We’re all doing our “happy dance” now that we can repair spike marks on the green, right? Well, not so fast. We can repair damage to the putting green, but there’s a lot that we cannot repair.

You can’t just tap down every single thing you see on the green – improving your line of putt however you like. The key word here is “damage”.

Take a peek at our rules clinic for the golf team captains in our area, and the great discussion that ensued.

Rule 13.1c says that you may make two kinds of improvements on the putting green.

You may remove sand and loose soil and you may repair “damage”

Damage on the putting green means damage caused by a person or outside influence such as:

  • Ball marks, spike marks, scrapes or caused by equipment or a flagstick
  • Old hole plugs, turf plugs, seams of cut turf and scrapes or indentations from maintenance tools or vehicles
  • Animal tracks
  • Embedded objects

Damage on the putting green does not include any damage or conditions that result from:

  • Normal maintenance, aeration holes
  • Irrigation, rain, natural forces
  • Natural surface imperfections (weeds, bare areas, diseased or uneven growth)
  • Natural wear of the hole

And remember, you also get to repair the actual cup/hole if it has damage as described above.

Learn what happens if you accidentally double hit your ball.

Check out more on the new putting green rules at USGA.org.

Marcela launched Girlfriends Guide To Golf and her On-Course Rules Experiences to grow the game, help women learn the rules of golf, and feel more confident out on the course.

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