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Exceptions to the rules of golf

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Preaddressing the Ball

In the course of preparing to make a stroke in any place except a fair or formal hazard (see Exceptions 48 and 51), a player may take the following actions without penalty:

1. Prior to assuming his stance, a player who wishes to position himself in such a way that he can precisely determine his exact line of play by sighting along it may place his foot directly behind his ball, step solidly, and shift all his weight to that one leg, even if as an incidental consequence of this activity the turf or other ground lying immediately to the rear of his ball is compressed and the lie of his ball is elevated in relation to the surrounding area and thereby enhanced, but he may not rock back and forth from heel to toe or hop up and down unless he deems such movements essential for an accurate assessment of the distance or direction to his target

2. Before addressing his ball, a player may, solely in the interest of safe play, press his clubhead into the turf or other ground behind his ball to probe for stones, roots, sprinkler heads, pipes, or the like that might damage his club or cause him injury during his swing, and test the soundness of the shaft of his club and the secureness of the attachment of its head by repeatedly tapping it on the grass or soil, and, in order to avoid cramps and undue strain in his legs while waiting for players in front of him to pass out of range, he may temporarily lean on his club in a resting posture as he stands by his ball in readiness to hit as soon as conditions permit.



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