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Rules of Golf

Myths & Misunderstandings

There are many myths and misunderstandings that pervade the Rules of Golf. Here are 9 of them;

You may not place your hand behind your ball on the putting green to test for wetness.
False. Decision 16-1d/4. The Rule only prohibits rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the putting surface for testing purposes.
You may not draw an unbroken line around the circumference of your golf balls.
False. There is no restriction as to how you personally identify your golf balls.

You may not use a tee pushed into the putting green to mark your ball.
False. Decision 20-1/16. However, whilst this method is permissible, it is not recommended.

You have to place a marker at the two club-lengths limit before taking a penalty drop for an unplayable ball under Rule 28c.
False. The permitted limit does not have to be marked, providing the ball is dropped within the permitted area.

When dropping a ball under the Rules you must face the hole.
False. There is no restriction as to the direction that a player may stand when dropping a ball.

You must use the back of your hand when removing loose impediments from your line of putt.
False. Loose impediments may be removed by any means, providing you do not press down on the line of putt. Decision 23-1/1.

It is against the Rules to have a wager on a game of golf during a stroke play competition.
False. This myth may arise from the fact that the Rules do not permit the play of a match, on which bets are commonly placed, at the same time as the players are participating in a stroke play competition.

In Stableford competitions you may not continue play of a hole if you cannot score any points.
False. Rule 7-2. Strokes made in continuing the play of a hole, the result of which has been decided, are not practice strokes.

A ball is not holed unless it is resting at the bottom of the hole, e.g. if it is at rest on another ball in the hole.
False. A ball is “holed” when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole. Definition of Holed.