Monday, January 26, 2015

Ask Linda #986-Ant mound interferes

Linda…if a player is just off the green and a small ant mound is between his/her ball and the putting surface, is the player allowed relief or at least allowed to carefully brush away the mound, considering it as a loose impediment?

Lou from Texas

Dear Lou,

You may not move your ball, but you may move the ants.

Assuming these are not dangerous fire ants, but rather the regular garden-variety black ant, you may brush the ants and their soft mound aside [Decision 23/5]. They are loose impediments [Definition of “Loose Impediments;” Rule 23-1].

Fire ants are another story. You are entitled to free relief when you encounter a dangerous situation. If there is no Local Rule giving you automatic relief from fire ants, you may cite Decision 1-4/10 and take free relief.

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