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!

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