Originally Posted by luu5
Originally Posted by Fourputt
What you have to consider is that Tufts is focusing on the underlying principles, not the actual playing rules. The rules depart from those principles as necessary to preserve the playability of the game. The option of marking and lifting the ball from the green didn't come into the rules until greens became more well manicured, to the point that putting was more of a science than a mix of art and luck. Because of that change in the way courses were maintained, dirt or mud or whatever on the ball had a more direct and negative effect on play, thus a modification of the principle was reasonable.
Good reasoning but it would be great to know the source behind such thinking.
Lifting on green has in different forms been allowed for over one hundred years and in certain cases from late 18th century. So it is not just modern nonsense...
Once the stymie rule was removed, lifting on the green became fairly standard. Prior to that, such lifting in match play was only allowed if the balls were within 6 inches of each other. Even in the original 1744 rules there was the first allowance for lifting a ball if it interfered with the play of another, although at that time they had to be touching. I don't know how they treated it if one was 1/4" away from the other. In 1807 this was added to the medal play rules for the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society:
1. That the system to be observed is not the Brunonian, but expressly the Leith system, lifting the opponent’s ball if it should in any way obstruct playing to the hole.
It appears to apply to play anywhere outside of what we now call a water hazard. It's hard to tell for sure because the wording still left a lot of room for misunderstanding. A lot of the maintenance and record keeping on the rules was still word of mouth. As far as I can tell, it still did not apply to match play outside of the 6 inch proximity until the stymie rule was repealed. You can tell from the wording here that they were still battling with different rules procedures for different clubs.