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boil3rmak3r

Is it bad etiquette to replace your ball on the green while someone else is lining up their putt?

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A quick look says 1952.  And maybe that isn't the important part - just an anecdote.  The point being that if you have a 20 footer and I have a 15 footer and our lines are at right angles to each other, I wouldn't think it should bother anyone if I get my ball on the ground and start getting ready at the same time.

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Originally Posted by johnny2balls

First of all great question.  I've thought about it many times as I like to keep things going and often time will put my ball down at the same time someone else is replacing theirs b/c it's their turn to putt.  I don't do it when my  ball is anywhere near their line. Nor do I do it when they have started their pre-shot routine.  I'm pro-active and do it at the same time they are replacing their own ball.

Here's the way I've always seen this issue--#2 should sum it all up:

1) who says you even need to mark your ball and clean it if it's not on someones line?  If your ball is clean (or you simply don't care about cleaning your ball as many don't care) who says you can't just leave it be after your shot onto the green and step up and hit it when it's your turn.

2) If it's not on anybody's line you're fine to leave it after your approach shot.  So if you're fine to leave your ball and never mark it to begin with then what's the big deal about replacing it before it's your turn.  Answer is, it's not a big deal.  Some people may have an issue with it but that's their problem not yours. Because I would assume (or hope) they have no issue with you not even marking your ball as long as it's not on or close to their line.

This whole idea of marking every single putt is from watching the pros do it on tv.  If I leave a long putt 4' short and someone else is still out and my ball is not on their line, I leave it most of the time.  I don't go then mark it for a second time. I leave it and then putt it when it's my turn and nobody has a problem with that.

Actually, you are never required to lift your ball unless asked to do so, or unless your ball is in a position to assist another player in his stroke.  All of this marking and lifting is monkey see, monkey do from watching the pros.  Unless your ball actually has something chunky adhering to it, cleaning it is not a necessary preface to rolling a good putt.  And I'm not even going to start on the drawing a 1.6" line on the ball and thinking that it is actually of significance in lining up a 25 foot putt.

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I rarely mark my ball and pick it up. I mark it (usually with my putter) to rotate it quickly so that the plain, blank side of the ball is up so that I'm not looking at distracting lines or logos or lettering. If it's not on anyone else's line, why would I need to pick it up?

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Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey

A quick look says 1952.  And maybe that isn't the important part - just an anecdote.  The point being that if you have a 20 footer and I have a 15 footer and our lines are at right angles to each other, I wouldn't think it should bother anyone if I get my ball on the ground and start getting ready at the same time.

I would agree, but you have to know who you are playing with.  Sometimes when this happens to me I will have to ask whose turn it is.  I can't always tell who is away and I don't want to putt just before someone else putts, nor would I want someone to do this to me.  If they are a slower putter you should let them get started in their routine before placing your ball.

Like someone said earlier you can read a put without having the ball in place.

If you are someone that uses the line on the ball I understand you want the ball in place.  On another subject about putting using the line, you can put your ball down and take a look and make an adjustment if you want to, but don't make a second adjustment or god forbid a third.  If you find yourself doing this there is a product that might be able to get rid of one of those adjustments. http://thesandtrap.com/t/18200/anyone-else-buy-a-scotty-cameron-ball-tool

Edit:  I also wanted to say that I don't have a problem with you replacing your ball well before your shot but I think replacing it at the same time as someone else causes confusion.  I don't like people acting like they are about to putt when I am putting

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Like someone said earlier you can read a put without having the ball in place.   On another subject about putting using the line, you can put your ball down and take a look and make an adjustment if you want to, but don't make a second adjustment or god forbid a third Edit:  I also wanted to say that I don't have a problem with you replacing your ball well before your shot but I think replacing it at the same time as someone else causes confusion.  I don't like people acting like they are about to putt when I am putting

If you're ok with someone else reading their putt while you are getting ready, what's the difference between them having a ball marker on the green or the actual ball? I don't get it. When I replace my ball and it's not my turn, I immediately walk 10' behind the ball and just stand there. I don't give the impression that I am preparing to putt. Is this ok? Off topic, but your ball alignment thing drives me nuts, too. There are two golfers in our group that line up the line on their ball for a DRIVE! It's not uncommon for them to back up, check the line, then adjust it - more than once, even. It drives me nuts...

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You SHOULD be reading your putt while someone else is putting if you aren't in their line.

And if they are putting with their back to you, you SHOULD be replacing your ball so you are ready to go.

Obviously, you don't do either when you are near the hole because it will be in their peripheral vision.

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Originally Posted by mad max

Edit:  I also wanted to say that I don't have a problem with you replacing your ball well before your shot but I think replacing it at the same time as someone else causes confusion.  I don't like people acting like they are about to putt when I am putting

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply putting the ball down and taking practice strokes at the exact same time as a guy who is about the same distance away as I am.  I get that.  But things like never marking it in the first place or getting it back on the ground while no one is actually putting shouldn't be a big deal and can save a little time.

I think the marking has gotten to be something everyone feels they should do as part of etiquette - even if they aren't in the way or the ball doesn't need cleaning. And even if you use the sharpie line, you could still mark, line up, and unmark in one motion that could save a little time.  But 4 guys marking, picking up, then going with a 1-ball on the green at a time kind of concept just seems slow and unnecessary to me.  I think that trend is headed in the wrong direction.

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I believe the simple answer to the OP's question is, it depends upon the people you're playing with.  Most of the fellows I play with would not object to someone replacing their ball while they preparing to putt (certainly given that your not in their line or close to it).  However once they stand over the ball most would object to movement withing their eyesight and it would, IMO, be bad form to replace your ball at that time.  The human eye is pretty sensitive to movement even in the peripheral vision.

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Casual rounds with my buddies, sometimes we don't even mark our ball if it is not in the way or a chance it might be hit by a bad putt.  However, if I am playing with strangers, playing in a tournament or match...I mark my ball if I am not away and it stays marked until it is my turn to putt.  Really, for me, I could care less as long as you are not moving around, fidgeting with your ball or putter.  Just stand still till I putt, don't move and we will be all good even if your ball is on the putting surface.

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Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply putting the ball down and taking practice strokes at the exact same time as a guy who is about the same distance away as I am.  I get that.  But things like never marking it in the first place or getting it back on the ground while no one is actually putting shouldn't be a big deal and can save a little time.

I think the marking has gotten to be something everyone feels they should do as part of etiquette - even if they aren't in the way or the ball doesn't need cleaning. And even if you use the sharpie line, you could still mark, line up, and unmark in one motion that could save a little time.  But 4 guys marking, picking up, then going with a 1-ball on the green at a time kind of concept just seems slow and unnecessary to me.  I think that trend is headed in the wrong direction.

I agree but unless discussed before the round it can create confusion. I play quick and I carry a damp rag to the green to clean my ball. I mark it, clean it and have it back on the green in a few seconds and I because I often play alone sometimes I'm in my own world even when playing with others. I've had people stop their own routine thinking I am going to putt when all I intended to do was place the ball and back away. I usually don't pick up my marker until I am ready to putt. The time saver for me is its one step done and I can use the time to walk the green and feel it with my feet when it is my turn but some people don't get it. But IMO it really depends on where the balls are relative to the line of the putt. Chances are your playing partner can't tell if your putt is breaking 6" or 6' unless they face a similar putt. A ball on the same side of the hole could be distracting.

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Originally Posted by Dave2512

I agree but unless discussed before the round it can create confusion.... I've had people stop their own routine thinking I am going to putt when all I intended to do was place the ball and back away.

Yeah, I have had that happen too.  And I think it is because of the growing trend of doing it like the TV guys and a perception that this is really how it should be done.  And I don't know - maybe it is written somewhere that this is the proper etiquette.  But even if it is, I don't think it should be.

Originally Posted by Dave2512

I mark it, clean it and have it back on the green in a few seconds

That is a great move

Originally Posted by Dave2512

But IMO it really depends on where the balls are relative to the line of the putt. Chances are your playing partner can't tell if your putt is breaking 6" or 6' unless they face a similar putt. A ball on the same side of the hole could be distracting.

I wouldn't leave it anywhere I would consider questionable.  And if someone thinks my ball is in the way, I will gladly move it on request.  And I'm not sure why he would need to know how my put is breaking if he is about to hit his and my ball won't be moving anyway.  But I don't think a ball in someones field of vision should be considered a distraction if it clearly won't be in the way of the putt.  We are just getting too sensitive at that point.

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Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r

Quote:

Originally Posted by mad max

Like someone said earlier you can read a put without having the ball in place.

On another subject about putting using the line, you can put your ball down and take a look and make an adjustment if you want to, but don't make a second adjustment or god forbid a third

Edit:  I also wanted to say that I don't have a problem with you replacing your ball well before your shot but I think replacing it at the same time as someone else causes confusion.  I don't like people acting like they are about to putt when I am putting

If you're ok with someone else reading their putt while you are getting ready, what's the difference between them having a ball marker on the green or the actual ball? I don't get it.

When I replace my ball and it's not my turn, I immediately walk 10' behind the ball and just stand there. I don't give the impression that I am preparing to putt. Is this ok?

Off topic, but your ball alignment thing drives me nuts, too. There are two golfers in our group that line up the line on their ball for a DRIVE! It's not uncommon for them to back up, check the line, then adjust it - more than once, even. It drives me nuts...

No I have no problem with having a ball on the green when I putt.  I just think if you have marked and the only time that you can replace the ball without possibly disturbing someone else, is when another player is replacing and getting ready to putt, you should wait unless you know each others putting habits and it won't create uncertainty as to who is going to putt first.

Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey

Quote:

Originally Posted by mad max

Edit:  I also wanted to say that I don't have a problem with you replacing your ball well before your shot but I think replacing it at the same time as someone else causes confusion.  I don't like people acting like they are about to putt when I am putting

I think the marking has gotten to be something everyone feels they should do as part of etiquette - even if they aren't in the way or the ball doesn't need cleaning. And even if you use the sharpie line, you could still mark, line up, and unmark in one motion that could save a little time.  But 4 guys marking, picking up, then going with a 1-ball on the green at a time kind of concept just seems slow and unnecessary to me.  I think that trend is headed in the wrong direction.

I agree, most of the time if I am nowhere near any ones line or close to the hole I will just put my putter down to mark the ball.  I then take a quick look at it to make sure there is no mud on it, take a quick wipe on my pants so I look like I had a reason to pick the ball up in the first place.  I will then leave the ball there until it is my turn.  I don't think a grass stain has ever caused me to miss a putt.

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How about we all stop thinking it's really necessary for us to mark every time we get to the green? Only mark and pick up if it's on someone else's line.

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Originally Posted by colin007

How about we all stop thinking it's really necessary for us to mark every time we get to the green? Only mark and pick up if it's on someone else's line.

I have to mark mine to get the moon dust and burn marks off...

Oh wait, wrong thread.

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Originally Posted by colin007

How about we all stop thinking it's really necessary for us to mark every time we get to the green? Only mark and pick up if it's on someone else's line.

Not sure what course conditions are where you play but I mark because my ball usually has a smear of mud or grass from the previous shots on it. I mark, clean and put it right back down if not in someone's line and spend time looking at my putt until it's my turn.

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Not sure what course conditions are where you play but I mark because my ball usually has a smear of mud or grass from the previous shots on it. I mark, clean and put it right back down if not in someone's line and spend time looking at my putt until it's my turn.

Yeah, my issue is the guys that just automatically mark their ball and then stick it in their pocket, then look around cluelessly waiting for someone to either putt or tell them to putt...

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Yeah, my issue is the guys that just automatically mark their ball and then stick it in their pocket, then look around cluelessly waiting for someone to either putt or tell them to putt...

I'm with you on that! Maybe we can email a suggestion to the "While we're young" campaign folks and suggest the do a commercial featuring this kind of stuff. Scenario - first guy takes 45 seconds to read his putt and make a stroke. Only after he walks up and taps in his gimme does the second guy replace his ball and start his own 1 minute long green reading and putt prep routine...

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Originally Posted by colin007

Yeah, my issue is the guys that just automatically mark their ball and then stick it in their pocket, then look around cluelessly waiting for someone to either putt or tell them to putt...

Heck I do it because it helps me play better to be efficient and it stems from being a mediocre golfer. The sooner I get my ball back on the green the more time I have to try and figure out what to do with it.

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Note: This thread is 2664 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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