If you’re involved in a golf tournament, it can be a very exciting prospect and one where you can have a good idea of what a professional circuit will look like, but if this is your first, there may be some terms that aren’t fully understood at this point, which isn’t surprising.
One of these involves a golf ball marker. In a tournament space, they are very important and put simply, these are usually flat objects that signal the place on the green where a golf ball is lifted from and can be used as identification marks on golf balls.
With that out of the way, you might be wondering how to choose a golf ball marker, and as these are important to the rules of a tournament, they are something you want to get right.
Below you can find more about these markers and how to use them.
How To Choose A Marker?
The rules of a given tournament may state the type of marker you need to use, which might simply be a coin or a manufactured marker with the golf club’s name on it, so it is a good idea to check this to avoid any problems.
To use a marker, you can place it just behind or next to the golf ball before lifting it, so you know where to put it back down again, but some rules will allow you to place a club on the ground right behind or next to a ball.
This is important to note as if you fail to use some kind of marker, you can incur a penalty, and this usually comes in the form of having a stroke added to your score and can only be done if the ball is on the green or the general target area of a golf hole.
You might see a range of markers used, including quarters, golf tees, and even poker chips in some instances, but as long as it doesn’t interfere with other playing competitors, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Why Do I Need To Lift The Golf Ball?
You might be thinking about the reasons for lifting a golf ball in the first place, and even though you don’t have to do this, there may be some conditions where you think it may improve the quality of your shots.
Below are a few reasons why you can lift a ball so you can avoid invoking any penalties.
To Remove Debris
One reason is if you need to clean a ball, as there is a chance that your ball can pick up bits of dirt or grass before it reaches the green, but you can only do this once the ball has landed in this area.
If the ball is in any other area of the hole, you’ll be expected to make the shot still, regardless of the debris that is on the ball.
At this point of the hole, you’ll have to make more calculated and precise shots which can affect where the ball will roll and may end up where you didn’t intend it to land, so removes this unpredictability by allowing you to have a clean and fresh ball for this purpose.
There might be occasions where leaves, stones, or sand might get on the green, which you can also remove from the green if you think these will get in the way of your shots.
To Avoid Giving Away An Advantage
One of the main reasons you may want to use a marker at this stage of the hole is out of the way for other competitors while not gaining any advantage since you will have to putt from where the last shot landed.
There might be a case where a competitor’s ball hits yours on the green, and if they are hitting their ball from outside the green, yours could be used as a backstop, which could give your opponent an advantage if they need to make the ball stop quicker.
What About Marking On A Golf Ball?
Some tournaments will state you have to mark a ball, so it’s a good idea to add an identifying mark on the ball and that the proper one is used, which may be a rule for the tournament you’re playing in.
You can draw a line on the ball as a mark but also as a way to align your ball on the green so you can make more precise shots if you’re zeroing down on a hole.
Where Else Might I Hear The Term Used?
There is also a chance that you can hear the term outside of this system, which usually denotes a marker for a scorecard, and in a tournament, being honest and keeping track of a score is very important, just as it is for when you mark the physical ball.
With a scorecard, you might know how these work, but you can find in a tournament that someone else marks your card, and this can either be done by your opponent or an appointed marker set up by that course’s committee.
After each hole, the marker will confirm with you the number of strokes on any given hole and enter the gross score on the scorecard, which will be the score after stroke play, and once the round is over, the marker can certify the scores by signing the scorecard.
The Bottom Line
Before you participate in any tournament, it’s a good idea to check the rules, as even the slightest rule change could affect your game.
The last thing you want is to be penalized for something that you don’t have any knowledge about, which could ultimately be the deciding factor in any hole you play, so you want to give yourself the best chance possible, especially if it’s your first tournament.
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