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Conceded putt

Can I get a penalty for holing out a conceded putt?

Are you still allowed to take a run at the flag even if your opponent has said ‘it’s good?’ Our Rules of Golf guru takes a look
 

It’s the sound every golfer loves to hear – especially if it saves you from a tricky sliding three-footer. ‘That’s good’.

Concessions, of course, are a unique feature of match-play golf and a key part of what makes the format special. When to give a putt and when to make your opponent carry on?

The tactical complexities are boundless, and there has been plenty of furore and drama around whether a putt has been conceded or not – as Suzann Pettersen and Sergio Garcia could surely testify.

But while you will know you can concede your opponent’s next stroke, a hole, or even a match, and how that must be communicated, what about when that act is done?

What if you still fancied having a go – for a bit of practice or to get some vital information for an upcoming hole? Is it allowed, or once you’ve been told you can pick it up are you compelled to do so?

Rules of Golf explained: Putting out after a conceded putt

You’re fine to putt out after a shot has been conceded – even though that action means the hole has been completed and, as Rule 3.2b (1) points out, “the ball may be removed by anyone”.

But there is an exception to this and it comes in fourball match play. Check out in Rule 23.6, which states: “A player must not continue play of a hole after the player’s next stroke has been conceded if this would help their partner”.

If they do carry on, they don’t get a penalty and their score for the hole still stands. “But the partner’s score for the hole cannot count for the side”.

Have a question for our Rules of Golf expert?

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

Have you had any trouble putting out after a conceded putt? Let me know with a tweet?

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.

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