Rules and
Decisions

Source GolfDigest.com April 2011
Author – Ron Kaspriske, Illustration by Zohar Lazar


Hey, can I touch that?

10 things you're allowed to do when your ball is on the green.

  1. It's OK to sweep away loose impediments with your hand, hat, glove (even a DustBuster). Just remember not to press anything down.
    Decision 16-1a/8

  2. It's OK to stand astride or with a foot touching your line of putt when you tap in if you're doing so to avoid interference with someone's line.
    Rule 16-1e

  3. It's OK when tending the flag to place it on the ground and then pick it up to move it if a ball putted from the green might strike it.
    Decision 17-1/7

  4. It's OK to remove a flagstick with one hand and tap in with your other hand, provided your ball doesn't strike any part of the flagstick.
    Decision 17-1/5

  5. It's OK if you accidently step on your line of putt, as long as you don't improve the line.
    Decision 16-1a/12

  6. It's OK to use a golf shaft to mark the position of the hole when someone is putting, provided that the shaft is treated like a flagstick and removed before being struck by the ball.
    Decision 17-3/6

  7. It's OK to re-mark and lift your ball from the putting green if you think it might move because of strong winds or its position on a slope. You can clean the ball again, too.
    Decision 16-1b/1

  8. It's OK to repair spike marks anywhere on the putting green except on your line of putt or if repairing them would assist you or another person playing the hole.
    Decision 16/1C/4

  9. It's OK to touch the green on the other side of the hole from where your ball is resting, provided it's not done to indicate a line for putting.
    Rule 8-2b

  10. It's OK to "shade" a ball resting on the edge of the hole for up to 10 seconds to get the grass to wilt and the ball to fall in. If your ball goes in after 10 seconds, it's considered holed, but you must add a penalty stroke to your score.
    Rule 16-2

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