Hi :

During the 2021 Tour Player Summit*, it was suggested The Tour provide players with a series of educational emails and videos that would help in their understanding of the Rules of Golf. We are excited to begin this journey with you.

The first Rule in the series covers the procedure for identifying your ball on the course.
Before putting a ball in play, it is recommended players put an identifying mark on the ball to distinguish it from other balls on the course and help with identification (Rule 6.3a).
A player should identify their ball before making a stroke to ensure they are playing the correct ball and not a wrong ball. If a player cannot identify their ball at rest on the course, they are permitted to lift the ball under Rule 7.3:

Lifting Ball to Identify It
If a ball might be a player’s ball but cannot be identified as it lies:
  • The player may lift the ball to identify it (including by rotating it), but:
  • The spot of the ball must first be marked, and the ball must not be cleaned more than needed to identify it (except on the putting green) (see Rule 14.1).

Note that players MUST mark the ball before lifting it. If a player deliberately lifts, rotates or touches a ball at rest before marking it, they will receive one penalty stroke (Rule 7.3, 9.4b).

When lifting a ball for identification off the putting green, players must also take care not to clean the ball more then necessary to identify it.

Once the ball is properly identified, it must be replaced on its original spot, including its vertical location (Rule 14.2c).
For a visual explanation of the procedure to identify a ball, please click the video below to watch Grant Moir (from the R&A) explain how during his “Rules from the Garden” series.
All information on the Rules of Golf can be found on the R&A website under Rules of Golf. Tour players are strongly encouraged take the free Level 1 Rules of Golf course and exam at the R&A Rules Academy. Any player who achieves Level 1 certification can enter a draw for a round of golf at Coppinwood Golf Club by submitting their certificate to patricia@gtaamtour.com before the first event of the season.

We also recommend ALL Tour players download the R&A (or USGA) Rules of Golf App on their phones. This App is VERY easy to use and can provide players with instant information on how to proceed.
As always, if you are ever unsure how to proceed on the golf course, contact a GTA AM Tour Referee for assistance.

Christian De Cloet
Co-Manager, Tour Operations

*The Tour Player Summit is held annually and provides players and Tour Team members with an opportunity to find ways to improve the Tour experience for ALL.