July 28, 2015
I marked my ball on the green with a coin, near my playing partner's ball. She said that my marker was distracting her and asked if I would replace my marker with one of her markers. I did not object and picked up my marker and replaced it with hers. As soon as I had done this she happily announced that I was penalized one stroke for lifting my marker before replacing my ball. Did I break a rule?
Under Rule 20-1 you do receive a one stroke penalty for picking up your marker before replacing your ball. You should have replaced your ball, picked up your marker and placed her marker behind your ball and lifted your ball.
You were under no obligation to change your marker. She could have asked you to move your marker and you would be obligated to do so, or under Rule 20-2 in stroke play, a player required to lift their ball may play first rather than lift the ball.
Happy golfing and remember the Rules Matter.