Friday, June 29, 2018

Ask Linda #1768-Pull out grass near ball

Hi Linda,
I would like to clarify a point of which I'm uncertain and in my previous question you were extremely helpful so hopefully you can help me with this.

Playing a qualifying Stableford this weekend, one of my fellow competitors picked a couple of blades of long grass near his ball. It really wasn't a major issue in the great scheme of things, and I doubt if it made any difference to his next shot. I said I thought this may be against the Rules as it could be deemed as improving his lie. His response was he's seen this done on the TV by the pros, which I find difficult to believe.

Can you advise if his actions broke any rules or if I'm just overreacting?

Thank you,
Lou from Rainham, Kent

Dear Lou,

Yes, a Rule was broken, and no, you are not overreacting.

It is against the Rules to improve your lie, the area of your intended stance or swing, or your line of play by pulling out anything that is fixed or growing near the ball [Rule 13-2]. The penalty is two strokes.

What your fellow competitor may have noticed on the television was a pro brushing away clumps of cut grass from the area around his ball. Cut grass is neither growing nor fixed, and is classified as a loose impediment.

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