Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ask Linda #1417-Remove wood chips before dropping ball

Hi Linda,
Our head golf professional told us that a player cannot remove loose
impediments from the area of an intended drop. We have a lot of wood chips in areas on the course as a drought solution. I think these wood chips are loose impediments.
#1 Are wood chips loose impediments?
#2 Can loose impediments be removed from the intended area of a drop?

And, maybe one additional question - can a player basically sweep away three or so square feet of wood chips, to be sure that the dropped ball is on a clear dirt surface? It's sometimes difficult to remove the wood chips after the drop since there's a high risk that you'll cause the ball to move.

Lou from Encino, California

Dear Lou,

It may be time for you and your buddies to chip in and buy your pro a Decisions book.

• Wood chips are loose impediments [Decision 23/14].

• Players are permitted to remove loose impediments from the area where the ball will be dropped [Decision 23-1/6].

• I see no problem brushing away three square feet of wood chips, provided the player does not unduly delay play. The course might appreciate your brushing them back after your shot.

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