Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Clearing a path for swing

Can I trample grass, break tree branches or bend weeds when setting up to my ball (as long as the ball doesn't move)?

Your swing may look like you're wielding a scythe, but that doesn't mean you can clear the course like an Old West pioneer. Tall grass, bushes and trees are there because they're part of the design. Rule 13-2 reads: "A player must not improve or allow to be improved the position or lie of her ball, the area of her intended stance or swing, her line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole, or the area in which she is to drop or place a ball, by moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds)." Translation: If it's growing, be careful. You are entitled to take a stance, but don't bend any living organism beyond what is necessary to set up to the ball and make a stroke. If a branch is broken--or a bunch of leaves are knocked down--with a practice swing, add two strokes to your score.

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