fbpx
backstopping ball moves on green

Is your golf ball on the wrong green? Here’s what you need to know

Your ball is on the putting surface – but it isn’t the one you’re playing to. Our Rules of Golf expert reveals what you must do next

 

You’ve marked, lifted, and cleaned your ball. You’ve repaired any damage on the putting green and you’ve been careful not to deliberately test the green.

All key requirement of Rule 13. But the regulations regarding what you can and can’t do on the dancefloor go even further.

This time, we’re going to look at what happens if you end up on a different green to the one to where you should have played…

I’ve ended up on a wrong green

A wrong green is defined in the rules as any on the course other than the green for the hole the player is playing. That also includes a normal putting green if a temporary green is being used and all practice greens unless they are excluded by a Local Rule.

If you end up on a wrong green, you’ve got to take relief under Rule 13.1f. Interference exists when any part of the ball either touches a wrong green or “lies on or in anything” – the rule gives the example of a loose impediment or obstruction – and is “inside the edge of a wrong green”.

wrong green

If a wrong green is interfering with either your intended stance or area of swing then you also have to take relief.

It’s not a choice. Rule 13.1f (2) instructs you not to play the ball as it lies. You’ll have to drop, and the relief area is the “nearest point of complete relief on the same area of the course where the original ball came to rest”. Wrong greens are classed as part of the general area.

You’ve got a one-club relief area with all the usual instructions – not nearer the hole than the reference point, in the same area of the course as that point, and with complete relief from any interference from the wrong green.

But don’t get carried away. You won’t get relief from a wrong green if it is “clearly unreasonable”. So if you are right handed, and tried to play left handed because you’d then be standing on a wrong green, your club, type of stance, swing or direction may not be reasonable under those circumstances.

Make sure to take a peek at the Local Rules at the course you’re playing too. A committee can bring in a Local Rule that denies relief from a wrong green if it only interferes with your intended stance.

Now have your say

Have you ever found yourself playing from the wrong green? Did you know these rules? Let us know how you tackled it with a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

Latest Posts

2023 Rules of Golf changes replacing golf ball on spot

Rules of Golf

England Golf extend period for preferred lies

By

Read full article about England Golf extend period for preferred lies
rules beginner

Rules of Golf

What are the key rules beginner golfers should know?

By

Read full article about What are the key rules beginner golfers should know?
Want to play the same game as the pros? That means playing the same Rules!

Rules of Golf

Want to play the same game as the pros? That means playing the same Rules!

By

Read full article about Want to play the same game as the pros? That means playing the same Rules!
gary woodland

Rules of Golf

Can you look into a player’s bag to see what club they’re using?

By

Read full article about Can you look into a player’s bag to see what club they’re using?
winter rules

Rules of Golf

5 Winter Rules Golfers Break!

By

Read full article about 5 Winter Rules Golfers Break!
golf divot

Rules of Golf

My ball has landed on a divot – can I move it?

By

Read full article about My ball has landed on a divot – can I move it?
animal scrapings

Rules of Golf

Do I get free relief from animal scrapings?

By

Read full article about Do I get free relief from animal scrapings?
rule changes

Rules of Golf

5 Rule Changes You Need To Know!

By

Read full article about 5 Rule Changes You Need To Know!
Golf club committee

Rules of Golf

The prizes were handed out but the committee got my score wrong – should the results be changed?

By

Read full article about The prizes were handed out but the committee got my score wrong – should the results be changed?