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replace a golf ball

Can I replace a ball using my club?

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…

replace a golf ball

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.

Got a question for our expert?

Despite the changes to the Rules of Golf in 2019 and 2023, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. I’ll try to help by featuring the best of your queries in this column.

What do you think about these replace a golf ball rules? Let me know by leaving 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.

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