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Changing Balls During Play

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sure this will be fairly simple but I didn't see it in a search.  What's the rule for changing out a ball during play - and I mean changing from a ball tee to green, then a ball for putting.  Reason I ask is I am searching for relief from bad putting, I've just started back playing from a long layoff (maybe 15yrs) and now at 61yo, I can enjoy the game again.  I love to watch golf nowaday since HD tv;  it makes it so much better to watch, I feel like I've learned just from watching.

 

And I figure that one thing to do is start striping my ball (like some of the pros).  It makes sense.  With this, I just don't notice the pros 'stripe' when playing from tee to green.  Do they change to a putting ball when putting ?  Is it in the rules to play a ball tee to green or any other place during the hole, then change to the striped ball ?

 

And a second adjustment I am planning is to change to the fatter grip than the standard size I have.

 

Putting is not terrible bad, I'm just looking for more consistency, especially on those long lags.  I realize that grains and stuff change putt to putt but I'm looking for some physical change to help with the practice part. 

 

thanks, Burr

Edited by burr

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4 minutes ago, burr said:

What's the rule for changing out a ball during play - and I mean changing from a ball tee to green, then a ball for putting.

Check section 15 under USGA Rules,

Quote

15-2. Substituted Ball

A player may substitute a ball when proceeding under a Rule that permits the player to play, drop or place another ball in completing the play of a hole. The substituted ball becomes the ball in play.

If a player substitutes a ball when not permitted to do so under the Rules (including an unintentional substitution when a wrong ball is dropped or placed by the player), that substituted ball is not a wrong ball; it becomes the ball in play. If the mistake is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6 and the player makes a stroke at an incorrectly substituted ball, he loses the hole in match play or incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play under the applicable Rule and, in stroke play, must play out the hole with the substituted ball.

Exception: If a player incurs a penalty for making a stroke from a wrong place, there is no additional penalty for substituting a ball when not permitted.

The only time you can change a ball is before starting a hole, when you lose your ball and require to drop a new one. This can include a ball into water and you can not retrieve it.

You can not switch out golf balls when you mark it on the green.

8 minutes ago, burr said:

Reason I ask is I am searching for relief from bad putting, I've just started back playing from a long layoff (maybe 15yrs) and now at 61yo, I can enjoy the game again.  I love to watch golf nowaday since HD tv;  it makes it so much better to watch, I feel like I've learned just from watching

That has little to no effect.

Here's the thing. Do you want to play golf just to have fun, or do you really care to play by the rules 100% of the time? If you just want to enjoy playing golf then substitute out a new ball all you want. If you ever play in a golf league you might want to curb that habit if they call you out on it.

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OK, thanks.  I have just never (it seems) seen the stripe on other shots, other than when the stripe comes into play.

 

and it probably depends on who I'm playing with.

 

I have discovered that the type ball makes a very significant difference in my play,  maybe biggest difference.

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Yeah, when Tour players draw a line on their ball, it's there on all shots...like @saevel25 mentioned, technically you're not allowed to use a different ball when putting than you use on full shots. 

Keep in mind, most players don't draw a line all the way around the ball.  It goes about 1/3 of the way around, or 1/2 at most.  That is all that is needed for lining up a putt.  On tee shots, some players may use the line, but personally I tee the ball up with the line underneath so it can't be seen, or it can be positioned on the side.  On approach shots or short game shots there is not anything you can do...it could be in any position.  But the reason you haven't seen any except on the greens during a telecast could be because they are actually not very big and are often times drawn over the sidestamp, so they kind of blend in so-to-speak.

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As long as you're not playing in "sanctioned" events, do whatever makes you happy. I've played in league scrambles where guys would tee off with a "distance" ball and then drop a "spinny" ball for their approach shot to the green!

In short, you are expected to finish the hole with ball you teed off with, provided it isn't lost or damaged so badly that it is unplayable.

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6 hours ago, Rulesman said:

The vibes are suggesting that if you keep a handicap, posted rounds will have to be played strictly to the RoG.

I have conflicting concerns about this.  I agree that scores posted for handicap should be played under the Rules of Golf.  This means you can't substitute a "putting ball" when you get on the green.  On the other hand, the current USGA Handicap Rules require you to post your score whenever you play, as long as you play with someone else, play a minimum number of holes, etc.  So to knowingly break a rule by substituting a ball, and then not post a score because you didn't play according to the Rules, should bring you to the attention of a diligent handicap committee.  I'd rather have a player post the score, even with a relatively minor transgression like this, than to not post.

My advice, then, is play a single ball, mark a line if you like, and ignore the line until you get to the green.  Get used to doing it the right way.  

On 2/19/2018 at 9:27 AM, burr said:

Putting is not terrible bad, I'm just looking for more consistency, especially on those long lags.  I realize that grains and stuff change putt to putt but I'm looking for some physical change to help with the practice part. 

One more thing, on really long putts, the line is generally not as difficult as the speed.  You probably miss more putts 5 feet long or short than you do 5 feet left or right.  Putting an alignment aid on your golf ball isn't going to help with speed, that just comes with practice.  

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FWIW, those lines are not all that helpful as it's basically been proven that people are notoriously poor at actually getting them aimed correctly.

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6 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

FWIW, those lines are not all that helpful as it's basically been proven that people are notoriously poor at actually getting them aimed correctly.

Yep.

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14 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

FWIW, those lines are not all that helpful as it's basically been proven that people are notoriously poor at actually getting them aimed correctly.

 

8 minutes ago, iacas said:

Yep.

I'll add a big yes to this.  I don't use lines anymore after my Edel putter fitting, they don't help me at all.

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On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 6:27 AM, burr said:

And I figure that one thing to do is start striping my ball (like some of the pros).  It makes sense.  With this, I just don't notice the pros 'stripe' when playing from tee to green.  Do they change to a putting ball when putting ?  Is it in the rules to play a ball tee to green or any other place during the hole, then change to the striped ball ?

Striping the ball will allow you to see if your putt was struck well or not.

If you see a solid line then you know you hit it pretty square. You can also use it to align your putter then your feet. Unfortunately, it doesn't guarantee that you found the correct line or not, it only helps you keep it in on the chosen line.

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26 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

One more thing, on really long putts, the line is generally not as difficult as the speed.  You probably miss more putts 5 feet long or short than you do 5 feet left or right.  Putting an alignment aid on your golf ball isn't going to help with speed, that just comes with practice. 

I agree, just trying to work on concentration (I guess) more than anything.  and the line would add focus maybe and re-assurance (since they are not helpful from the replies).

 

How about the oversize grip idea ?  I have a relaxed light grip in all my swings including the putt, again just trying to find something.  and I am one that does not mind practice (but getting to the course is another thing altogether)

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

Striping the ball will allow you to see if your putt was struck well or not.

If you see a solid line then you know you hit it pretty square. You can also use it to align your putter then your feet. Unfortunately, it doesn't guarantee that you found the correct line or not, it only helps you keep it in on the chosen line.

@Lihu, you're making several assumptions here:

  • That people are capable of putting the line exactly on the top of the ball.
  • That people are capable of lining the line up exactly where they want to hit the ball.
  • That people are capable of lining up a line on the ball to their putter.
  • That people then don't change their minds after the line is there re: where they want to start the ball.

In my experience, ALL of those are met an incredibly small % of the time. The second one, in my testing, 90% of people can't point the line on a ball into the hole (any of the 4.25") from 10'.

People can't do it.

Lines are pointless. They waste time, and they don't help.

And, consider the basic geometry. Even if you can put the line on the top of the ball… if your eyes are not directly over it, the line will be curved.

#StopDrawingLines

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

 On the other hand, the current USGA Handicap Rules require you to post your score whenever you play, as long as you play with someone else, play a minimum number of holes, etc. 

No. The USGA system says:-

To post a 9-hole score, the player must play 7 to 12 holes, and at least 7 holes must be played under the Rules of Golf. To post an 18-hole score, the player must play at least 13 holes under the Rules of Golf.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, iacas said:

@Lihu, you're making several assumptions here:

  • That people are capable of putting the line exactly on the top of the ball.
  • That people are capable of lining the line up exactly where they want to hit the ball.
  • That people are capable of lining up a line on the ball to their putter.
  • That people then don't change their minds after the line is there re: where they want to start the ball.

In my experience, ALL of those are met an incredibly small % of the time. The second one, in my testing, 90% of people can't point the line on a ball into the hole (any of the 4.25") from 10'.

People can't do it.

Lines are pointless. They waste time, and they don't help.

And, consider the basic geometry. Even if you can put the line on the top of the ball… if your eyes are not directly over it, the line will be curved.

#StopDrawingLines

Actually, I intuitively observed what you state, but my previous instructor told me to do that. My current one didn’t mention anything about a line or not? Maybe your data demonstrates why?

I did putt better than usual in San Diego though. Possibly easier putting? Went from an average 37 to a 34 on that course first time playing it. Or just luck...

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52 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

No. The USGA system says:-

To post a 9-hole score, the player must play 7 to 12 holes, and at least 7 holes must be played under the Rules of Golf. To post an 18-hole score, the player must play at least 13 holes under the Rules of Golf.

I understand that, and I indicated that I understand that, and I recommended that the OP follow the rules, but some people just won't do that.  So after the fact, what do we do?  Consider in your home club, a player registers to play a non-competition round and post it for handicap purposes, or whatever is appropriate for posting a supplementary score.  He does as indicated, substitutes a "putting ball."  He doesn't post the score.  If you're on the handicap committee, do you have a problem with him NOT posting a score, even though he indicated his intention to post it?  Should he assess himself penalties for illegally substituting a ball, and then post the inflated score?  Do you assess some type of penalty against him for intentionally violating the Rules in order to disqualify his score from being legitimate?  

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2 hours ago, NM Golf said:

FWIW, those lines are not all that helpful as it's basically been proven that people are notoriously poor at actually getting them aimed correctly.

You have to look at it this way.  you draw a line that's about 1.5" long.  You line it up for a 20 foot putt.  If you misalign the ball by 1/64" (which is actually quite accurate for most people doing it by eyeballing - it's more likely to be off by 1/32" or more), in 20 feet you will be off by 2.5", 1/32" you will be off by 5", more than a full hole.  And that's only if you actually line the putter up to the ball perfectly and strike it perfectly.

The line seems to help some people's confidence, which can be important in making a good stroke, but it's not much real help in a physical sense.

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23 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I understand that, and I indicated that I understand that, and I recommended that the OP follow the rules, but some people just won't do that.  So after the fact, what do we do?  Consider in your home club, a player registers to play a non-competition round and post it for handicap purposes, or whatever is appropriate for posting a supplementary score.  He does as indicated, substitutes a "putting ball."  He doesn't post the score.  If you're on the handicap committee, do you have a problem with him NOT posting a score, even though he indicated his intention to post it?  Should he assess himself penalties for illegally substituting a ball, and then post the inflated score?  Do you assess some type of penalty against him for intentionally violating the Rules in order to disqualify his score from being legitimate?  

Clubs in the CONGU and EGA territories have procedures (which cannot involve RoG penalties) in place to deal with such players.

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