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Rule 9

Rule 9 – Ball at Rest Lifted or Moved is a rule you need

to know, especially on the putting green.


Because a golf ball is round and the surface of the green closely mown, there is every likelihood that your ball could move. It is important for you to know how to deal with this situation.

Some Trivia

  • There is always some slope on a green so it is unlikely that your ball will come to rest on a perfectly level spot.

  • The surface area of a golf ball is about nine square inches and has a varying number of dimples - 300 to 450 on average.

  • A dimple represents less than 0.3% of the ball's surface area depending on its size and shape.

  • On a sheet of glass your ball will rest on a single dimple.

What this all means is that for your ball to move on the putting green is easier than you think; especially if the surface has been closely mown, your ball is on a slight slope, and the wind is blowing.

Circle of Contact

Fortunately the circle of contact that your ball has on the putting green is larger than one dimple as it sits down a little in the grass.

On a soft green with more grass to support its weight, the circle of contact could be around four to five per cent of the ball's surface area.

Rule 9 has 7 headings that deal with different circumstances both on the course and on the putting green. Keep a rule book in your bag so you know what to do if your ball moves.

After Marking the Ball

Sometimes when you come to replace your ball after marking it, it rolls forward ever so slightly down the slope.

The temptation is to replace your ball and press it lightly into the ground to make it remain at rest.

However, there is nothing in the Rules that permits you to do so. Instead you are required to find the nearest spot, no closer to the hole, where your ball can be placed without rolling away.

Ball Moves on Putting Green

Rule 13.1d states that there is no penalty if the player, opponent or another player in stroke play accidentally moves the player's ball on the putting green.

The player must replace the ball on  its original spot (which if not known must be estimated).

Rule 9

Playing by the Rules is part of Golf and Rule 9 – Ball at Rest Moved takes on an added significance on the putting green.

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