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Play it as it lies

Play it as it lies

"Play it as it lies" is one of the most fundamental principles of golf - an idea that much of the Rules of Golf is built around. What that means is pretty simple - don't move or touch the ball! Where it comes to rest, whatever state it's in, you will most likely have to play it as it is. That's actually one of the main things that make golf such an interesting sport.

There are exceptions spelled out in the Rules of Golf, but if you want to play by the rules, a good rule of thumb is this: Don't move the ball, don't touch it, don't pick it up unless you are CERTAIN that you are allowed to do so under the Rules.

One exception that is always in place: You are allowed to pick up and clean the ball when it's on the putting green (place a ballmarker just behind the ball before picking it up on the putting green).