Rules Guy: Are you allowed to use two ball marks on the green?

March 10, 2020
Player marking a ball on green

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

After placing a coin to mark his ball, my opponent placed a second coin eight inches behind the first. Using the two coins as reference to indicate his line of play, he’d align the line on his ball, pick up the coins, and proceed to sink a lot of putts. But is this permitted? —KEVIN DURANT, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.

This wasn’t Steph Curry, was it? If so, he should know better. Rule 10.2b(2) prohibits the player from placing a mark on the putting green or elsewhere to indicate the line of play (as opposed to merely marking the ball’s position) when the ball is on the putting green.

Placing the second coin to indicate the line of play breaches this rule and results in a technical foul, er, the general penalty. In this case, this is no smarter than calling a time-out when you don’t have any remaining.

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