Originally Posted by march11934
I have tried using a line on a ball for a little while. I did find a benefit of speeding up my approach for long lag puts where the cup is way outside my line of sight.
I just find it interesting where many of the rules of golf are about defining exactly what you can do and how you can do it. There is so much about not moving the ball, not touching the ball, not causing the ball to move, conditions when you may touché the ball, until a year or so ago the wind could cause you a stroke if the ball were to move just because you're standing over it and never touched it! But because you put a mark down on the green you can clean it and align it and so on. I don't see the consistency.
I have even read about the outrage of lift clean and place in Augusta. But i can't help but shake my head when they do it all day long on the greens.
I guess its a pet peeve of mine that won't go any further.
Look at it like this. The course is divided into four areas - the teeing ground of the hole being played, the putting green of the hole being played, all hazards, and through the green. For much of the 260 years since the rules were first codified, actions, allowances, and penalties were differentiated by where the ball lies. Either different rules applied, or the rules were applied differently if the ball lay in a hazard as opposed to the rough; you are allowed to take actions through the green which are not allowed in a water hazard. There are even certain differences between water hazards and bunkers in how some situations are dealt with. It comes down to a combination of maintaining playability and rewarding skillful play.
The reason for those differences is partly owed to an attempt in the rules to maintain playability. If the game becomes unplayable due to a lie or condition, doesn't it make sense to design a rule to alleviate that? Sometimes that relief comes with a penalty attached, other times it does not, again all depending on where the ball lies.
Wouldn't you think that it would be logical to allow certain acts when the ball lies on the putting green, simply because not allowing those acts could seriously impact the golfer's ability to play the game as it is intended? Cleaning the ball, repairing pitch marks become a necessity when play is on a surface where the ball will usually be rolling. In such a case, the game shouldn't be allowed to come down to luck just to keep the rules the same. That would be contrary to the spirit and intent of the rules.
The game of golf is about developing and using one's skill to navigate the course from tee to hole. Forcing the player to putt across old pitch marks with a dirty ball on modern, fast putting surfaces would be placing an undesirable level of luck into a part of the game which should demand a high degree of skill.