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Common Violations


By Ryan Gregg, Director of Education


Play the ball as it lies is one of the most important principles of the game of golf.





Play the ball as it lies A common rules violation occurs when a player improves the lie of


ball, area of intended stance or swing or line of play. This is a direct viola- tion of Rule 13-2.


Putting Ball Sometimes golfers keep a clean ball


in their pocket so when they get to the green they can use the clean “putting ball” instead of cleaning the original ball. Rule 15-2 requires a player to hole out with the ball played from the teeing


ground unless proceeding under a Rule that permits a substituted ball. Thus, the substitution of a ball on the putting green is a two- stroke penalty. However, a player may change golf balls between the play of two holes (after holing out).


64 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2010


A player will instinctively replace a divot either on the line of play or where he is about to take his stance. This is a loss of hole or two-stroke penalty under Rule 13-2.


When a player improves the lie by stepping directly behind the ball for the purpose of pressing down the grass and virtually teeing the ball up, it is a loss of hole in match play or a two-stroke penalty in stroke play under Rule 13-2.





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