Preferred Lie – Marking your ball
If the player chooses to prefer the lie of the ball, the position of the ball must be first marked. Most players will use a tee to mark the position of the ball but a coin or other similar sized object is suitable. Once the position of the ball has been marked, the player can then lift the ball and clean it if desired. The ball must then be placed on a spot no nearer the hole within the area specified by the Committee, e.g. within 30 centimetres.
It is important to note that the specified area in which to place the ball can vary. The specimen Local Rule does not specify the distance; it is up to the Committee to do so depending on the course conditions.
If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with the club, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.
The player is only entitled to prefer the lie once, so the spot on which to place the ball must be chosen carefully! The ball is in play as soon as it is placed on the ground. If the player picks it up again and moves it, the player would incur a penalty of one stroke for moving his ball in play and the ball must be replaced (Rule 18-2a).