Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ask Linda #1408a-Follow-up questions to #1408-Ball touches empty can in hazard 10.27.16

Dear readers,

There seems to be some confusion regarding your right to remove a can from a hazard. Here are some of the questions and comments I received in response to Ask Linda #1408:

Even if it's in a hazard? (from Lulu in Abington, Massachusetts)

I think you should clarify that the can in the hazard is man-made and not natural. (from Lulu in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Would Movable Obstructions there include twigs, dead branches, grass mounds, etc.?  as they do outside hazards? If so, it changes my whole idea of how to treat hazards. Am I confusing loose impediments with movable obstructions?  And, is a can in a hazard one or the other? (from Lou in Surprise, Arizona)

Here’s the scoop:
• Obstructions are man-made objects. I have yet to see a “natural” can, so you can safely assume that a can is an artificial object (man-made) and qualifies as an “obstruction” under the Rules of Golf [Definition of “Obstructions”].
• Obstructions are “movable” if you can move them easily without causing damage or delaying play. Cans, water bottles, food wrappers, cups, and rakes are examples of movable obstructions.
• Loose impediments are natural objects (e.g., stones, leaves, twigs, branches, worms, insects, dung). You may not touch or move a loose impediment that lies in or touches a water hazard or a bunker [Rule 13-4c].

• Players are permitted to pick up movable obstructions anywhere on the golf course. This includes all water hazards and bunkers. If the ball does not lie on or in the obstruction, and the ball moves as a direct result of picking up the obstruction, the ball must be replaced. If the ball lies on or in the obstruction (e.g., on a rake or in a cup), the player may lift the ball and remove the obstruction, after which he must drop the ball as close as possible to where it lay, not nearer the hole [Rule 24-1].

Please take out a moment to review the Definitions of “Obstructions” and “Loose Impediments,” and spend some time studying Rule 24-1.

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