Monday, March 28, 2016

Ask Linda #1273-What are dew and frost?

Dear Linda,

Dew and frost are not loose impediments.
Dew and frost are not casual water

So what are they in terms of Golf definitions?

Integral part of the course?

Kind regards from a sunny part of the Netherlands (at least today).
Lou from The Netherlands

Dear Lou,

I guess you don’t want to hear that dew and frost are dew and frost. Probably not.

So, what does it mean if dew and frost (D&F) are neither loose impediments nor casual water? Let’s consider.

Players are permitted to move loose impediments, except when the loose impediments and the ball lie in the same hazard [Rule 23]. Since D&F are not loose impediments, you must draw the conclusion that you may not move them.

Casual water is an abnormal ground condition [Definition of Abnormal Ground Conditions]. Players are entitled to free relief from abnormal ground conditions, except when their ball lies in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard [Rule 25]. Since D&F are not casual water, there is no free relief available if your ball lies in or touches D&F or if the D&F interfere with your lie, stance, or the area of your intended swing.

While the Rules do not define dew or frost (their definitions are the same in golf as in the real world), they are specifically addressed in Rule 13, “Ball Played as it Lies.” Rule 13-2 tells us that we may not remove dew or frost anywhere except on the teeing ground. If you remove it anywhere except on the teeing ground, thereby improving your lie, area of intended stance or swing, or line of play, you incur a two-stroke/loss-of-hole penalty for a breach of Rule 13-2.

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