A sign often seen outside the pro-shop of a golf course when the course is in good condition.
When you see this sign, it means that you should play the ball as it lies, also known as playing the ball down. Of course, playing in any other fashion is considered cheating.
This is probably the most widely ignored rule among hackers.
When a club pro/greens superintendent is deciding whether to inform the golfing public to play summer rules or winter rules on that course, he must take several factors into consideration. Including but not limited to:
- Condition of the course.
- Amount of damage the course has taken from everyday play
- Amount of damage the course will take(while playing winter rules, players tend to move the ball to undamaged areas of turf which then become damaged)
- How many people will be playing the course
- Any tournaments occurring at the course
It should be noted that the USGA specifies that the ball should not be touched, moved or cleaned unless it is on the putting surface, in which case the ball may be marked by placing a coin or other small object behind it then lifted from the green, cleaned and placed in the exact same place as it was before it was moved.
Play the ball as it lies