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The USGA, in conjunction with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, writes, interprets and maintains the Rules of Golf to guard the tradition and integrity of the game.The two organizations are joint authors and owners of The Rules of Golf and Decisions on the Rules of Golf.Through an agreement with The R&A, the Rules jurisdiction of the USGA includes only the United States, its possessions and Mexico.The latest version went into effect Jan. 1, 2012, with the next revision taking effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Golf Rule 22 - Ball Interfering with or Assisting Play

BALL INTERFERING WITH OR ASSISTING PLAY: Gain the advantage, know this rule. (i) Any play can lift his own ball if he feels that his ball might assist another player, or (ii) have any other ball lifted if the player considers the ball might interfere with his play or assist another player with their play.

NOTE--A ball or balls do not have to be on the green to be lifted for interference or assistance.
NOTE-- In stroke play only, a player who is requested to lift his ball may play first rather than lift.
NOTE--A ball lifted due to interference or assistance must not lift while another ball is in motion.
NOTE--Only when the ball is on the putting green may it be cleaned when lifted. Penalty for cleaning when not permitted is one-stroke.

PENALTY : Loss of Hole in Match Play and Two-Strokes in stroke play.