Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ask Linda #983-Backswing in hazard breaks reeds

Hi Linda,

On our course we have a water hazard that we call the Gulch. In this gulch there are reeds which are approximately a metre high. Sometimes it is dry enough to play a ball out of, but if the ball is within the reeds, in order to play the ball the club would come into contact with these reeds and possibly break them on the back swing. What is the ruling on this, please?

Many thanks.
Lou from Wales, UK

Dear Lou,

If you break the reeds on your backswing, but continue your swing uninterrupted, there is no penalty [Rule 13-2: third bullet following “However…”].

If you break the reeds on your backswing and discontinue your swing, you are penalized two strokes (loss of hole in match play) for improving the area of your intended swing [Rule 13-2].

A player is permitted to touch growing things at any time, including during his backswing [Rule 13-4, Note].

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