Cleaning your ball ?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  31492103 1 year ago.

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    Mark Dunne

    I was wondering can you clean your ball before dropping / placing using the grass of the fairway or would it be considered testing. I know its not allowed on the green ?



    A ball on the putting green may be cleaned under rule 16.1.b. Elsewhere on the course a ball may be cleaned when lifted, except where it has been lifted (1) to determine if it is unfit for play (Rule 5.3), (2) for identification (rule 12.2) but it can be cleaned only to the extent to identify the ball, and (3) because it is assisting or interfering with play (rule 22).
    I’d recommend the R&A Rules of golf app and the R&A Golf Decisions 2016-2017 app. Both excellent apps and easy to find what you’re looking for, plus good quizzes to test your knowledge.


    Mark Dunne

    Thanks Brendan, and specifically using the grass around the spot the ball was lifted from (On fairway or rough) to remove mud do you know if that is allowed ?

    Ive downloaded the R&A app it looks great!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Mark Dunne.


    I’m not aware Mark of any rule about using the grass around where the ball was lifted from to clean the ball. Of course the ball must always be marked before it’s lifted, whether on the green or otherwise, and obviously any cleaning of the ball on the grass in the vicinity shouldn’t interfere with that mark. Also “teeing up” the grass before replacing the ball is not permitted. I’d say it’s good practise not to use the grass very close to the spot where the mark is to clean the ball. Probably better to move a step away to avoid doubt of interfering or teeing the grass up.


    Mark Dunne

    Ah yes I understand it would be wise to use grass away from the vicinity of your marker.

    I found this using the app you mentioned, interesting decision…

    Cleaning ball on green.



    There is also an excellent rules quiz on that app which can be done at any time. I recommend downloading the app by everyone. The rules at your fingertips.

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