A rule I see broken with astonishing regularity. Keep your eyes open and I’m sure you’ll find someone does it during your next friendly fourball.
Rule of Thumb (but not a rule of golf): MARK YOUR BALL FIRST if you ever need to touch or lift it.
And please remember that if you do need to lift your ball to identify it, you must put it back in exactly the same spot, so with exactly the same lie – you can’t just pop it down somewhere nearby and hope for a better lie!
Rule 7.3 Lifting Ball to Identify ItThe Rules of Golf 2019
If a ball might be a player’s ball but cannot be identified as it lies:
– The player may lift the ball to identify it (including by rotating it), but:
– The spot of the ball must first be marked, and the ball must not cleaned more than needed to identify it (except on the putting green).
If the lifted ball is the player’s ball or another player’s ball, it must be replaced on its original spot.
If the player lifts his or her ball under this Rule when not reasonably necessary to identify it (except on the putting green where the player may lift under Rule 13.1b), fails to mark the spot of the ball before lifting it or cleans it when not allowed, the player gets one penalty stroke.