Quick Q&A: Can I Switch Golf Balls on The Green?
Ever hit an approach shot a little fat, only to discover a solid chunk of mud on your ball once it settles on the green? You know, that kind of mud that just won’t come off now matter how hard you clean it? Or maybe you’ve been practicing putting with a certain ball and just really like the feel of it around the green. Well, just playing in a casual weekend foursome it might not be a big deal to switch out balls, but what happens if you’re playing in a sanctioned tournament?
According to USGA rules, you are not allowed to switch golf balls on the green, except when the ball you were playing was damaged. You are allowed to mark and lift your ball on the green, clean it, and then replace it in the same spot. However, you must use the same ball throughout the hole, except when it is lost, damaged, or unfit for play. If you use a different ball on the green, you will incur a two-stroke penalty.