Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ask Linda #1547-Player kicks loose impediment into hazard

Hi Linda,
My ball lies in a lateral hazard and is playable. As I walk down the embankment (the embankment is in the confines of the hazard), I step on a branch (detached) with leaves still on it, and the branch slides down the embankment and proceeds to cover my ball.

Is there a penalty?  Can I remove the branch?  What is the correct procedure?

Thank you!
Lou from San Jose, California

Dear Lou,

There is no penalty, provided you did not move the ball. You may not remove the branch, as you are not permitted to touch or move a loose impediment when your ball and the loose impediment lie in the same hazard [Rule 13-4c]. If you remove the branch, you will incur a two-stroke penalty in stroke play, loss of hole in match play [Decision 13-4/14].

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