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Golf news
Graham Lewis - photo by Photo provided.

Playing 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: Kitty and Danny are playing in a tournament. They both hit their balls on the green at the ninth hole. Kitty is away and asks Danny to mark his ball as it is in her putting line. Danny is unable to find his coin marker and proceeds to mark his ball with a tee. Kitty putts and her ball hits the tee. Is there a penalty and must Kitty replace her ball where it hit the tee?

Answer: Because a tee is not considered part of Danny’s equipment, Kitty must play her ball as it now lies and there is no penalty on either player.


Question: On a later hole, Danny marks his ball with a loose impediment. Kitty says he must use a ball marker, coin or a similar object to mark his ball. Is she correct?

Answer: Although not recommended, a loose impediment is permitted to mark a ball. There is no penalty. (See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2010-2011, and 20-1/16.)

As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf.


Lewis is a certified teaching professional at Sapelo Hammock Golf Course and a member of the United States Golf Teachers Federation. E-mail him at

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