03 February 2017

Playing The Ball

Play the ball as it lies. Don’t try to improve your lie, the area of your intended stance or swing, or your line of play by: 

  • Moving, bending or breaking anything fixed or growing, except in fairly taking your stance or making your swing.
  • Pressing anything down. (Rule 13-2).

You must not play a wrong ball. You lose the hole (in match play) or you incur a two-stroke penalty (in stroke play) if you play the wrong ball (i.e. stray ball or a ball being used by another player). In stroke play, your stroke with the wrong ball will not be counted and you must correct the mistake by playing the correct ball (Rule 15-3).

Your ball sometimes is in a position where you can not see the identification mark. In order to avoid playing a wrong ball, you can notify your marker or opponent to identify it. After that, you may mark the position of the ball and lift it to identify it. However, according to Rule 12-2,  you can not clean the ball except to the extent necessary to identify it. 

When your ball lands in a bunker or a water hazard, there are a few things that should not be done:

  • Don’t touch the ground (or the water in a hazard) with your hand or club before your downswing.
  • Don’t move loose impediments (Rule 13-4)


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