October 7th, 2015
Welcome to the second full week of Autumn golf. The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning beautiful colours and also falling off the trees.
This time of year may causes a few rules issues.
Here are some Q/A to consider:
1. What is the status of leaves once they have fallen off a tree?
2. What happens if a golfer or group can't find the ball and that they know is it is in the fairway?
3. What action can be taken to remove leaves?
1. The first question you have to answer is where is your ball?
If the player's ball is on the fairway or in the rough, a player may remove a leaf/leaves provided the player does not cause his ball to move. If the ball moves in the removal of a leaf, the player has caused his ball to move. Simply replace the ball and take your 1 stroke penalty.
If the player's ball is in a hazard (Bunker or Water Hazard including a Lateral Water Hazard) the player is not entitled to move or remove a leaf/leaves unless the rules allow (For example during search for the ball in a hazard completely covered by leaves).
33-8/31 Local Rule Providing Relief from Accumulations of Leaves Through the Green
The Committee may make a temporary Local Rule declaring accumulations of leaves through the green at certain holes to be ground under repair (see Definition of "Ground Under Repair") and Rule 25-1 will apply.
The Local Rule should be restricted to the hole(s) at which trouble with leaves occurs and it should be withdrawn as soon as conditions permit. Particular attention is drawn to the opening paragraph of Rule 25-1c; unless it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the leaves, it must be treated as lost elsewhere and Rule 27-1 applies.
3. Rule 23-1/1
Means by Which Loose Impediments May Be Removed
Q. Leaves (and or Worm casts)
are loose impediments. By what means may such leaves/casts be removed?
Loose impediments may be removed by any means, except that, in removing loose impediments on the line of putt, the player must not press anything down (Rule 16-1a).
Happy golfing and remember the Rules Matter.