Recently, I played with a Bridlington Links member and found myself explaining a rule.
Lots of leaves are getting blown into bunkers at the moment so it’s important to know the can and can’t dos in this type of hazard, alongside the obvious of not been able to ground your club in the bunker.
Can you move a leaf out of a bunker ?
This subject is an easy one, but surprisingly it catches out many amateur golfers, who incur unnecessary penalties as a result.
It is essential that you are able to distinguish between obstructions, which are artificial objects, and loose impediments, these are natural objects.
Loose impediments are natural objects that are not fixed or growing, not solidly embedded and not adhering to your ball.
If a player’s ball lies in a hazard, the player must not touch or move any loose impediment lying in, or touching, the same hazard.
Rule 13-4c says ‘loose impediments include: stones (but see *), leaves, branches and twigs, pine cones, dung and droppings, insects, worms and their casts, spiders and their webs, half-eaten fruit etc * Note that while the rules do not permit players to remove stones from bunkers, that is often overridden by a local rule that does permit their removal for safety reasons.
Artificial objects such as cans or a dropped head cover etc are all moveable obstructions without penalty.
The penalty for moving a loose impediment is two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in matchplay.
DID YOU KNOW: The average number of ball marks made on greens per round is eight per golfer.
Assuming a little over 100 rounds per day on average are played, your course will receive over 1,000 impressions daily, over 30,000 per month equating to over 300,000+ per year.
Are you wondering how to putt under those conditions? Well, repair your pitch marks.