Rules Guy: Can you use chalk to mark your ball on the green?
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We have a local course where some people mark their ball on the green using colored chalk. I find this very distracting, and I’m not alone. Is this practice permissible? Ethical? —ELAINE BETSCH, NICEVILLE, FLA.
Chalk? Really? Is there an artists’ colony nearby? A kindergarten? I’ll leave the ethics to my cousin, The Ethicist. Rules-wise, a chalk mark is indeed permissible … but nowadays a marker must be removed before a player makes a stroke, so the chalk would have to be fully erased upon replacing the ball, lest the offender receive a one-stroke penalty under Rule 14.1a. This would seem to render the chalk mark more trouble than it’s worth, but we’ll leave that judgment to the art critics.
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