Do you have to bend down to put a ball in place or can you use your clubhead as a short cut? So many of us do, but what do the rules say? Steve Carroll has the answer

Ever seen a player playing hockey with their golf ball when they’re replacing it after taking relief?

They’ll use their club to roll it into position – saving themselves bending down if they’re taking, for example, winter rules.

How many of you have done that in a competition and didn’t realise you were breaking the rules?

But where does it say in the book that this is forbidden? Let’s jump right in…

Rules of Golf explained: Can I replace a golf ball with my club?

Rule 14.2b (2) reveals how a ball must be replaced when a ball is lifted and required to be replaced on a spot. You must set it down by hand and let it go so it stays on that spot.

That is reaffirmed in the definition of replace so, if you’re doing this with a club, stop it right now. You’ve not replaced the ball in the right way and you’ll incur a penalty shot if you don’t correct the mistake before making a stroke.

Have a question for our Rules of Golf expert?

Despite the simplification of the Rules of Golf at the beginning of 2019, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. And as I’ve passed the R&A’s Level 3 rules exam with distinction, I’ll try to help by featuring the best in this column.

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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