20 Rules for ’19: #8 – Identifying Your Ball


No need for unnecessary talking; starting in 2019 , it's okay to identify your golf ball without saying a word.

USGA logoUnnecessary talking has been reduced in 2019: the revised Rules of Golf now say that you need not tell a fellow competitor that you are about to pick up a golf ball to identify it.

To show trust in the integrity of the player, to speed up play, and to simplify an unnecessary rule, the USGA removed the requirement to notify another of intent to identify a ball.

A player who can’t confirm with certainty that a ball belongs to him may now simply mark the ball with a tee, pick it up to check the brand/number/markings, then return the ball to its original spot.

But be aware, there is a 1-stroke general penalty if you pick up the ball without marking it first, clean the ball before you put it back, or mark and pick up the ball without a truly good reason to do so.

Fair enough.

2019 USGA Rules Review: Identifying a Golf Ball >

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