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I once knew a golfer that

would put lip balm on his

ball, when he had a downhill

putt in order to slow the

roll of his ball and help him

not to overshoot the hole.

News flash, that’s against the


USGA Rule No. 4-2 A

& B stipulate,

During a stipulated round,

the playing characteristics of

a club must not be purposely

changed by adjustment or by

any other means

” F


material must not be applied

to the club face for the

purpose of influencing the

movement of the ball.”

Earlier this year Jordan Spieth

commented he likes to spit

on the bottom of his putter to

add some friction, when he’s

practicing and the grass is dry.

When he then asked a rules

official if this action would be

allowed during competition,

the USGA official replied,

“We aren’t sure.” 

The‘sticky’partof thissituation

is that ‘water’ is considered

an integral part of golfing and

the course, although there is

definitely intent to artificially

change the behavior of golf

equipment in this example.

Here’s where it gets really


 If Jordan were

to use a wet towel to rub the

bottom of his putter in order to

add moisture, there is no issue

or rule infraction. If the towel

were dry, and he purposefully

wet it so as to soak his putter,

that is a breach of the rules.

It all goes back to a person’s

intent or action they take to

better their swing, stance, or


The rules of golf have been

crafted over hundreds of

years as to cover every

situation that could come

up in order for the world to

play in harmony. Because of

this, rules explanations can

be confusing. I know golfers

that have been playing for

decades and still get many

rules wrong. That’s why I


The Golf Rules 


See these humorous books

for additional help in tackling

the rules and etiquette of golf



The next time you’re playing

and are considering applying

sunscreen, hand lotion, or saliva

to any club or ball just say,



Jordan Spieth

Stumped The USGA!


Richard Todd

NWO Golf Links