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The rules of golf: IDing your ball
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: Steve and Kim are playing in their Tuesday men’s association. On the fourth hole, Kim is searching for his ball in the rough. He finds a ball that is half-buried and he thinks it is his. He announces to Steve that he needs to lift the ball in order to identify it and that Steve should observe the lifting and replacement. Kim proceeds to lift the ball and he confirms that it is his. He replaces the ball and prepares to hit his next shot. Has Kim followed the proper procedures?

Answer: Not entirely. Under Rule 12-2, Kim acted correctly in giving Steve the opportunity to observe his act of lifting and replacing the ball. However, Kim did not properly mark the position of his ball before lifting. His penalty is one stroke.

Tip: Always mark the position of your ball before lifting it for any purpose.

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

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