No.54 Pre-putt Routine

Question 1:
A left-handed player places their putter head in front of the ball as part of their putting routine;
a) Do they incur a penalty if they do not press anything down while doing so?
b) Do they incur a penalty if they do press down on the putting surface while doing so?

Answer 1:
a) No.
b) Yes.

Exception (ii) to Rule 16-1a permits a player to place their club in front of the ball when addressing it, providing they do not press anything down.

Question 2:
On a calm day with no wind, a player's ball moves after they have placed their putter head down in front of it as part of their putting routine. Do they incur a penalty even if their club did not touch the ball?

Answer 2:
Yes, the player incurs a one stroke penalty under Rule 18-2b.

Definition of Addressing the Ball;
A player has "addressed the ball" when he has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance.
The Exception to Rule 18-2b does not apply;
Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply.

Question 3:
If a player forgets to lift their ball marker when they replace their ball and then putt, do they incur a penalty?

Answer 3:

Note: Under Rule 20-4, a ball is in play when it is replaced, whether or not the object used to mark its position has been removed. Providing a player is not using their ball-marker to indicate their intended line of putt there is no penalty for leaving it in place while putting.


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