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Dont repair that ball mark yet
Graham Lewis - photo by Photo provided.

Golf is fun, whether playing solo or with others. Having a basic understanding of the game’s rules makes it easier to enjoy the experience and improve your skills. In this periodic column, I provide brief explanations of golf rules and answer commonly asked questions.

Question: Jack and Ralph are playing a match in their clubs match play event. On the par 3 second hole, both players are on the green with their tee shots. Jack’s ball comes to rest four feet from the hole. Ralph’s ball is 15 feet from the hole. Jack prepares to repair his ball mark. Ralph tells Jack to wait until after he has putted since the ball mark is situated so that it may help his putt go in the hole. Jack objects, stating that he wishes to repair his ball mark immediately. May he do so?

Answer: No. If Jack were to repair the ball mark, he would lose the hole under rule 1-2. He has no right to repair a ball mark affecting Ralph’s play if Ralph asks him not to repair it, unless the ball mark also physically affects Jack’s play and it is Jack’s turn to play. What would happen if they were playing in a stroke play event? E-mail me with your answer.

As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf. E-mail me at if you have any questions or suggestions.

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