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colin007

Putting Question

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so i like to get as much info on the slope of a putt by using my feet.  and i know that i cannot take a stance anywhere on the line of the putt and then put the putter head on the line to "feel" with my feet and the putter how the putt will break.

however - can i put the putter down on the inside or outside of the putting line?  like if i have a pretty straight 5 footer and i think it goes right a little bit, can i put the putter 6 inches outside the line but not directly on the line?

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Originally Posted by colin007

so i like to get as much info on the slope of a putt by using my feet.  and i know that i cannot take a stance anywhere on the line of the putt and then put the putter head on the line to "feel" with my feet and the putter how the putt will break.

however - can i put the putter down on the inside or outside of the putting line?  like if i have a pretty straight 5 footer and i think it goes right a little bit, can i put the putter 6 inches outside the line but not directly on the line?


See Rule 16-1:

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;
(iii) in measuring – Rule 18-6;
(iv) in lifting or replacing the ball – Rule 16-1b;
(v) in pressing down a ball-marker;
(vi) in repairing old hole plugs or ball marks on the putting green – Rule 16-1c; and
(vii)in removing movable obstructions – Rule 24-1.


(Indicating line for putting on putting green – see Rule 8-2b)

And Rule 8-2b:

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.


In essence, you are not allowed to place your club on your line of putt except immediately in front of your ball when addressing it. Line of putt:

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.



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Originally Posted by Ignorant

In essence, you are not allowed to place your club on your line of putt except immediately in front of your ball when addressing it. Line of putt:

Line of PuttThe “line of putt’’ is the line that the player wishes his ball to take aftera stroke on the putting green. Except with respect to Rule 16-1e, theline of putt includes a reasonable distance on either side of theintended line.



i think this is the only relevant part.  im not touching the line that i wish the putt to take.  so from there, what is a "reasonable distance on either side of the intended line"?  6 inches?  can i put my putter 8 inches on either side of the line?  can i "straddle" the line with my feet on one side and the putter on the other?

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Originally Posted by colin007

i think this is the only relevant part.  im not touching the line that i wish the putt to take.  so from there, what is a "reasonable distance on either side of the intended line"?  6 inches?  can i put my putter 8 inches on either side of the line?  can i "straddle" the line with my feet on one side and the putter on the other?


I think it depends on the putt and on your skill, and I suspect you'd better be conservative in your interpretation.  It's one of those cases where it's hard to give a better defintition, but you really need to be able to make a convincing case that you were comfortably off the intended line for it to fly.

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Originally Posted by colin007

i think this is the only relevant part.  im not touching the line that i wish the putt to take.  so from there, what is a "reasonable distance on either side of the intended line"?  6 inches?  can i put my putter 8 inches on either side of the line?  can i "straddle" the line with my feet on one side and the putter on the other?



Remember that one of the reasons why line of putt may not be touched is that touching the line might leave a mark on the ground which a player might benefit from. This is why touching the green when indicating a line of putt is forbidden (R8-2). So be careful when touching the green close to your line of putt.

Why do you have to do that in the first place? Why isn't is enough just to imitate putting without touching the ground?

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Originally Posted by Ignorant

Remember that one of the reasons why line of putt may not be touched is that touching the line might leave a mark on the ground which a player might benefit from. This is why touching the green when indicating a line of putt is forbidden (R8-2). So be careful when touching the green close to your line of putt.

Why do you have to do that in the first place? Why isn't is enough just to imitate putting without touching the ground?


I think it's to get a tactile feel for the slope of the ground.  Personally, I agree with your sentiment---while it's probably legal to touch the ground close to the line, it's such a grey area that I think it'd be better to train oneself to use a different method.  At the very least, I'd tell my playing partners exactly what I'm doing before doing this.  Even then, I can see it leading to disputes if you're playing with something on the line.  I also think the distance you'd need to be from the line to avoid controversy would be far enough that the benefit of this technique would be pretty small.

Actually, along the lines of Ignorant's suggestion, I do recall seeing pros walking along the line of their putt and pausing to take an "air putt" at a few locations.  I assume they're using the feel of their feet and body rather than touching the ground.  That seems a lot safer.

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Originally Posted by colin007

i think this is the only relevant part.  im not touching the line that i wish the putt to take.  so from there, what is a "reasonable distance on either side of the intended line"?  6 inches?  can i put my putter 8 inches on either side of the line?  can i "straddle" the line with my feet on one side and the putter on the other?


If you did this, then realised that you'd mis-read the slope and that your line of putt with your new read meant that you had actually touched the line of your putt (or the point you touched now was within that reasonable distance of your line), you would then need to penalise yourself for touching the line of your putt.

Not a risk I'd take.

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Very useful information, thanks!

Originally Posted by Ignorant

See Rule 16-1:

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;

(iii) in measuring – Rule 18-6;

(iv) in lifting or replacing the ball – Rule 16-1b;

(v) in pressing down a ball-marker;

(vi) in repairing old hole plugs or ball marks on the putting green – Rule 16-1c; and

(vii)in removing movable obstructions – Rule 24-1.

(Indicating line for putting on putting green – see Rule 8-2b)

And Rule 8-2b:

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.

In essence, you are not allowed to place your club on your line of putt except immediately in front of your ball when addressing it. Line of putt:

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.



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And while we're chatting about putting rules, does anyone know the logic or history of not being able to repair spike marks but being allowed to repair pitch marks? IMO, the spike mark rule should change.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

Is touching the line with your feet touching the line?



Yes it is. And if done on purpose, or if the line improves, ends up wth penalty.

Quote:

Decision 16-1a/12 Player Walks on Line of Putt:

Q: A player walked on his line of putt. Did he incur a penalty for a breach of Rule 16-1a?

A: Yes, if he did so intentionally. No, if he did so accidentally and the act did not improve the line.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

And while we're chatting about putting rules, does anyone know the logic or history of not being able to repair spike marks but being allowed to repair pitch marks? IMO, the spike mark rule should change.


I agree. The fear was that people could make a groove or something that'd keep their ball going to the hole, but I don't see that happening and you could word the rule in such a way that obvious attempts to do so would be punished. Probably would take less wording than it does now to explain what you can and can't fix.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

And while we're chatting about putting rules, does anyone know the logic or history of not being able to repair spike marks but being allowed to repair pitch marks? IMO, the spike mark rule should change.


I believe the reason is that while a pitch mark can be easily identified as such, a spike mark does not have such a consistent appearance.  Thus, it's relatively easy to allow pitch mark repair without giving an open pass to repair any imperfection in the green, whereas it would be harder to define what sort of a spike mark qualifies for repair.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

And while we're chatting about putting rules, does anyone know the logic or history of not being able to repair spike marks but being allowed to repair pitch marks? IMO, the spike mark rule should change.



The prohibition has to do with a couple of things.  One is simply a time factor.  Repairing all of the spike marks between your ball and the hole on a 40 foot putt could take 10 minutes.  The other reason is simply identifying them.  Some are quite obvious, others not so - who makes the determination?  It's easy to make a decision between you and your playing companion as to the identity of a pitch mark, not so easy to do it for a dozen or more potential spike marks.  If you are going to be allowed to repair anything, then instead of golfers we would have gardeners.

Then too, a spike mark simply doesn't have the same impact on the roll of the ball as a pitch mark does.

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I do recall seeing pros walking along the line of their putt and pausing to take an "air putt" at a few locations.  I assume they're using the feel of their feet and body rather than touching the ground.  That seems a lot safer.

Agreed. I see Web Simpson do this 'air putt' along the line. It is a solid tactic to feel the slope with your feet, and get an idea of how the ball would run along that line.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

The prohibition has to do with a couple of things.  One is simply a time factor.  Repairing all of the spike marks between your ball and the hole on a 40 foot putt could take 10 minutes.  The other reason is simply identifying them.  Some are quite obvious, others not so - who makes the determination?  It's easy to make a decision between you and your playing companion as to the identity of a pitch mark, not so easy to do it for a dozen or more potential spike marks.  If you are going to be allowed to repair anything, then instead of golfers we would have gardeners.

Then too, a spike mark simply doesn't have the same impact on the roll of the ball as a pitch mark does.


And here I thought the prohibition against repairing spike marks was to enable players to have an excuse for missed putts.  Cf. Nicklaus' missed putt on the 12th hole in the final round of the '86 Masters.  LOL

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Okay, looks like everyone agrees that repairing a pitch mark in your line is permitted. What about an old pitch mark that wasn't repaired properly that has caused the grass to die and create a small crater?

Are we allowed to raise up this crater? I mean it is a pitch mark...sort of

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Originally Posted by scv76

Okay, looks like everyone agrees that repairing a pitch mark in your line is permitted. What about an old pitch mark that wasn't repaired properly that has caused the grass to die and create a small crater?

Are we allowed to raise up this crater? I mean it is a pitch mark...sort of



Yes, you are allowed to repair it, but you don't raise it up to repair it.  That just kills the roots and takes even longer to grow back.  You press from the edges in toward the center to fill in the depression.

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Note: This thread is 3301 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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