Rules FAQ


Rule 23-1

Why Sand and Loose Soil are Not Loose Impediments off the Putting Green

Q.  What is the reason why sand and loose soil are not loose impediments off the putting green?

A.  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.


Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video
Loose Impediments
Dealing with loose impediments
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Video
Boulder was considered a loose impediment
In the final round of the 1999 Phoenix Open, Tiger Woods' tee shot sailed wide left and came to rest behind a large boulder. Upon examining the situation, Woods asked the Rules Official if the boulder was considered a loose impediment.
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Video
Immovable obstruction
During a playoff at the 1987 Los Angeles Open, Ben Crenshaw’s ball landed on this artificially-surfaced service road adjacent to the 15th fairway. Classified as an “immovable obstruction,” Crenshaw was entitled to relief without penalty from the road under Rule 24-2.
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