Local Rule for Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green
The Short and Sweet
Rule 18-2 States that if a ball on the putting green while in play moves at fault of the player there will be a one stroke penalty and the ball will be replaced to its original location. If the player is not at fault then no penalty shall be insured and the ball will be played as it lies. In addition, a local rule may be enforced allowing for all instances of accidental ball movement to be without stroke penalty. This is decided at the local level.
Rule 18-2 : provides for a one-stroke penalty if a player causes his ball in play to move, unless certain exceptions apply. Decision 18-2/0.5 explains that when it is uncertain what caused a ball to move, all relevant information must likely be considered and the weight of the evidence must be evaluated. If it is more likely than not that the player caused the ball to move, then player incurs a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 and the ball must be replaced. Otherwise, the player incurs no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies unless some other rule applies. (e.g. Rule 18-1)
Starting 1 January 2017, a Committee may adopt a Local Rule that modifies Rule 18-2 by providing that there is no penalty if a player accidentally causes his ball on the putting green to move. For consistency, this Local Rule also modifies Rule 18-3 to eliminate the similar penalty in match play when an opponent accidentally causes the player’s ball on the putting green to move.
As a related issue, this Local Rule also modifies Rule 20-1 by providing that there is no penalty if a player or his opponent accidentally causes the player’s ball-marker on the putting green to move.
If a Committee wishes to introduce such a Local Rule, the following wording is recommended.
“Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green”
Rules 18-2, 18-3, and 20-1 are modified as follows:
When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.
The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2 18-3 and 20-1
This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
Note: if it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water, or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.
OHCC Local Golf Rule regarding Lift-Clean-Place during wet conditions no longer includes bunkers.
From this point forward, when the lift-clean-place rule is in effect it will only apply to a ball lying in your own fairway. You may still be entitled to relief from casual water in a bunker under Rule 25-1(b)(ii). Details »
Revised local rules March, 2011
- NEWLY PLANTED, TRANSPLANTED OR YOUNG TREES: Trees that are staked, wired, and/or marked with a ribbon. Relief: Stance and swing plus one club length from stake, wire, and/or tree. No penalty.
- 150 YARD MARKERS AND FLOWER BEDS: Relief: Stance and swing plus one club length. No penalty.
- TREE WELLS: Ball in tree wells on the eighth, tenth and sixteenth holes. Relief: Stance and swing plus one club length. No penalty.
- LARGE ROCKS IN FAIRWAY AND ROUGH: First hole located on right side of green, eleventh hole behind green, fourteenth hole near 150 yard marker, seventeenth hole near 100 yard marker, eighteenth hole near 150 yard marker. Relief: Stance, swing, and line of sight, plus one club length. No penalty.
- FOURTH HOLE Relief: Roped-off open hole near left side of fairway. Relief: Stance and swing plus one club length. No penalty.
- CART PATHS: A road or path, which has been, surfaced with anything artificial, i.e. concrete, tar, wood chips, ash, etc. (including dirt paths which are extensions of cart paths) Relief: Stance and swing plus one club length. No penalty.
- EMBEDDED BALL: Anywhere “through the green*” a ball which is embedded in it’s own pitch mark in the ground, except in loose sand, may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay, but not nearer the hole.
- ROCK WALLS: All rock walls are an integral part of the golf course. No relief.
- TWELFTH HOLE: The water hazard on #13 is to be played as a lateral hazard.
In the tradition of golf, each association member is expected to exercise good judgement, integrity, and honesty in questionable areas.
* Through the green is the whole area of the course except:
a. The teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played; and
b. All hazards on the course.