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Golfingdad

Fixing a Ball Mark Off the Green

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I hit my approach shot slightly long and ended up 3 feet onto the back fringe.  My ball mark (which was pretty substantial) was 1 foot onto the back fringe.  I would like to putt my next shot, but I am under the impression that I am not allowed to fix that ball mark.  Is that correct?

Follow-up:  What if the ball is off the green and the mark is on the green?

Follow-up to the follow-up:  What if the ball is ON the green, and the mark is off the green?  (One of those putts where the contours of the green force you to go through the fringe)

Thanks!

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There are two cases when you can repair the pitch mark before playing the shot.

  1. If the pitch mark is on green, irrespective where the ball is,
  2. if the pitch mark appears there after your ball has come to rest. That is when someone has hit same shot as you did,  but after you and left a pitch mark there.
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Originally Posted by luu5

There are two cases when you can repair the pitch mark before playing the shot.

2. if the pitch mark appears there after your ball has come to rest. That is when someone has hit same shot as you did,  but after you and left a pitch mark there.

What if you are not sure when the pitch mark was made?

i.e. a guy in your group hits a shot that lands in the neighborhood of your ball but there are several pitch marks in the same general area (possibly one from your ball and one from his, but you are not sure which is which)

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If you don't know which is his you can't repair it (or any others).

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Originally Posted by France46

Quote:

Originally Posted by luu5

There are two cases when you can repair the pitch mark before playing the shot.

2. if the pitch mark appears there after your ball has come to rest. That is when someone has hit same shot as you did,  but after you and left a pitch mark there.

What if you are not sure when the pitch mark was made?

i.e. a guy in your group hits a shot that lands in the neighborhood of your ball but there are several pitch marks in the same general area (possibly one from your ball and one from his, but you are not sure which is which)

If you can't identify the right one, then you can't repair any of them.

To GD.  The key is where your ball lies and then when the pitch mark was made.  If your ball lies off the green, then you can only repair a pitch mark off the green if it was made by another ball after your ball was at rest.  Otherwise any pitch mark off the green must remain until you have played your stroke.

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

If you don't know which is his you can't repair it (or any others).

In my case, it was pretty obvious the mark was mine, and so, to be safe, I left it alone.  I still used putter, by the way, and was so worried about avoiding the mark, that I forgot to not hit it 12 feet past the hole.  Whoops.

Now, another follow-up:  After I'm safely on the green, but others are still off, can I fix my mark then?  Or do I have to wait until everybody has finished the hole?

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Now, another follow-up:  After I'm safely on the green, but others are still off, can I fix my mark then?  Or do I have to wait until everybody has finished the hole?

You can fix your pitch mark, but as everybody else also has right to the line they had, they may request you to not fix it or to recreate it if you have already fixed it.

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Ball mark rules are a headache at some courses, especially one I play at where there is a sign near the first green that says "Respect our greens. Always fix your ball mark, as well as two others if possible, when coming on to the green. It will be appreciated by all. Signed Respectfully, The Membership."

Local rules, I know, but because of that sign, this course has some of the most well cared for greens in the area.

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Originally Posted by ApocG10

Ball mark rules are a headache at some courses, especially one I play at where there is a sign near the first green that says "Respect our greens. Always fix your ball mark, as well as two others if possible, when coming on to the green. It will be appreciated by all. Signed Respectfully, The Membership."

Local rules, I know, but because of that sign, this course has some of the most well cared for greens in the area.

It is good to repair all pitch marks on green, but it has "nothing" to do with rules. Local or not.

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Originally Posted by ApocG10

Ball mark rules are a headache at some courses, especially one I play at where there is a sign near the first green that says "Respect our greens. Always fix your ball mark, as well as two others if possible, when coming on to the green. It will be appreciated by all. Signed Respectfully, The Membership."

Local rules, I know, but because of that sign, this course has some of the most well cared for greens in the area.

Originally Posted by luu5

It is good to repair all pitch marks on green, but it has "nothing" to do with rules. Local or not.

Right.  Apoc is talking about a good "policy" that his course has to keep the greens in good shape (although I don't think I know anybody who is willing to fix multiple marks on the green who doesn't already do it on their own, seems like the sign is unnecessary) whereas my question(s) pertained to fixing a mark in the line of play during the hole.  :)

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Would you repair a pitch mark on another's line prior to his putt, without his request to do so?  I would not.

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Originally Posted by joekelly

Would you repair a pitch mark on another's line prior to his putt, without his request to do so?  I would not.

If I'm the first one on  the green, I'm not trying to read his putt so I don't really know what his exact line is, but I would fix a pitch mark unless he told me not to.  I wouldn't wait for his permission.  I have never in 40 years been asked not to so I'm not going to worry about it too much.  The key here being that I actually know how to do it correctly, so no one has ever had to redo any of my repairs.  I'd rather do it myself than leave it to the chance that he might ignore it, and then I have to do it while others may be waiting in the fairway to hit up.

If anyone was such a jerk that he'd complain about me trying to care for the course, I'm not likely to ever play with him again.

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I always look at the green walking up and fix as many pitch marks as I can (on the green) as we are preparing to putt out.

Pitch marks that are on the collars...usually I wait till everyone is safely on and they are not in anyone's line and then I will tamp those down with my putter.  Those pitch marks heal pretty well anyway.  It is the ones on the green that you have real issues with if they are not repaired.

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