No.74 Growing Things Affecting Stroke

A player's ball lies under some growing creepers.

Question 1:
a) Are the creepers loose impediments, which may be removed?
b) May the player move the creepers to see if they are loose or attached?
c) May the player move the creepers aside in order to see their ball while making a stroke at it?

Answer 1:
a) No, anything growing is not a loose impediment. Definition of Loose Impediment.
b) Yes, providing that when the creeper is found not to be loose, it has not become detached and is returned to its original position before the stroke is made. Decision 13-2/26.
c) No. A player is not necessarily entitled to see their ball when making a stroke. Rule 12-1.



Question 2:
A player's ball lies in a badly maintained bunker that has grass growing within its margins.
a) Does the player incur a penalty for touching the grass with their practice swing?
b) Does the player incur a penalty for touching the grass with the backswing of their stroke?

Answer 2:
a) No, providing they do not do anything to improve their lie, stance or area of intended swing.
b) No, because the grass is growing and is not therefore a loose impediment.

Note to Rule 13-4:

At any time, including at address or in the backward movement for the stroke, the player may touch, with a club or otherwise, any obstruction, any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course or any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing.
Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
Good golfing,