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Can you test the green with your hand?

 
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Bluntboy

Joined: 07 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Can you test the green with your hand?

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I played in a matchplay comp today and the oposition had to chip onto the green. Before taking his shot he walked onto the green and tested the ground with his hand by pressing down with his fingers. The second green he tested I stopped him and told him that I didn't think he could do that. Does anyone know if this is a rule or not?
 
falcon50driver

Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1589

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject:

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I was watching the golf channel for a few minutes last night. I saw a player address a 3 foot putt, stop, reach forward, poked a divot tool in the green, and repair a pitch mark or spike mark in his line, tap it down with his putter, then made the putt. I thought that was taboo also.
 
Bluntboy

Joined: 07 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject:

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Now that you can do because at any time before putting you can stop and move an obstruction or repair a pitch or spike mark.
 
SingleDigits

Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:44 am    Post subject:

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You can't test the surface of the green per rule 16. Here's an excerpt (see 16-1d).

16-1. General

a. Touching Line of Putt

The line of putt must not be touched except:

(i) the player may remove loose impediments, provided he does not press anything down;
(ii) the player may place the club in front of the ball when addressing it, provided he does not press anything down;
(iii) in measuring - Rule 18-6;
(iv) in lifting or replacing the ball - Rule 16-1b;
(v) in pressing down a ball-marker;
(vi) in repairing old hole plugs or ball marks on the putting green - Rule 16-1c; and
(vii) in removing movable obstructions - Rule 24-1.

(Indicating line for putting on putting green - see Rule 8-2b.)

b. Lifting and Cleaning Ball

A ball on the putting green may be lifted and, if desired, cleaned. The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted, and the ball must be replaced (see Rule 20-1).

c. Repair of Hole Plugs, Ball Marks and Other Damage

The player may repair an old hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not the player's ball lies on the putting green. If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of the repair, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of repairing an old hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball. Otherwise, Rule 18 applies.

Any other damage to the putting green must not be repaired if it might assist the player in his subsequent play of the hole.

d. Testing Surface

During the stipulated round, a player must not test the surface of any putting green by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.

Exception: Between the play of two holes, a player may test the surface of any practice putting green and the putting green of the hole last played, unless the Committee has prohibited such action (see Note 2 to Rule 7-2).

Here's a pretty funny ruling: you can remove an acorn on the green but not repair the depression caused by the falling acorn.

16-1a/7 Player Repairs Depression on Line of Putt Created When Partially Embedded Acorn Removed

Q. A player removed with his hand an embedded acorn on his line of putt. The acorn was not solidly embedded, so it was a loose impediment. The player then repaired the depression in which the acorn lay. Was the repair of the depression a breach of Rule 16-1a?

A. Yes.

p.s. here's a link to the rules. http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rules-and-Decisions/
 
shoetick

Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:43 am    Post subject:

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Bluntboy wrote:
Now that you can do because at any time before putting you can stop and move an obstruction or repair a pitch or spike mark.


Spike marks you cannot fix. http://golf.about.com/cs/rulesofgolf/a/rulefaq_spike.htm
DougE

Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 1057

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject:

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Crazy idea here. Most courses encourage you to repair your ball marks, typically with signs around the greens or tees, as well as somewhere written on the scorecard. Unfortunately, many people just don't do so. However, in addition to your own, you are still allowed to repair any ballmark if it might be in your line (or someone else's for that matter). So you have some recourse on the green with a ball mark. But, since you aren't allowed to fix a spike mark, it might also be a good idea for courses/clubs/etiquette to request that players repair any large spike marks they create in consideration of their following golfers who can't legally do so for them. You would think it's common sense, but based on some of the holes I have approached, apparently it's not.
birdieXris

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 1047

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject:

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Bluntboy wrote:
I played in a matchplay comp today and the oposition had to chip onto the green. Before taking his shot he walked onto the green and tested the ground with his hand by pressing down with his fingers. The second green he tested I stopped him and told him that I didn't think he could do that. Does anyone know if this is a rule or not?


The correct ruling is stated in the long post above. He is penalized for testing the surface of the green. The key here is "before taking his shot" Had he completed the hole and THEN tested the surface before moving to the next tee (assuming the committee said he was allowed) he would have been ok. In this case,though, he should have been penalized not once but twice.

Don't forget to bring these issues up to committee after the round before the cards are signed. Tell the player that you believe he was in breach of the rules on those particular holes and suggest that he doesn't sign his card until it is figured out with the rules guys or the local pro. If he insists on signing saying he did nothing wrong, bring it up anyway and when you're right, get him DQ'd. there's no room for cheaters in competition golf IMO
 
falcon50driver

Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1589

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject:

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Spike marks around the hole (for amateurs) are not as big a problem as they once were, since metal spikes aren't allowed most places. But, what IS a problem, is people walking too close to the hole, and creating the "Volcano Effect". I know everyone has had the perfect putt roll directly to the hole, then instead of dropping in, it takes a right or left turn because the area around the hole is pushed up. Sometimes I think this might also be caused by people raking their ball out of the hole with their putter. (a hanging offense).
Rulesman
Joined: 07 Feb 2012
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject:

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birdieXris wrote:
Bluntboy wrote:
I played in a matchplay comp today and the oposition had to chip onto the green. Before taking his shot he walked onto the green and tested the ground with his hand by pressing down with his fingers. The second green he tested I stopped him and told him that I didn't think he could do that. Does anyone know if this is a rule or not?


The correct ruling is stated in the long post above. He is penalized for testing the surface of the green.


16-1a. Touching Line of Putt
The line of putt must not be touched except:
(i) the player may remove loose impediments, provided he does not press anything down;


He was not removing a loose impediment

16-1d. Testing Surface
During the stipulated round, a player must not test the surface of any putting green by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.


No mention of pressing down with his fingers.
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