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Obstructions

Movable Obstruction
A player may take relief without penalty from a movable obstruction as follows:

a. If the ball does not lie in or on the obstruction, the obstruction may be removed. If the ball moves, it must be replaced, and there is no penalty provided that the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the removal of the obstruction. Otherwise, Rule 18-2a applies.

b. If the ball lies in or on the obstruction, the ball may be lifted and the obstruction removed. The ball must through the green or in a hazard be dropped, or on the putting green be placed, as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where the ball lay in or on the obstruction, but not nearer the hole.

The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule.
When a ball is in motion, an obstruction that might influence the movement of the ball, other than an attended flagstick or equipment of the players, must not be removed.

See also: Exerting influence on ball

Note: If a ball to be dropped or placed under this Rule is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.

Immovable Obstruction
a. Interference
Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. If the player’s ball lies on the putting green, interference also occurs if an immovable obstruction on the putting green intervenes on his line of putt. Otherwise, intervention on the line of play is not, of itself, interference under this Rule.

b. Relief
Except when the ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, a player may take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction as follows:

(i) Through the Green: If the ball lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it without penalty within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not be in a hazard or on a putting green. When the ball is dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the immovable obstruction and is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

(ii) In a Bunker: If the ball is in a bunker, the player must lift the ball and drop it either:

(a) Without penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above, except that the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker; or
(b) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped.

(iii) On the Putting Green: If the ball lies on the putting green, the player must lift the ball and place it without penalty at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.

(iv) On the Teeing Ground: If the ball lies on the teeing ground, the player must lift the ball and drop it without penalty in accordance with Clause (i) above.

The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule.

See also: Ball rolling to a position where there is interference by the condition from which relief was taken

Exception: A player may not take relief under this Rule if (a) it is clearly unreasonable for him to make a stroke because of interference by anything other than an immovable obstruction or (b) interference by an immovable obstruction would occur only through use of an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.

Note 1: If a ball is in a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard), the player may not take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction. The player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 26-1.

Note 2: If a ball to be dropped or placed under this Rule is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.

Note 3: The Committee may make a Local Rule stating that the player must determine the nearest point of relief without crossing over, through or under the obstruction.

Ball Lost in Obstruction
It is a question of fact whether a ball lost after having been struck toward an obstruction is lost in the obstruction. In order to treat the ball as lost in the obstruction, there must be reasonable evidence to that effect. In the absence of such evidence, the ball must be treated as a lost ball and Rule 27 applies.

a. Ball Lost in Movable Obstruction
If a ball is lost in a movable obstruction, a player may, without penalty, remove the obstruction and must through the green or in a hazard drop a ball, or on the putting green place a ball, as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the movable obstruction, but not nearer the hole.

b. Ball Lost in Immovable Obstruction
If a ball is lost in an immovable obstruction, the spot where the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the obstruction must be determined and, for the purpose of applying this Rule, the ball is deemed to lie at this spot and the player may take relief as follows:

(i) Through the Green: If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the immovable obstruction at a spot through the green, the player may substitute another ball without penalty and take relief as prescribed in Rule 24-2b(i).

(ii) In a Bunker: If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the immovable obstruction at a spot in a bunker, the player may substitute another ball without penalty and take relief as prescribed in Rule 24-2b(ii).

(iii) In a Water Hazard (including a Lateral Water Hazard): If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the immovable obstruction at a spot in a water hazard, the player is not entitled to relief without penalty. The player must proceed under Rule 26-1.

(iv) On the Putting Green: If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the immovable obstruction at a spot on the putting green, the player may substitute another ball without penalty and take relief as prescribed in Rule 24-2b(iii).

Penalty for breach of rule:
Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Golf Rules and Decisions on March 17, 2009 at 3:30 am

    […] place 21. Cleaning the ball 22. Ball Assisting or Interfering with Play 23. Loose Impediments 24. Obstructions 25. Abnormal Ground Conditions, Embedded Ball, and Wrong Putting Green 26. Water Hazards (Including […]

  2. By The game on March 19, 2009 at 8:33 am

    […] Exerting influence on ball A player or caddie must not take any action to influence the position or the movement of a ball except in accordance with the rules. See: Removal of movable obstruction […]