RULE 16 - THE PUTTING GREEN
All defined terms are in italics and are listed alphabetically in the Definitions section – see pages 30-45.
a. Touching Line of Putt
The line of putt must not be touched except:
(i) the player may remove loose impediments, provided he does not press anything down;
(ii) the player may place the club in front of the ball when addressing it, provided he does not press anything down;
(iii) in measuring – Rule 18-6;
(iv) in lifting or replacing the ball – Rule 16-1b;
(v) in pressing down a ball-marker;
(vi) in repairing old hole plugs or ball marks on the putting green – Rule 16-1c; and
(vii) in removing movable obstructions – Rule 24-1.
(Indicating line of putt on putting green – see Rule 8-2b)
b. Lifting and Cleaning Ball
A ball on the putting green may be lifted and, if desired, cleaned. The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted and the ball must be replaced (see Rule 20-1). When another ball is in motion, a ball that might influence the movement of the ball in motion must not be lifted.
c. Repair of Hole Plugs, Ball Marks and Other Damage
The player may repair an old hole plug or damage to the putting green
(Position of caddie or partner – see Rule 14-2)
(Wrong putting green – see Rule 25-3)
16-2. Ball Overhanging Hole
When any part of the ball overhangs the lip of the hole, the player is allowed enough time to reach the hole without unreasonable delay and an additional ten seconds to determine whether the ball is at rest.
If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest. If the ball subsequently falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke, and must add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole; otherwise, there is no penalty under this Rule.
(Undue delay – see Rule 6-7)