Kendra Graham is a former USGA Rules Official and is currently Golf Channel’s Rules Insider. This was an interesting week for the rules of golf and in looking at Zach Johnson’s infraction on the 18th hole on Sunday at Colonial, she noted that a fan could have called out to remind Zach to replace his ball marker and there were many, many fans around the green. While a playing partner can ask you to move your ball, it is up to you to remember to put your ball back before playing your next shot. If you don’t, it is a two stroke penalty and is actually a straight forward rule and punishment.
Graeme McDowell caused his ball to move and then failed to replace his ball during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship. He was penalized one shot for causing his ball to move and then penalized a second shot for not replacing his ball before hitting his next shot. Graeme seemed to be caught up in how he caused the ball to move rather than the fact that the ball moved. In any situation where you cause the ball to move, it is a one stroke penalty and you have to replace your ball before you play your next shot.