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New Rules - Greens

At the beginning of the year, both the Royal and Ancient and United States Golf Association introduced some changes to the rules of golf. Most players will be aware of the changes but it is always good be reminded of what the major changes are and below you will find a round-up of the most important when on the green.

If you move your ball or ball marker on the green accidentally, there is no longer a one stroke penalty, you can just put the ball or ball marker back to where it was originally and carry on playing.

If you lift your ball on the green and place it back only to find it moves, for whatever reason, you can move it back to its original position.

While you still cannot repair natural imperfections on the green, can now repair almost any other damage including that caused by spike marks and animals.

What you can do when deciding where to aim your putt has also changed under the new rules. You can now touch anywhere along the line of a putt to indicate a target you wish to aim for when putting. This can prove advantageous if there is a significant break on the putt for example and you need to aim away from the hole.

You could simply touch the green with your golf glove for example, just to give you a better idea of where you might be aiming. This is a big difference to the previous rules before the start of 2019 where if you touched the line of a putt with anything, you would lose two shots or the hole if you were playing match play golf.

However, you must remember you cannot improve the condition of the green between your ball and the hole because that will incur a penalty.

Finally, you can now leave the flat stick inside the hole when putting on the green and there will be no penalty if your ball strikes it.

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