Rule Of The Month – Marking Your Ball On The Putting Green Rule 20-1

In a strokeplay competition, Player A continuously marks the position of his ball on the putting green with a tee.

Player B objects to this practice claiming that the rules state that the ball should be marked with a ball marker or a small coin or similar object.

He claims that the tee marking the position of a ball on the green is slightly distracting.

Is Player A in breach of the rules by using a tee peg instead of a ball marker?

Rule 20-1 suggests a player ‘should’ mark his ball using a ball marker, coin or other similar object.

In the Decisions on the Rules Of Golf book which is an extended version of the rules of golf this is discussed further.

The Decisions book states that a player marking his ball with a ball marker, coin or similar object is following ‘best practice’ but there is no penalty if a player marks his ball with a tee peg, a loose impediment, the toe of his club or even scratching a small mark on the surface of the green is acceptable.

So Player A is not in breach of the rules but is not following the recommendations for best practice.

It’s a funny old game!