For professional or frequent golfers, marking your ball on the green is second nature. Many golfers mark their ball on the green without a second thought. But, for beginner golfers, the process can seem complicated or carry high-stakes. While that is not necessarily the case, there are specific guidelines involved in marking your ball on the green and incorrectly doing so may result in accusations of cheating.
Rules and Guidelines
If you are a beginner golfer, you may have a lot of confusion regarding how to correctly mark your ball. You may wonder when it is allowed or what will happen if the marker is incorrectly placed or even moved. All of these questions are answered by the following rules and guidelines.
What to Use
There are official ball markers available for purchase. Check out our duo ball marker here. You may use these ball markers, coins, or any other small, round, and flat object. The object should be flat and round so that it sits still on the green and resembles the shape of the ball. The marker should be flat to ensure that it does not interrupt the putt of other golfers.
Where to Place It
The marker is generally placed directly behind the golf ball once it is no longer moving. Some golfers prefer to place the marker directly in front of the golf ball. This is generally permitted, provided that you routinely place the ball either in front of or behind the ball. Switching back and forth may raise concerns for your golfing partners.
Moving the Ball
While golfing, you are permitted to pick up your ball under the following conditions. There should be no other ball in play. A marker should also be placed where the ball was sitting. Your ball may be moved if it interferes with another player's stroke. In this situation, you may move the ball yourself, or another golfer may request that the ball be moved. This can be done with another player's ball as well.
You could be penalized under a few circumstances. Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes, our ball is moved without properly marking its spot. If this happens to you, you will have to take a penalty stroke. Another circumstance is moving your ball on accident without properly marking its spot. You will likely need to take a penalty stroke for this scenario as well. In extreme cases of foul play, you will simply lose the hole or worse, lose your playing mates.
How to Place Your Marker
Beginners make a few common mistakes when placing their markers down. First, they tend to pick up their ball, then place their marker in its spot. This is not allowed according to the basic principles of golf and will result in a penalty stroke. Another common mistake new golfers make is the tendency to remove their marker before placing the ball down. This is another mishap that may result in a penalty stroke.
Beginners also tend to push the marker under the golf ball. This action is also not allowed, as it may result in the ball being placed closer to the hole than it should be. To ensure you are following all rules and regulations, follow the steps below to ensure proper marker usage.
Step One: Place the Marker
The first step is to place the marker. After your turn has been taken and your ball has come to a complete stop on the green, you may place your marker. Place the marker directly behind your golf ball before touching your ball. After the marker is placed, you may pick up the golf ball.
Step Two: Wait Your Turn
Markers are typically placed to prevent the ball from interfering with another player’s stroke. Another common reason golfers move the ball is because they fear the placement of their ball may assist another player or that another player's ball may strike their own and move it. After you’ve picked up your ball, you will want to wait until the other players have taken their turn.
Step Three: Place Your Ball Down
Once their turns have been taken and all balls have stopped moving, you may place your ball back down. You should place your ball directly in front of the marker. By placing your ball in this position, you ensure that it is back in its original location. Once the ball has been placed on the green, you may remove the marker from the ground.
Plastic Golf Markers
Although you can use a coin or another small object, plastic golf markers are still your best option. These items can be easily found online or in most sporting goods stores. It may seem as though these tiny pieces of golfing equipment are unnecessary, but they are much more useful than they seem.
These golf markers are very small and round. They have small stubs coming off the bottom of them. These small stubs are included in the design to stick the marker into the ground. Doing this will prevent the marker from being moved by the wind or another player's foot. These markers are also more accurate than their substitutes. Their minute size means that they can be placed more closely to the ball without moving it. Thus allowing you to more precisely mark the golf ball’s placement.