No.71 Improving a Stance

Question 1:
In order to get them out of the way of his stroke a player deliberately backed into branches, bending them with his arms and legs and then holding them back with his body while making his stroke. Did he incur any penalty?

Answer 1:
Yes, a penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play. Rule 13-2.

Note: The player must 'fairly' take their stance. They may not bend an interfering branch with their hands, legs or body in taking their stance when it could have been taken without bending the branch. Decision 13-2/1 provides a detailed explanation.

Question 2:
A player decides to kneel down to play his ball lying under a tree. He puts a towel on the wet ground to protect his knees. What is the ruling?

Question 3:
Would it have been permissible for the player to put on waterproof trousers before he knelt on the ground to make his stroke?

Answer 2:
The player incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play for 'building a stance'. Decision 13-3/2.

Answer 3:
Yes. Decision 13-3/2.

Note: A player must not build a stance. This also includes putting a mat on the ground to prevent slipping or moving anything into position to achieve a higher or more even stance.

Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
Good golfing,
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