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Rule of the Week (May 20 – 26)

Written by Brian Lee

Rule 23-1 – Why Sand and Loose Soil are Not Loose Impediments off the Putting Green

QUESTION:
What is the reason why sand and loose soil are not loose impediments off the putting green? Why can’t I remove them from the area of my intended swing?

ANSWER:
Sand and loose soil are part of the earth. Permitting the player to remove sand and soil other than on the putting green would inevitably lead to situations in which the player would be at liberty to remove a great deal of earth from the area of his intended swing and stance, improving the lie beyond the extent that should be permitted. Additionally, the putting green is an area specifically designed for putting and sand and loose soil are not commonplace on such a surface.

Reminder 1, in Saskatchewan, a putting surface may consist of oiled prepared sand. The Rule above does not make the sand movable as it is the putting surface. The sand may be smoothed prior to putting and then roughened in preparation for the next group at the completion of the hole.

Reminder 2, in the situation above, if another player plays prior to you and splashes sand over your intended area of swing, stance or direction of play, under the rules, the player is entitled to the lie she/he had prior to the play of the other person. In this instance, a player could remove the sand from the rough and fringe (off the green).