Can golfers move their golf ball out of a puddle on the putting green or putt around it?
Golf Culture

Can golfers move their golf ball out of a puddle on the putting green or putt around it?



It's rare, but there are some times when golfers will be out on the course in a sudden deluge of rain. The rain puddles quickly on different parts of the course, including the putting greens. Golfers, playing through the rain, might find their golf ball on a putting surface with puddles on it. Their ball could be in the puddle, or puddles might be an obstacle to getting the ball to the hole.

The Rules of Golf allow golfers to get some relief when having to deal with puddles on the putting green.

Can golfers move their golf ball out of a puddle on the putting green?

Golfers are allowed free relief under the Rules of Golf when their ball is in a puddle or standing water -- dubbed "temporary water" -- on the putting surface. A golfer has to identify the nearest area of relief that's no nearer the hole where the puddle won't impact their lie, stance or intended stroke path. They drop within one clublength of that spot and play on without penalty. This could also mean taking relief in a spot off the green.

Can golfers move their golf ball to not have to putt through a puddle?

Golfers do not have to putt through puddles on a green. If a golfer's ball lies on the putting green and you have casual or temporary water in your intended putting line, they may lift the ball without penalty and place it at the nearest point that avoids the casual water and is no nearer the hole. This could mean dropping the ball off the green.

If there isn't a spot on the green that avoids the puddle, a golfer can choose to place their ball at the spot that affords maximum available relief from the water -- say, to putt through less water or a puddle that's not as deep.

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