Golf Rules on Moving Loose Impediments

By Kevin D. Boehler

The definition of a loose impediment is something that is not fixed or growing. Because golf is played outside, it is impossible to not come in contact with loose impediments during a round. The rule can be confusing, so knowing what is and what isn't a loose impediment can help you remove objects around the golf ball and save strokes.

Loose Impediments

Twigs, stones, fallen branches, leaves and living creatures are considered loose impediments as long as they are neither embedded or growing into the ground nor stuck on the golf ball.

Moving Loose Impediments

Under the rule of golf 23-1 any loose impediment can be removed from around the golf ball if both the ball and loose impediment are not in a hazard. For example, if a ball comes to rest in the rough and there are leaves all around, the golfer can clear away the leaves and not incur a penalty. If the ball comes to rest in a bunker and there are leaves all around, the golfer can not clear away the leaves because both are in the same hazard.

Penalties

When clearing away loose impediments a golfer must be careful that the loose impediments being cleared away do not cause the ball to move.
If movement of the ball occurs because of the removal of loose impediments the golfer must replace the ball and incur a one stroke penalty.
But, if the ball is on the putting green and it moves because the golfer is clearing loose impediments, there is no penalty provided the ball is replaced to its original position.

About The Author

Kevin Boehler attended the University of Nebraska, where he attained a degree in professional golf management. Boehler enjoys teaching golf to others, helping them not only play better, but love the game as well. He has a vast knowledge of the golf swing and a variety of other golf-related information.

ACTIVITY FEED

Philip P. joined GolfLink
Eleanor B. joined GolfLink
John S. joined GolfLink
Tracy C. joined GolfLink
Mckenzie K. joined GolfLink

View Activity Feed

Related Articles

Article Image Wolf Golf Rules and Strategies for a Profitable Round

In Wolf, you’ll be the “Wolf” once every four hol...

Article Image Golf Skins Game: Everything You Need to Know

In a skins game, the person with the lowest score on a hole wins a ...

Article Image The Golfer's Guide to Winter Rules: Proceed With Confidence in Every Situation

For avid golfers, there’s no better feeling than heading back...

Article Image Masters Golf Tournament Winners and Scores from 1934 to Today

The Masters golf tournament was the co-creation of golfing legend...

Article Image What is Backstopping? And is it a Major Problem?

  The PGA Tour has looked to crack down on backstopping, clai...

View All Related Articles