No.9 Objects in
A player's ball lies in a
bunker close to several objects. Which objects may be removed from the
bunker without penalty?
a) A score card
b) A can
c) A leaf
d) A plastic bag
e) A twig
f) The player's own glove
g) The player's own ball marker
h) An abandoned tee peg
i) A loose divot of grass
Answers: The player may remove a), b), d),
f), g), and h) as these are all movable obstructions.
The player may not remove c), e) and i) as
these are loose impediments.
Loose impediments are natural
objects. When a player's ball and a loose impediment lie in or
touch the same hazard the loose impediment may not be moved.
Obstructions are artificial objects and are
movable anywhere on the course, providing they can be moved
without unreasonable effort.
Of course stones are natural objects and
are therefore loose impediments, which ordinarily may not be
removed from hazards when the ball lies in the same hazard (Rule
23-1). However, many course Committees introduce a Local Rule
permitting stones to be removed in this circumstance; the reason
being that it can be dangerous if a player hits a stone in the
air in the process of making a stroke at their ball.
Appendix l, Part A, in the Rules of Golf expressly permits such
a Local Rule that allows the removal of stones in bunkers by
declaring them to be movable obstructions (Rule 24-1). Another
reason to always check the Local Rules before commencing a round
on an unfamiliar course.
Another 'Rhodes Rules
Q&A will follow next week.
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