Golf Rule 22, Ball Assisting Or Interfering With Play

    22-1. If a player thinks a ball might assist another player, he can mark and lift the ball if it’s his, or request that it be lifted if it’s not his ball. A ball lifted for this purpose can’t be cleaned unless it’s on the green, and must be replaced in its original spot.




    In stroke play, a player can play first instead of lifting his ball if necessary. A ball can’t be lifted to prevent assisting another player’s ball that’s in motion.

    If a player thinks another ball might interfere with his shot, he can request to have it lifted. The lifted ball can’t be cleaned unless it’s on the green, and must be replaced. In stroke play, a player can play first instead of lifting his ball if necessary. A ball can’t be lifted to prevent interfering with another player’s ball that’s in motion.

    A player can’t lift his own ball to prevent interfering with another golfer’s ball without a request to do so, except on the green. Doing so results in a one-stroke penalty per Rule 18-2.

    Interference may be physical (e.g., a ball lies inches behind another player’s ball, where it would be hit by the swing) or mental (e.g., a ball lies close enough to distract another golfer, even if it doesn’t physically interfere).

  • Penalties for violating Rule 22: Match play – loss of hole. Stroke play – two strokes.
  • 22-1. Ball Assisting Play

    Except when a ball is in motion, if a player considers that a ball might assist any other player, he may:a. Lift the ball if it is his ball; or
    b. Have any other ball lifted.

    A ball lifted under this Rule must be replaced (see Rule 20-3). The ball must not be cleaned, unless it lies on the putting green (see Rule 21).

    In stroke play, a player required to lift his ball may play first rather than lift the ball.

    In stroke play, if the Committee determines that competitors have agreed not to lift a ball that might assist any competitor, they are disqualified.

    Note: When another ball is in motion, a ball that might influence the movement of the ball in motion must not be lifted.

    22-2. Ball Interfering With Play
    Except when a ball is in motion, if a player considers that another ball might interfere with his play, he may have it lifted.

    A ball lifted under this Rule must be replaced (see Rule 20-3). The ball must not be cleaned, unless it lies on the putting green (see Rule 21).

    In stroke play, a player required to lift his ball may play first rather than lift the ball.

    Note 1: Except on the putting green, a player may not lift his ball solely because he considers that it might interfere with the play of another player. If a player lifts his ball without being asked to do so, he incurs a penalty of one stroke for a breach of Rule 18-2a, but there is no additional penalty under Rule 22.


    Note 2: When another ball is in motion, a ball that might influence the movement of the ball in motion must not be lifted.


    PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.