Lifting a Ball to Identify It


Well looks like a lot more golf is being played now the better weather is with us, I am receiving more questions onRules of Golf and Handicapping.

Ball in Rough.jpg

This post will deal with the query ‘May a player lift his/her ball in the rough in order to identify it?’

The answer is yes provided you follow the procedure set out in the current Rules of Golf, 12-2, and that is:

  1. Before lifting the ball the player must announce his/her intention to his/her opponent in Match Play or his/her Marker or Fellow-competitor in Stroke Play
  2. Mark the position of the Ball
  3. The ball may be lifted provided the player gives his/her opponent, marker or fellow-competitior an opportunity to observe the lifting and replacement
  4. The ball must not be cleaned beyond the extent sufficient to be able to identify it
  5. The ball must be replaced in its original location and rotation as that in which it was found

Failure to comply wth all or any part of this procedure, or the ball is liftedto identify it without good reason to do so, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke, both in Match Play and Stroke Play. If the ball is the player’s ball, s/he must replace it, if s/he fails to do so s/he incurs the general penalty of Loss of Hole in Match Play or Two Strokes in Stroke Play.

Lifting also encompasses ‘rolling/rotating the ball’, which many amateurs do.

NOTE: In the New Rules of Golf 2019, Rule 7.3, a player will not have to announce her/his intention to lift a ball for identification. The act of rotating the ball, instead,  is also mentioned specifically

In Match Play a player may overlook her/his opponent’s  infringement to this rule if s/he wishes, feeling that the opponent has not gained any significant advantage by doing so.

This last point can apply to most rules during Match Play, provided players have not agreed beforehand on actions they will take over certain rules or do not agree to waiver any Rule of Golf.

Enjoy your golf!

Rules of Golf 2019 – Proposed Changes to Definitions 2019

Proposed Changes to the Rules of Golf Definitions 2019

Following on from the last blog, which outlined the Rules of Golf that would not be changed, the next stage in understanding the Rules of Golf for 2019 is to understand the definitions and the proposed changes to these definitions.

Understanding the definitions is essential to understanding the Rules of Golf and their application.

The R&A and USGA Chart below introduces these changes and divides them into :-

  1. Changes to definitions already used in the current Rules of Golf
  2. New definitions added to the Rules of Golf 2019
  3. Proposed new or Changed Undefined Terms to be used in the New Rules of Golf 2019

Please click on Proposed Changes in Definitions 2019 to view these charts.