No Penalty For Moving Your Ball On The Green

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

SwingU Instructor

A major rule change enacted last year is under Rule 13.1d – if a player accidentally moves his or her ball while on the putting green.

This rule basically corrects the one that was enacted in 2017.

Reasons for Change:

The shape, slope and condition of many putting greens today increase the chances that a ball at rest on the putting green might move, and it can be difficult to determine whether a player caused the ball to move or whether the ball was moved by wind or other natural causes.

When a ball moves while the player is doing nothing more than taking normal actions to prepare for a stroke, it can seem unfair for the player to be penalized.

Most “ball moved” situations occur on the putting green, involve minimal movement of the ball, frequently occur when the player is taking reasonable actions to prepare for a stroke and the ball can be easily replaced.

These considerations are not the same when the ball lies off the putting green, and so the penalty continues to apply (with exceptions, such as accidentally moving a ball during search) to a player or opponent in those circumstances to reinforce the principle that the ball should be played as it lies and that players should continue to exercise care when near to a ball in play.

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