The Lift & Clean Rule

We take marking, lifting and cleaning our golf balls for granted these days when we’re on the green, but that wasn’t always the case. Take the famous playoff at Merion in 1950 when Lloyd Mangrum was penalized two strokes on the 16th hole for lifting his ball to blow a bug off it. At the time, you could only lift a ball on the green in stroke play if it was in the way of another player putting (Some PGA-run events allowed a player to do so under a local rule). In 1960, the USGA changed the rule, allowing golfers to lift and clean their balls after marking on the green — a decade too late for Mangrum.

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