8.1a/6 – Altering Surface of Ground to Build Stance Is Not Permitted

Based on how I read the below and interpret the rule, I am not allowed to kick tiny pebbles or tiny dirt mounds with my feet to build a stance prior to my stroke. So on the picture here (best i could find to illustrate my point), I can't kick these tiny rocks aside as it will be where I will build my stance and it will not interfere with the actual stroke. Is my interpretation correct or incorrect? I myself have been guilty of this as well as many golfers that I have seen and played with. Thanks.







small-stones-in-garden.jpg

8.1a/6 – Altering Surface of Ground to Build Stance Is Not Permitted



A player is allowed to place his or her feet firmly in taking a stance, but is in breach of Rule 8.1a if he or she alters the ground where the stance will be taken if altering the ground improves the area of intended stance.


Examples of altering the ground that are likely to improve conditions affecting the stroke include:


A player is in breach of Rule 8.1a as soon as he or she has improved conditions by altering ground conditions to build a stance and cannot avoid a penalty by attempting to restore the ground conditions to their original state.


The restriction on altering the ground (Rule 8.1a(3)) does not include removing loose impediments or movable obstructions from the area of intended stance, such as removing large amounts of pine needles or leaves from where a player will stand to play the ball.
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Comments

  • QEightQEight Members Posts: 3,397 ✭✭
    You can move Loose Impediments:





    Any unattached natural object such as:
    • Stones, loose grass, leaves, branches and sticks,
    • Dead animals and animal waste,
    • Worms, insects and similar animals that can be removed easily, and the mounds or webs they build (such as worm casts and ant hills), and
    • Clumps of compacted soil (including aeration plugs).


    Such natural objects are not loose if they are:
    • Attached or growing,
    • Solidly embedded in the ground (that is, cannot be picked out easily), or
    • Sticking to the ball.


    Special cases:
    • Sand and Loose Soil are not loose impediments.
    • Dew, Frost and Water are not loose impediments.
    • Snow and Natural Ice (other than frost) are either loose impedimentsor, when on the ground, temporary water, at the player's option.
    • Spider Webs are loose impediments even though they are attached to another object.
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  • NewbyNewby Members Posts: 6,430 ✭✭


    Based on how I read the below and interpret the rule, I am not allowed to kick tiny pebbles or tiny dirt mounds with my feet to build a stance prior to my stroke. So on the picture here (best i could find to illustrate my point), I can't kick these tiny rocks aside as it will be where I will build my stance and it will not interfere with the actual stroke. Is my interpretation correct or incorrect? I myself have been guilty of this as well as many golfers that I have seen and played with. Thanks.







    small-stones-in-garden.jpg






    Q8's reply shows you can move everything in the picture
  • antipantip Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    Are you feeling a need to kick rocks aside? In my experience that is risky. You can take that stuff out of the way, you just can't bring stuff in. I suggest that simple approaches to these issues will ensure you will not have any problem with this rule.
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    While you may or may not like the results of kicking loose impediments aside, 15.1a allows the practice:



    a. Removal of Loose Impediment

    Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).



  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    Kicking loose impediments aside may be risky, as antip suggested. Removing LIs without messing up the rest of the ground is just fine. I believe there may be a difference between kicking and removing.
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    Mr. Bean wrote:


    Kicking loose impediments aside may be risky, as antip suggested. Removing LIs without messing up the rest of the ground is just fine. I believe there may be a difference between kicking and removing.
    No doubt there is a difference between kicking and other means of removal. But "may do so in any way" includes kicking. Not my recommendation, we all agree on that. But kicking was part of the OP's question.
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    Sawgrass wrote:

    Mr. Bean wrote:


    Kicking loose impediments aside may be risky, as antip suggested. Removing LIs without messing up the rest of the ground is just fine. I believe there may be a difference between kicking and removing.
    No doubt there is a difference between kicking and other means of removal. But "may do so in any way" includes kicking. Not my recommendation, we all agree on that. But kicking was part of the OP's question.




    All the rules geeks surely get a kick out of that!
  • KMeloneyKMeloney Members Posts: 4,725 ✭✭
    Newby wrote:


    Q8's reply shows you can move everything in the picture




    Heck, the last sentence of the OP's own post shows that he can move everything in the picture.
  • QEightQEight Members Posts: 3,397 ✭✭
    KMeloney wrote:

    Newby wrote:


    Q8's reply shows you can move everything in the picture




    Heck, the last sentence of the OP's own post shows that he can move everything in the picture.




    True, but sometimes your own thoughts get in the way. Now at least it is clear what loose inpediment is and what not.
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  • antipantip Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    Sawgrass wrote:


    While you may or may not like the results of kicking loose impediments aside, 15.1a allows the practice:



    a. Removal of Loose Impediment

    Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).
    Yep, we all understand, "may do so in any way". But take out all of that material in the picture with a kick, and you have altered the surface of the ground - simply not possible to remove those partly embedded items without doing so. So you need to be carefully considering whether an 8.1 breach has occurred.
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    antip wrote:

    Sawgrass wrote:


    While you may or may not like the results of kicking loose impediments aside, 15.1a allows the practice:



    a. Removal of Loose Impediment

    Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).
    Yep, we all understand, "may do so in any way". But take out all of that material in the picture with a kick, and you have altered the surface of the ground - simply not possible to remove those partly embedded items without doing so. So you need to be carefully considering whether an 8.1 breach has occurred.
    Would you penalize a player for slowly scraping the pebbles away from the area in front of his/her ball with the edge of his/her shoe?
  • QEightQEight Members Posts: 3,397 ✭✭
    Depends if he is also moving soil.
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  • DpavsDpavs OverWRX'ed Members Posts: 3,321 ✭✭
    If someone is removing a loose impediment in accordance with 15.1 I seriously doubt any soil incidentally moved in the process would result in a penalty. As long as you act in accordance with the language and spirit of one rule, I just cannot believe that you will have been deemed to have violated another under some technicality.



    Also the interpretation noted with 15.1 would seem to indicate that there is no intention to limit the method used or size of the impediment which is to be removed. The unreasonable delay of play seems to be the only restriction I can see.

    15.1a/1 – Removing a Loose Impediment, Including Assistance from Others



    Loose impediments come in many shapes and sizes (such as acorns and large rocks), and the means and methods by which they may be removed are not limited, except that removal must not unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a).
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    QEight wrote:


    Depends if he is also moving soil.
    It’s next to impossible to remove a lightly embedded LI without moving at least some small amount of soil, so that can not be the dividing line. You have to gain a potential advantage for there to be an “improvement” violation.



    If you’re kicking with the sole intent of moving LIs, and incidentally move some soil which does not create an advantage, there is no issue.
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    Dpavs wrote:


    If someone is removing a loose impediment in accordance with 15.1 I seriously doubt any soil incidentally moved in the process would result in a penalty. As long as you act in accordance with the language and spirit of one rule, I just cannot believe that you will have been deemed to have violated another under some technicality.



    Also the interpretation noted with 15.1 would seem to indicate that there is no intention to limit the method used or size of the impediment which is to be removed. The unreasonable delay of play seems to be the only restriction I can see.

    15.1a/1 – Removing a Loose Impediment, Including Assistance from Others



    Loose impediments come in many shapes and sizes (such as acorns and large rocks), and the means and methods by which they may be removed are not limited, except that removal must not unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a).
    It’s always dangerous to bring the subject up, but I believe some soil was moved when the Tiger Team legally helped him move that storied boulder in Phoenix.
  • rogolfrogolf Members Posts: 3,651 ✭✭
    Sawgrass wrote:

    QEight wrote:


    Depends if he is also moving soil.
    It’s next to impossible to remove a lightly embedded LI without moving at least some small amount of soil, so that can not be the dividing line. You have to gain a potential advantage for there to be an “improvement” violation.



    If you’re kicking with the sole intent of moving LIs, and incidentally move some soil which does not create an advantage, there is no issue.


    SG, I prefer not to go into "creating an advantage" discussions. Imo, the Rules have determined that building a stance creates an advantage and is not permitted. So, the pertinent question is, did the player build a stance?
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    edited Mar 8, 2019 10:43am #18
    rogolf wrote:

    Sawgrass wrote:

    QEight wrote:


    Depends if he is also moving soil.
    It’s next to impossible to remove a lightly embedded LI without moving at least some small amount of soil, so that can not be the dividing line. You have to gain a potential advantage for there to be an “improvement” violation.



    If you’re kicking with the sole intent of moving LIs, and incidentally move some soil which does not create an advantage, there is no issue.


    SG, I prefer not to go into "creating an advantage" discussions. Imo, the Rules have determined that building a stance creates an advantage and is not permitted. So, the pertinent question is, did the player build a stance?
    I was quoting the definition of “improve” when I wrote about “potential advantage.”I don’t see how we can avoid addressing it in a discussion about rule 8.1.



    Edit:



    8.1a/6, about building a stance, specifically allows the removal of LIs, so around we go.
  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,607 ✭✭
    I'm surprised pine straw isn't listed as an example as it is so prevalent
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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    cardoustie wrote:


    I'm surprised pine straw isn't listed as an example as it is so prevalent
    8.1a/6 does specifically mention the allowance to remove pine needles and leaves.
  • rogolfrogolf Members Posts: 3,651 ✭✭
    edited Mar 8, 2019 12:32pm #21
    Sawgrass wrote:

    rogolf wrote:

    Sawgrass wrote:

    QEight wrote:


    Depends if he is also moving soil.
    It's next to impossible to remove a lightly embedded LI without moving at least some small amount of soil, so that can not be the dividing line. You have to gain a potential advantage for there to be an "improvement" violation.



    If you're kicking with the sole intent of moving LIs, and incidentally move some soil which does not create an advantage, there is no issue.


    SG, I prefer not to go into "creating an advantage" discussions. Imo, the Rules have determined that building a stance creates an advantage and is not permitted. So, the pertinent question is, did the player build a stance?
    I was quoting the definition of "improve" when I wrote about "potential advantage."I don't see how we can avoid addressing it in a discussion about rule 8.1.



    Edit:



    8.1a/6, about building a stance, specifically allows the removal of LIs, so around we go.


    Understood, but, imo, debating with a player, on the course, whether or not a potential advantage was created is a no-win situation. If the player built a stance, I'll know it and say that he did.

    Sand and loose soil are not loose impediments (except on the putting green). Small amounts of sand and loose soil are allowed to be moved in removing true loose impediments (pine needles, stones on a gravel path, lightly-embedded stones, wood chips etc). In the picture in the original post, there appears to be a lot of loose soil.

    BTW, I know you're in the choir!
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    edited Mar 8, 2019 11:05am #22
    rogolf wrote:


    Sand and loose soil are not loose impediments (except on the putting green).




    Not even on the putting green...



    Welcome to year 2019 image/busted_cop.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':busted_cop:' />
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,862 ✭✭
    Mr. Bean wrote:

    rogolf wrote:


    Sand and loose soil are not loose impediments (except on the putting green).




    Not even on the putting green...



    Welcome to year 2019 image/busted_cop.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':busted_cop:' />
    I thought that was an interesting change, though it ends up as no change at all. Sand and soil are never LI's per the definition of LI, but sand and soil are specifically allowed to be removed from the putting green via 13.1c (1).



    I confess I like the new configuration. But that's just me.
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    I think the RBs wanted to get rid of the exception in the Def of LI and move sand and soil to be covered by the Putting Green Rules. one sort of simplifying, I guess.
  • antipantip Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    rogolf wrote:

    Sawgrass wrote:

    rogolf wrote:

    Sawgrass wrote:

    QEight wrote:


    Depends if he is also moving soil.
    It's next to impossible to remove a lightly embedded LI without moving at least some small amount of soil, so that can not be the dividing line. You have to gain a potential advantage for there to be an "improvement" violation.



    If you're kicking with the sole intent of moving LIs, and incidentally move some soil which does not create an advantage, there is no issue.


    SG, I prefer not to go into "creating an advantage" discussions. Imo, the Rules have determined that building a stance creates an advantage and is not permitted. So, the pertinent question is, did the player build a stance?
    I was quoting the definition of "improve" when I wrote about "potential advantage."I don't see how we can avoid addressing it in a discussion about rule 8.1.



    Edit:



    8.1a/6, about building a stance, specifically allows the removal of LIs, so around we go.


    Understood, but, imo, debating with a player, on the course, whether or not a potential advantage was created is a no-win situation. If the player built a stance, I'll know it and say that he did.

    Sand and loose soil are not loose impediments (except on the putting green). Small amounts of sand and loose soil are allowed to be moved in removing true loose impediments (pine needles, stones on a gravel path, lightly-embedded stones, wood chips etc). In the picture in the original post, there appears to be a lot of loose soil.

    BTW, I know you're in the choir!
    I'm in full agreement with the thrust of the conversation but have two small border observations. One relates to improving the conditions. Specifically, I'm referring to stance/position of feet rather than lie of ball. Some of our courses in low rainfall areas have rock hard ground in the rough with a narrow 'skin' of loose soil on top. The result is a considerable constraint on how the player swings because of very unstable feet. In such a situation, robustly kicking away partly embedded stones around the feet area for the stance can produce a considerable improvement in the conditions of the stroke by creating a much more stable platform for making a full swing. In that situation, I would be advising a player to avoid moving loose soil unnecessarily because the common natural instinct is to be very careful around the ball but not careful around the feet area.



    My other comment is that there is now, IMO, a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content - whenever the ball is in the Teeing Area.
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    antip wrote:


    My other comment is that there is now, IMO, a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content - whenever the ball is in the Teeing Area.




    I am afraid you lost me on this one. Care to elaborate?
  • antipantip Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    Mr. Bean wrote:

    antip wrote:


    My other comment is that there is now, IMO, a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content - whenever the ball is in the Teeing Area./6.




    I am afraid you lost me on this one. Care to elaborate?
    I think the explicit teeing area permission in 6.2b(3) overrides the more general restriction on altering the surface of the ground and 8.1a/6.
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    antip wrote:

    Mr. Bean wrote:

    antip wrote:


    My other comment is that there is now, IMO, a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content - whenever the ball is in the Teeing Area./6.




    I am afraid you lost me on this one. Care to elaborate?
    I think the explicit teeing area permission in 6.2b(3) overrides the more general restriction on altering the surface of the ground and 8.1a/6.




    But antip, building stance is different from altering the surface, is it not? Further elaborating is obviously needed...
  • antipantip Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    Mr. Bean wrote:

    antip wrote:

    Mr. Bean wrote:

    antip wrote:


    My other comment is that there is now, IMO, a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content - whenever the ball is in the Teeing Area./6.




    I am afraid you lost me on this one. Care to elaborate?
    I think the explicit teeing area permission in 6.2b(3) overrides the more general restriction on altering the surface of the ground and 8.1a/6.




    But antip, building stance is different from altering the surface, is it not? Further elaborating is obviously needed...
    They may or not be different. Some forms of building stance, like piling some sand up a bit on the teeing area and standing on it, I think qualifies as both building stance and altering the surface at the same time. Other forms of building stance, such as putting a towel down on the ground would only represent building a stance and not altering the surface of the ground. I think the former is permitted on the teeing area while the latter remains a breach anywhere on the course. But there is no explicit discussion of this among the published material.
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,814 ✭✭
    antip wrote:

    Mr. Bean wrote:

    antip wrote:

    Mr. Bean wrote:

    antip wrote:


    My other comment is that there is now, IMO, a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content - whenever the ball is in the Teeing Area./6.




    I am afraid you lost me on this one. Care to elaborate?
    I think the explicit teeing area permission in 6.2b(3) overrides the more general restriction on altering the surface of the ground and 8.1a/6.




    But antip, building stance is different from altering the surface, is it not? Further elaborating is obviously needed...
    They may or not be different. Some forms of building stance, like piling some sand up a bit on the teeing area and standing on it, I think qualifies as both building stance and altering the surface at the same time. Other forms of building stance, such as putting a towel down on the ground would only represent building a stance and not altering the surface of the ground. I think the former is permitted on the teeing area while the latter remains a breach anywhere on the course. But there is no explicit discussion of this among the published material.




    Fair enough but what struck my eye was '...a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content...' which clearly is not correct.
  • antipantip Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    Mr. Bean wrote:




    Fair enough but what struck my eye was '...a new piece of sacred ground where you can build a stance to your heart's content...' which clearly is not correct.
    Providing your heart is content with sand rather than a towel, the sky is the limit.
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