Mary's Rules Corner header

Hello TPWGC!

 Happy New Year, and to those of you that are new members at TPWGC, welcome!! I originally wrote the following article in October, but itturns out our Web Director, Laura Borja, becomes VERY busy at year end with new members, web updates, and much more. Therefore, we’ll plan on a year-end hiatus for Mary’s Rules Corner going forward, and you’ll hear from me monthly during the rest of the year! 

In my last two articles, we took a deep dive into Red and Yellow penalty areas and how it all works here at Torrey Pines.

For new members, as well as those of you  that might have missed my previous articles, they can all be found in the news section of our website.

There was a lot of educational material provided when the rules changed in 2019, but I find that as time goes on, players need a reminder of some of these basic points.

As a reminder, here is a summary of some of the changes implemented as part of the 2019 major rules changes:

Putter taps golf ball
If you accidentally move your ball on the putting greens, there’s no penalty, just replace it.

Once you have marked and lifted your ball, it "owns" that spot on the putting green until your next stroke. If it moves for any reason, including due to wind or gravity, you just replace your ball with no penalty.

You can repair almost any damage on the putting green prior to making a stroke.

This includes marks made by people dropping their clubs, depressed areas caused by footprints, and animal tracks. If you find that there is damage to the hole (perhaps caused by a flying golf ball or the carelessness of the prior group in pulling the flagstick), it is okay to repair this before you putt.

Flagstick touching green

It's okay to touch your line of putt before you play, even by walking on it.

Loose impediment in bunker

You can remove loose impediments in a buner but cannot ground your club behind the ball or during your backswing.

There are no special restrictions on playing a ball from a Penalty Area. You can remove loose impediments and ground your club prior to making a stroke.

There is no penalty if your ball accidentally hits you or your equipment after a stroke. There is no penalty for "double-hitting" the ball during a stroke; it simply counts as one single stroke

If you’re looking for more education about the Rules of Golf, the USGA website offers a ton of resources.

Here’s the link:

These include:

  • Rules Education in the form of a Short Course, or an extensive on-line virtual education experience. The USGA is currently planning to offer its traditional 3 ½ day in-person Rules Workshops starting in January. The closest location where the workshop will be held is in Claremont, CA on Feb 21 – 24, 2022. More info will be available to sign up starting in mid-November
  • Test your knowledge of the Rules with Rules Quizzes. They are offered in Basic, Intermediate and advanced difficulty levels.
  • Review Rules Topics or Rules Videos to help further your understanding on all aspects of the Rules.
Stay tuned for next month’s Rules Corner where we’ll take a deep dive into Model Local Rule F-5, “Immovable Obstructions Close to the Putting Green.” Bet you can hardly wait!

As always, contact me any time with rules questions: