Does Your Ball Marker Size Matter?
A current fad in golf is to mark one’s golf ball with a poker chip or a poker chip sized ball marker. This brought up an interesting question with regards to “size” or “type” of object used to mark one’s golf ball. The Note to Rule 20 – 1 (Lifting and Marking) states that “the position of a ball to be lifted should be marked by placing a ball – marker, a small coin or other similar object immediately behind the ball.” A player asked me if they would be penalized for using a poker chip as a ball marker because it did not seem to fit by size under the “small coin or other similar object” outlined in the Note. My answer to player was no, you would not be penalized for using a poker chip as a marker.
The provision in the Note to Rule 20 – 1 is a recommendation of best practice, but there is no penalty for failing to act in accordance with the Note. Examples of methods of marking the position of a ball that are not recommended, but are permissible are as follows:
*placing the toe of a club at the side of or behind, the ball;
*using a tee;
*using a loose impediment;
*scratching a line, provided the putting green is not tested (Rule 16 – 1d) and a line for putting is not indicated (Rule 8 – 2b). As this practice may cause damage to the putting green, it is discouraged.
However, under Rule 20 -1 it is necessary to physically mark the position of the ball. Reference to an existing mark on the ground does not constitute marking the position of the ball. For example, it is not permissible to mark the position with reference to a blemish on the putting green.
PGA Rules Official | PGA Master Professional
Frank Guastella has over 35 years of golf management experience focused on planning, marketing, operations and administration at leading golf facilities. Currently, Frank serves as a PGA Teaching Professional at St. Clair Golf Club in St. Clair, Michigan
Playing By The Rules Archives
How To Take Relief From Immovable Obstructions In the Rules of Golf an obstruction is a movable obstruction if it can be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. Otherwise it is an immovable obstruction and the...read more
The Use Of A Provisional Ball This is the next in the Playing By The Rules Video Series. Mike and Frank discuss the proper way of using a provisional ball. We discuss what the rule states and how to go about it properly, because it matters to your score!...read more
In this latest article Frank discusses the dos and don't when pertaining to golf hazards. Rule 13-4 Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions states: "Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether bunker or water hazard) or...read more
TEAM MFG BLOG
Never miss a new post, article, or video!
Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!