Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ask Linda #272-Moving rooted weed

My ball was in the rough with a rooted weed lying across it. Am I allowed to move the weed away from my ball if I do not pull it loose from the ground? Would the ruling change if the weed bends and cracks, but does not break in two?
Thank you,
Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

The ball must be played as it lies. A player is not permitted to improve his lie by moving, bending, or breaking anything growing [Rule 13-2].

If I am reading your question correctly, you are clearly aware that the weed lying across your ball is rooted in the ground. Under these circumstances, if you move that weed you are penalized two strokes for a breach of Rule 13-2.

You are, however, permitted to move a weed if you are unable to determine whether it is loose or attached. If you then discover that it is still attached, you must put it back before you hit the ball. Should you accidentally pull the weed out of the ground during your inspection, you cannot avoid the two-stroke penalty, so be sure to conduct your inspection with great care [Decision 13-2/26].

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