No.25 Putting Infringements
 
 

 

 
Question 1:
In stroke play a player's ball is at rest a few inches from the hole and he walks up to it and drags it into the hole with his putter.
a) Has he incurred a penalty?
b) Does he have to take the putt again?
 
Answer 1:
a) Yes, two strokes.
b) No. The stroke counts, whether or not the putt was holed using this invalid method of striking the ball.

Rule 14-1 states;

"The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned."

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Question 2: What is the ruling if a player misses with his putt and then taps the ball back into the hole while it is still moving?

Answer 2: The putt stands but the player incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play, Rule 14-5.

 

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Question 3: A player lifts the flagstick and holds it with one hand while he putts with the other;
a) Does he incur a penalty if he holds the flagstick above the ground while he putts?
b) Does he incur a penalty if the flagstick touches the ground as he putts?
c) Does he incur a penalty if his ball hits the flagstick while he is holding it?
 
Answer 3:
a) No.
b) No.
c) Yes, two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.

A player is permitted to hold the flagstick with one hand while he putts with the other, providing the flagstick has been removed from the hole and the ball does not strike it, Decision 17-1/5. However, a player may not use the flagstick to assist him in making his putt, e.g. by resting against it for better balance.


 
Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,

 
Good golfing,
 
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