Friday, 15 June 2018


Challenging conditions on the 15th green
Yesterday I was playing a match with Margaret, Katy and June and we were up against 30 mile an hour winds. These conditions create rule queries. What happens if the ball is moved by the wind and what do you do about debris on the greens?

If you are about to putt and the wind moves your ball, then you play the ball from the new position where it has come to rest. If by chance the gust of wind is strong enough to blow your ball into the hole, then lucky you, you don’t have to count it as a stroke! With regard to  loose impediments on the green caused by the wind, prior to 2004 the rule stated you could only use your hand to remove debris to clear your line. With the rule change you can now use your hand, putter, towel etc… as long as you do not press down hard on the line of your putt otherwise you could be seen to be testing or improving the surface. Rule 16-1.

Another point to note is when indicating the line of a putt to your partner, you must not touch the putting surface with your finger, putter, flagstick or anything else. This applies to caddies as well. Rule 8-2.b

Penalty for Breach of Rule 16-1and 8-2.b:

Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.
Sandy Bushby
R&A Rules Qualified