Rules Guy: Is it a penalty if your unrepaired ball mark helps you hole your putt?
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My pal’s approach shot landed a foot short and right of the hole and spun back to 10 feet. It left a big pitch mark, which he didn’t repair. Naturally, he pushed his putt off line, and the mark rerouted his ball into the cup. Unfair! Do the Rules require you to repair a ball mark? —Kevin McNees, via email
If this were the basketball shooting game H-O-R-S-E (yes, RG knows his hoops, too), this player would have been required to call “bank” beforehand for the shot to count.
Alas, not so in golf. While repairing a pitch mark is obviously encouraged behavior, and anyone can repair anyone else’s pitch mark on the putting green, your playing partner was simply playing the course as he found it. As they also say on the hardwood, “No harm, no foul.”
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