At the start of the week I jumped at the chance to play the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush – I’d played the Valley before but never the championship course, so I was pretty excited.  I packed almost a dozen spare balls but needn’t have worried because somehow I made it round without losing a single ball!  It was a dry morning however at 11 o’clock the winds that were forecast started to make an appearance and we played the second nine whilst being buffeted by the almost-gale force winds.  Playing in drizzly Dungannon the following day I was exhausted and found it more difficult than usual to score. Chatting to a friends that evening I discovered that one of them had played in Portstewart the previous day and was totally wrecked – she put it down to the wind.  She had played a little later than I had and her four-ball had to endure the worst of the wind – their trolleys were blown over and at times the wind moved their balls on the greens!

What do you do if the wind moves your ball on the green?

Rule 13.1 d addresses this issue:

If natural forces cause your ball on the putting green to move, where you must play from next depends on whether your ball had already been lifted and replaced on its original spot:

  • Ball already lifted and replaced – Your ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated).
  • Ball not already lifted and replaced – The ball must be played from its new spot.

Did you know that you are not penalised if you accidentally move your ball or your marker on the putting green – even if you hit it when you’re taking a practice putt?  You must replace your ball on its original spot (if you don’t know the exact location you should estimate it).

Here’s a short video explaining what to do if your ball moves in the green – if you’re pushed for time fast-forward the first 30 seconds!