putting out.  As to why some don't, could be a lot of reasons.  Not wanting to stand in someones line, concern for making the next one. A players confort level on the putt can be different based on how important the putt is.   Some will mark, lift, look for the imaginary hole under their ball on the perfect green, and then replace and putt out.  Drives me crazy.

 

Match play is different.  The player furthest from the hole is required to play next so, unless the short putt is given, the player will have to mark and wait for his turn again. (Wait until he's furthest away again)

post #3 of 22

There is a rule against playing out of turn in stroke play but there is no penalty. It is typically considered good sportsmanship to allow a player with a short putt to finish.

 

In match play the player furthest away is entitled to play first and if an opponent plays out of turn without his permission he may recall the player's stroke (of course if he will probably only do that if his opponent makes the putt).

 

The PGA Tour experimented with continual putting for a while (having each player continue putting until his ball was holed) but they abandoned it.

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOX View Post

There is a rule against playing out of turn in stroke play but there is no penalty. It is typically considered good sportsmanship to allow a player with a short putt to finish.

 

In match play the player furthest away is entitled to play first and if an opponent plays out of turn without his permission he may recall the player's stroke (of course if he will probably only do that if his opponent makes the putt).

 

The PGA Tour experimented with continual putting for a while (having each player continue putting until his ball was holed) but they abandoned it.

 

Actually this is not quite right either.  A player is never required to mark and lift in stroke play.  He always has the right to play his stroke first as long as he does nothing which might affect another player's next stroke.  Rule 22-2 says:

 

 

 

Quote:
In stroke play, a player required to lift his ball may play first rather than lift the ball.
post #5 of 22

You are correct that if a player's ball interferes with another player and he is asked to lift it anywhere on the course, he may play first instead of marking it but that is a bit different than what was suggested here.

 

The USGA stops short of completely condoning allowing a player to continue putting in stroke play but they do suggest that this "practice should not be discouraged". 

 

They do say that putting out of turn in stroke play is "generally condoned" but also say that allowing it "may be questionable in view of the specific language of rule 10-2b".

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

  I would always putt out at that distance, but i don't know the proper protocol.     Curious is there a rule of thumb when playing competition when and when not to lift a short putt ?

 

 

Hey Interhole,

 

Confused yet.  a2_wink.gif   Rule 10-2/c allows you to play "out of turn" in stroke play as long as you have not made an agreement with another player to do so in order to give one player an advantage.  Rule 29-3 order of play governing threesomes and foursomes is different but that's a different form of play. You'll see this in the Ryder Cup.

 

In the context of you question which deals with "protocol" or "etiquette", as long as you are not stepping on someones line, feel free to finish your short putts. 

 

The only thing I would add, if you have a short putt to win a tournament, etiquette is to mark and allow your competitors to hole out first, so when you make your final putt and the gallery goes nuts, other players are not distracted. a1_smile.gif

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOX View Post

You are correct that if a player's ball interferes with another player and he is asked to lift it anywhere on the course, he may play first instead of marking it but that is a bit different than what was suggested here.

 

The USGA stops short of completely condoning allowing a player to continue putting in stroke play but they do suggest that this "practice should not be discouraged". 

 

They do say that putting out of turn in stroke play is "generally condoned" but also say that allowing it "may be questionable in view of the specific language of rule 10-2b".

 

It's implied when a player's ball lies near the hole after a missed first putt that he would be requested to lift it.  The key to the so called "continuous putting rule" is that the request is assumed.  I'm certainly not going to play a stroke from the putting green if a ball lies close enough to the hole that my ball might hit it.

post #8 of 22

It may have been inferred but it was not implied.

 

See decision 10-2b/1.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOX View Post

It may have been inferred but it was not implied.

 

See decision 10-2b/1.

 

 

Yeah, whatever, to-may-to or to-mah-to.  

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

It's implied when a player's ball lies near the hole after a missed first putt that he would be requested to lift it.  The key to the so called "continuous putting rule" is that the request is assumed.  I'm certainly not going to play a stroke from the putting green if a ball lies close enough to the hole that my ball might hit it.

As there is no 'continuous putting rule' recognised by the RBs, the decision should be read as written. It does not imply anything else.

It is clear that there is only one situation where a player is permitted to play out of turn on the putting green if the player due to play objects. The RBs make no suggestion that B is not expected to object. 

 

When they say the practice should not be discouraged, they are not saying that it should be encouraged and you should not infer it.

If they wished to positively encourage it, they would have said so. 

 

Of course if you don't wish to make a stroke from the putting green is a ball lies close enough that your ball might hit it, then you may simply ask for it to be lifted.

post #11 of 22

Okay to both of you nit pickers - how do you enforce such a rule when there is no penalty attached for a breach?  Why are we even arguing this, since it's common practice everywhere except the pro tours to putt out as long as you aren't standing on another player's line.  There is even an exception under rule 16-1e which allows straddling your line of putt to avoid stepping on another's line, which would virtually never happen if putting in the right order.  The only time I can remember in the last 20 years that I didn't finish out if I was inside of 3 feet is if I had to take a stance which was too awkward to be comfortable.  If you are at all aware of the world of modern golf, pace of place is far more at issue than order of play in stroke play, and one of the biggest complaints about pace of play is from players standing in the fairway watching each player in the group in front of them marking and lifting the ball for what are essentially tap-in putts.  That group may be correct in a technical sense, but they are wrong in the larger sense of bogging down the flow of play for the entire course.

 

My Men's club has always been a very strict "by the rules" club for tournament play, yet we also strongly encourage "ready golf" and we have a strict pace of play policy with penalties attached to anyone who fails to meet the policy guidelines.  In my opinion, a pace of play policy like that with penalties attached takes precedence over a "rule" which in actual practice is effectively nothing more than a recommendation.

post #12 of 22

I am certainly for ready golf. As usual, a little etiquette resolves most issues. I just ask "mind if I finish" or "okay if I finish" and I almost always get the nod.

post #13 of 22

The original reason it was a rule was the inheritance from matchplay when there could be a significant advantage if forcing the nearer player to wait to play and think about his knee trembler.

I seem to remember reading that it was the USGA who were more in favour of the pace of play aspect as it was a bigger problem over there.

However, my experience is that most people go with it unless the nearer putter is going to have to consider his stance or a nasty pace/borrow problem.

 

Incidentally, rules have to be read pedantically and forums such as this are the place to do the nit-picking. What's the point of a rules forum if the rules are not debated?

post #14 of 22

I normally putt out if:

1. I absolutely won't interfer with anothers line.

2. Its under 2'.  I don't like to think about those distances for too long.

post #15 of 22
Why are you guys putting one footers? Aren't they gimmies? a2_wink.gif lol...
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

The original reason it was a rule was the inheritance from matchplay when there could be a significant advantage if forcing the nearer player to wait to play and think about his knee trembler.

I seem to remember reading that it was the USGA who were more in favour of the pace of play aspect as it was a bigger problem over there.

However, my experience is that most people go with it unless the nearer putter is going to have to consider his stance or a nasty pace/borrow problem. 

 

Incidentally, rules have to be read pedantically and forums such as this are the place to do the nit-picking. What's the point of a rules forum if the rules are not debated?

 

I'm as pedant as anyone.  I try to balance that with the fact that most who come here don't know the rules very well and are here to learn something.  The OP asked a simple question which is governed by a pretty simple rule.  We got a little sidetracked with the minutia which is fine, I just hope the OP and everyone else is clear on the answer.  I doubt we helped him much with R22. a4_sad.gif

 

Your comments concerning Rule 10-2, along with the USGA's stance is pretty accurate.  That's pretty much what I got out of some of my workshops. 

 

BTW, don't know if you are aware of http://golfrules.freeforums.org/ but it's mostly RO's from your side of the pond. Much more "nit-picking".  I embarrass myself there fairly regularly.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

The original reason it was a rule was the inheritance from matchplay when there could be a significant advantage if forcing the nearer player to wait to play and think about his knee trembler.

I seem to remember reading that it was the USGA who were more in favour of the pace of play aspect as it was a bigger problem over there.

However, my experience is that most people go with it unless the nearer putter is going to have to consider his stance or a nasty pace/borrow problem.

 

Incidentally, rules have to be read pedantically and forums such as this are the place to do the nit-picking. What's the point of a rules forum if the rules are not debated?

 

Don't take me wrong - I'm an adamant "by the rules" guy.  It's how I play every round.  I would find it impossible to accept from myself taking an improper drop or using an improper relief procedure, or taking any action which might result in advancing my ball without benefit of making a stroke.  I call the penalty on myself if I accidentally move the ball even when playing alone.  I've been called a "rules nazi" on more than one golf forum.  Despite the cautious wording in the order of play rule, it is still effectively irrelevant in stroke play.  The only time I can see it as potentially affecting play is when the leaders in a stroke competition are paired in the final round and it comes down to the wire where it's almost a match situation.  I could see a player being picky about order of play in that case, but he still doesn't have any recourse if his fellow competitor decides to ignore propriety and play out of turn.  A rule without teeth is pretty much meaningless.  

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

BTW, don't know if you are aware of http://golfrules.freeforums.org/ but it's mostly RO's from your side of the pond. Much more "nit-picking".  I embarrass myself there fairly regularly.

 

It's a good site. There are some very experienced people there.

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