In the photo there is mud adhering to a
player's ball on the fairway. May the
player mark, lift and clean this ball,
without penalty, because it is unfit for
No, unless a Local Rule is in operation
that permits lifting, cleaning and
placing due to temporary abnormal course
conditions, the ball must be played as
A player correctly marks and lifts their
ball that has mud adhering to it, under
a Rule that does not permit cleaning it
(e.g. because it was interfering with
the stroke of a fellow competitor).
a) May they place their ball facing
another direction, where the mud will
not interfere between their clubface and
b) May they place
it in such a way so as to 'tee' the ball
on the mud?
a) Yes. Decision 21/5.
b) No, this would
be in breach of Rule 20-3a, because the
ball would not be replaced on the spot
from which it was lifted (the mud would
be between the spot and the ball).