Rules FAQ

Rule 13-2

Removing Dew

Q. I like to play early in the morning. Usually there is still dew on the ground during the first few holes. Is it permissible to sweep away the dew or mop it up with a towel around my ball?

A. Generally, improving the lie of the ball, the line of play, or the area of intended stance or swing by removing dew is a breach of Rule 13-2 (the penalty for which is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play).

However, dew, frost or water may be removed from the teeing ground.

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Playing the ball as it lies - Part 1

Playing the ball as it lies - prohibitions

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Playing the ball as it lies - Part 2

Playing the ball as it lies - exceptions

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Ball in an awkward lie beneath an overhanging tree branch

During the 2001 Memorial Tournament Scott Hoch found his ball in an awkward lie beneath an overhanging tree branch.

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Moving stones away by kicking them from within the water hazard

During the 1991 Doral Open, Paul Azinger moved stones away by kicking them from within the water hazard. According to Rule 13-4, a player shall not touch or move a loose impediment.

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Play a shot out of a bunker

At the 1986 MONY Tournament of Champions, Calvin Peete prepared to play his shot out of a bunker. In doing so, he violated Rule 13-3.

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A player is entitled to place his feet firmly in taking his stance

In 1987, at the PGA's annual event in San Diego, Craig Stadler placed a towel beneath his knees to protect his pants from the wet ground. However, coming into play was Rule 13-