Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ask Linda #1141-Remove sand and dew from green

If there are loose impediments, such as sand, on the green I understand your hand, towel, hat, or club head may be used to move them from your line as long as the ground is not pressed down. What happens when you are playing early in the morning with dew on the green and sand? Does this mean you can't use a hat or towel since it would remove both the sand and the dew? Can you pick the sand off your line in that case with your fingers rather than brushing to remove as much of the loose impediments as possible without removing dew?
Lou from Seattle, Washington

Dear Lou,

I think you may be surprised at the answer.

Ordinarily, a player is not permitted to brush dew off his line of putt, since dew is not defined as a loose impediment. Removing dew is a breach of Rule 16-1a, and the penalty is two strokes (loss of hole in match play) [Decision 16-1a/3].

However, Decision 13-2/35 states that the removal of dew from the line of putt is not against the Rules if it occurs incidentally while the player is performing an action that is permitted under the Rules, such as removing loose impediments, repairing ball marks, or addressing the ball.

Therefore, there is no penalty if you brush sand off your line of putt with a hat or towel and incidentally brush away the dew.

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