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Dealing with loose impediments

What are loose impediments, and how should you deal with them during your round?

Most regular golfers will come across loose impediments at some point during their rounds. In this blog we’ll take a look at what loose impediments actually are, and how you should deal with them.

Loose impediments are natural objects such as stones, leaves, twigs, branches, and the like. They can also be dung, worms and insects, or casts and heaps made by them, provided they are not fixed or growing, are not solidly embedded, and do not adhere to the ball.

Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting greens, but not elsewhere.

Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments at the option of the player. Manufactured ice is an obstruction; dew and frost are not loose impediments.

Except when both the loose impediment and the ball lie in or touch a hazard (a hazard being any bunker or water hazard), any loose impediment may be removed without penalty.

If the ball moves, there is no penalty.

Casual water is any temporary accumulation of water on the course which is visible before or after the player takes his stance, and is not in a water hazard. Dew and frost are not casual water.

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