RULE: Assisting/interfering with play

Hey, leave you ball there beside the pin - it might stop my chip going too far. 

Your ball is really close to mine on the fairway. I might hit it too - can you mark it on the fairway?

Rule 22 deals with these situations.

  • My ball is lying quite close to the pin. I go to mark it, but a fellow player askes me to leave it there as a backstop - it may help his chip shot from off the green. What do I do?

I agree to leave it there. If you do you are both disqualified! In stroke play, competitors who have agreed not to lift a ball that might assist any competitor, they are disqualified (Rule 22-1)

  • Both our balls are lying really close together on the fairway, so close that his ball interferes with my swing (or my stance). What can I do that is fair for both of us?

If a player considers that another ball might interfere with with his play, he may have it lifted.Of course the position of the lifted ball must be marked. A ball lifted under this rule must be replaced (Rule 20-3) exactly as it was before lifting. (Hold it between thumb and finger without rotating the ball.) The ball must not be cleaned unless it lies on the putting green.


Naturally, a player required to mark his ball may choose to play first (in stroke play) instead of marking the ball.

Through the green, you cannot lift your ball solely because you think it might interfere with the play of another player. If you lift our ball without being asked to do so, you incur a one stroke penalty for a breach of Rule 18-2a.