To avoid getting a penalty for playing a wrong ball always check that you correctly identify your ball before playing it. If your ball is in the rough or has gathered mud so that it is not easy to identify, mark its position first. pick it up and clean it only as much as is necessary to identify it and replace it. The rules do not allow you to touch and rotate the ball to identify it without first marking it. If you do the penalty is one stroke and the ball must be replaced. Put an identifying mark on your ball to avoid playing a wrong ball and follow the correct procedure to identify it. Rule 7.3 Lifting ball to identify it.