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Cleaning the ball

A ball on the putting green may be cleaned when lifted under Rule 16-1b. Elsewhere, a ball may be cleaned when lifted except when it has been lifted:

a. To determine if it is unfit for play (Rule 5-3);

b. For identification (Rule 12-2), in which case it may be cleaned only to the extent necessary for identification; or

c. Because it is assisting or interfering with play (Rule 22).

If a player cleans his ball during play of a hole except as provided in this Rule, he incurs a penalty of one stroke and the ball, if lifted, must be replaced.
If a player who is required to replace a ball fails to do so, he incurs the penalty for breach of Rule 20-3a, but there is no additional penalty under Rule 21.

Exception: If a player incurs a penalty for failing to act in accordance with Rule 5-3, 12-2 or 22, there is no additional penalty under Rule 21.

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  1. By Golf Rules and Decisions on March 17, 2009 at 3:03 am

    […] in motion deflected or stopped 20. Lifting, dropping, and placing; playing from the wrong place 21. Cleaning the ball 22. Ball Assisting or Interfering with Play 23. Loose Impediments 24. Obstructions 25. Abnormal […]