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Embedded Stone

 SkiSchoolPro ·  
SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro  802Members Posts: 802
Joined:  in Rules of Golf and Etiquette #1

Any issues under the new rules in removing a (partially or fully) embedded stone (that almost certainly came from a bunker and was stepped on or run over) on or near the green (typically in line of play)?

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  • SawgrassSawgrass  15315Members Posts: 15,315
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    Nothing new from a practical point of view, here's the relevant part of the new definition of a loose impediment. Note that a stone is not a loose impediment if it's "Solidly embedded in the ground (that is, cannot be picked out easily)."

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  • sui generissui generis  4119Members Posts: 4,119
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    Your first look should always be in Definitions:

    Loose Impediment - 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 impediments or, when on the ground, temporary water, at the player’s option.

    Spider Webs are loose impediments even though they are attached to another object.

    https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=definitions&subrulenum=34

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  • SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro  802Members Posts: 802
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    Thanks...so, I had my phone with me and could not access the full rules book when I posted...I did find an older discussion from this site, but wasn't sure that it was conclusive...What exactly is meant by "Solidly embedded in the ground (that is, cannot be picked out easily)."
    i.e. If the stone is say, 1/2 inch by 3/16 inch (roughly), came out of the bunker onto the fringe, then stepped on so that a small fraction of the stone is slightly above or even with the top of the natural grass line, but the rest has pushed down the grass line (and soil below), is there a penalty if I remove the stone from the line of my putt from just off the green? It was embedded enough so that I couldn't simply brush it away, but it was not hard to pick out grabbing it with 2 fingers (or maybe my fingernail). After I removed it, there was an impression in the grass from where the stone had been, but no visible mud on the stone and no other area of grass/soil, outside the impression of the stone, was disturbed when I removed it.

    I picked it out of my line without thinking, but later thought it might be considered similar to digging up a rock that is obviously part of the soil...Bottom line, did I incur a penalty or not?

    Posted:
  • sui generissui generis  4119Members Posts: 4,119
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    As you know, the Definition says, in part, "Such natural objects are not loose if they are solidly embedded in the ground (that is, cannot be picked out easily)"

    As you were there, only you can judge. "Picked out easily" is your call in this case.

    Posted:
    Blow the whistle . . . knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.
  • SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro  802Members Posts: 802
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    @sui generis said:
    As you know, the Definition says, in part, "Such natural objects are not loose if they are solidly embedded in the ground (that is, cannot be picked out easily)"

    As you were there, only you can judge. "Picked out easily" is your call in this case.

    It was definitely embedded and was NOT loose. If you don't say that "solidly embedded" = "cannot be picked out easily" then I would have said it was "solidly embedded." I thought it was easy to pick out and would think that most, but possibly not all players would agree. So, no penalty?

    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green. The bunkers at this course have somewhat coarse sand with lots of larger pieces that I consider to be small stones rather than sand. (I have also played a course or two and been to beaches where the material was so coarse, that I would consider it to be made up entirely of small stones, not sand). The stone that I removed likely came from the nearby bunker. (I haven't read the whole Kuchar thread, but imagine that he said he simply was removing small stones, not sand??)

    Posted:
  • SawgrassSawgrass  15315Members Posts: 15,315
    Joined:  edited Sep 15, 2019 2:55pm #7

    From the definition of bunker:

    The word “sand” as used in this Definition and Rule 12 includes any material similar to sand that is used as bunker material (such as crushed shells), as well as any soil that is mixed in with the sand.


    . . . But where a stone (or boulder for that matter) comes from is not the issue, its embedded status is. And its size and weight are completely irrelevant.

    Posted:
    Post edited by Sawgrass on
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  • Big BenBig Ben  9239Members Posts: 9,239
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    Just me if I’m going to hit a nasty embedded rock I’m taking a drop not going to ruin my sticks!

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  • QEightQEight Finland 3516Members Posts: 3,516
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    @Big Ben said:
    Just me if I’m going to hit a nasty embedded rock I’m taking a drop not going to ruin my sticks!

    Jep, you can almost always take an unplayable.

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  • NewbyNewby  7119Members Posts: 7,119
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    @QEight said:

    @Big Ben said:
    Just me if I’m going to hit a nasty embedded rock I’m taking a drop not going to ruin my sticks!

    Jep, you can almost always take an unplayable.

    When can't you?

    Posted:
  • AugsterAugster  4435Members Posts: 4,435
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    @Newby said:

    @QEight said:

    @Big Ben said:
    Just me if I’m going to hit a nasty embedded rock I’m taking a drop not going to ruin my sticks!

    Jep, you can almost always take an unplayable.

    When can't you?

    When a ball is OB. You can take the S&D option from unplayable, just not the others.

    Posted:
  • QEightQEight Finland 3516Members Posts: 3,516
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    @Newby said:

    @QEight said:

    @Big Ben said:
    Just me if I’m going to hit a nasty embedded rock I’m taking a drop not going to ruin my sticks!

    Jep, you can almost always take an unplayable.

    When can't you?

    In PA?

    Posted:
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    Titleist 910f 3W
    Callaway XHot hybrid
    Titleist 735cm Titleist AP2
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  • SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro  802Members Posts: 802
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    @Sawgrass said:
    From the definition of bunker:

    The word “sand” as used in this Definition and Rule 12 includes any material similar to sand that is used as bunker material (such as crushed shells), as well as any soil that is mixed in with the sand.


    . . . But where a stone (or boulder for that matter) comes from is not the issue, its embedded status is. And its size and weight are completely irrelevant.

    Why are size and weight irrelevant? Wouldn't they be factors (along with how firmly it was embedded) in deciding if it could be picked out easily?

    Posted:
  • SawgrassSawgrass  15315Members Posts: 15,315
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    @SkiSchoolPro said:

    @Sawgrass said:
    From the definition of bunker:

    The word “sand” as used in this Definition and Rule 12 includes any material similar to sand that is used as bunker material (such as crushed shells), as well as any soil that is mixed in with the sand.


    . . . But where a stone (or boulder for that matter) comes from is not the issue, its embedded status is. And its size and weight are completely irrelevant.

    Why are size and weight irrelevant? Wouldn't they be factors (along with how firmly it was embedded) in deciding if it could be picked out easily?

    You must separate the “easily” requirement as only related to the embedded aspect of the loose impediment. A huge, heavy LI which can therefore not be easily moved is still allowed to be moved as long as it can be done in a timely fashion and as long as it’s not solidly embedded.

    Here’s a relevant Interpretation:

    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).
    For example, a player may use a towel, hand or hat, or may lift or push a loose impediment for removal. A player is also allowed to seek help in removing loose impediments, such as by asking spectators for assistance in removing a large tree branch.

    Posted:
  • hoselpaloozahoselpalooza  253Members Posts: 253
    Joined:  edited Sep 17, 2019 12:51am #15

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.
    Posted:

    any hunch or conviction i share today may very well be disproven or overturned tomorrow, and i welcome that. i'm simply here to learn with others, even if my enthusiasm for golf occasionally masquerades as knowledge. after all, the more i learn the less i know.

  • LeoLeo99LeoLeo99  4409Members Posts: 4,409
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    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.

    Ski pro is correct. You missed a word he wrote. If you are off the green, you cannot remove sand on the green in your line.

    Posted:
  • rogolfrogolf  3903Members Posts: 3,903
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    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.

    Ski pro is correct. You missed a word he wrote. If you are off the green, you cannot remove sand on the green in your line.

    I think that you've also missed something - sand can be removed from the putting green regardless of where your ball lies. Sand that is not on the putting green cannot be removed regardless of where your ball lies.

    Posted:
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  • hoselpaloozahoselpalooza  253Members Posts: 253
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    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.

    Ski pro is correct. You missed a word he wrote. If you are off the green, you cannot remove sand on the green in your line.

    thanks for pointing this out. to me it appeared @SkiSchoolPro was making a blanket statement since OP mentioned "on or near the green", so i interpreted his above comment to include the green as well.

    edit: @rogolf , you read my mind and beat me to the punch.

    Posted:

    any hunch or conviction i share today may very well be disproven or overturned tomorrow, and i welcome that. i'm simply here to learn with others, even if my enthusiasm for golf occasionally masquerades as knowledge. after all, the more i learn the less i know.

  • LeoLeo99LeoLeo99  4409Members Posts: 4,409
    Joined:  edited Sep 17, 2019 1:25am #19

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.

    Ski pro is correct. You missed a word he wrote. If you are off the green, you cannot remove sand on the green in your line.

    thanks for pointing this out. to me it appeared @SkiSchoolPro was making a blanket statement since OP mentioned "on or near the green", so i interpreted his above comment to include the green as well.

    edit: @rogolf , you read my mind and beat me to the punch.

    As rogolf wrote, ski and I are wrong. I found the rule

    During a round and while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a, a player may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether the ball is on or off the putting green:

    (1) Removal of Sand and Loose Soil. Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.

    There was a pro that got penalized a couple years for wiping sand away with a towel. I thought the sand was on the green but I guess not.

    Posted:
  • hoselpaloozahoselpalooza  253Members Posts: 253
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    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.

    Ski pro is correct. You missed a word he wrote. If you are off the green, you cannot remove sand on the green in your line.

    thanks for pointing this out. to me it appeared @SkiSchoolPro was making a blanket statement since OP mentioned "on or near the green", so i interpreted his above comment to include the green as well.

    edit: @rogolf , you read my mind and beat me to the punch.

    As rogolf wrote, ski and I are wrong. I found the rule

    During a round and while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a, a player may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether the ball is on or off the putting green:

    (1) Removal of Sand and Loose Soil. Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.

    There was a pro that got penalized a couple years for wiping sand away with a towel. I thought the sand was on the green but I guess not.

    yep. rule 13.1c(1) covers this ;)

    Posted:

    any hunch or conviction i share today may very well be disproven or overturned tomorrow, and i welcome that. i'm simply here to learn with others, even if my enthusiasm for golf occasionally masquerades as knowledge. after all, the more i learn the less i know.

  • SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro  802Members Posts: 802
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    @hoselpalooza said:

    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @LeoLeo99 said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    Looking at the USGA definitions, I don't see a definition of "sand" (or stone) but do see that the rules specifically prohibit removing "sand" from your line of play off the green.

    this is incorrect. you can use a towel to brush aside the sand. and i believe you could also use a broom or leaf blower if you wanted since these are "objects used for the care of the course" and fall under the USGA definition of equipment.

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round, you may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether your ball is on or off the putting green:

    • Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.
    • You may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:
      • By using your hand, foot or other part of your body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
      • Without unreasonably delaying play.

    Ski pro is correct. You missed a word he wrote. If you are off the green, you cannot remove sand on the green in your line.

    thanks for pointing this out. to me it appeared @SkiSchoolPro was making a blanket statement since OP mentioned "on or near the green", so i interpreted his above comment to include the green as well.

    edit: @rogolf , you read my mind and beat me to the punch.

    As rogolf wrote, ski and I are wrong. I found the rule

    During a round and while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a, a player may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether the ball is on or off the putting green:

    (1) Removal of Sand and Loose Soil. Sand and loose soil on the putting green (but not anywhere else on the course) may be removed without penalty.

    There was a pro that got penalized a couple years for wiping sand away with a towel. I thought the sand was on the green but I guess not.

    yep. rule 13.1c(1) covers this ;)

    I meant to say that you can't remove sand from your line of play unless the sand is on the green...could have worded it better.

    I think Keegan Bradley called a penalty on himself when he removed sand from his line just off the green at the Memorial a few years back and later realized he made a mistake doing so.

    So everyone agrees that as long as I felt that it was easy for me to pick the stone out on the fringe, then no penalty?

    Posted:
  • hoselpaloozahoselpalooza  253Members Posts: 253
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    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    So everyone agrees that as long as I felt that it was easy for me to pick the stone out on the fringe, then no penalty?

    i believe so. just found some info to support this though it's possible it could be outdated.

    according to decision 23/2 (from google cache):

    23/2 Meaning of "Solidly Embedded" in Definition of "Loose Impediments" Q.The Definition of "Loose Impediments" states that a stone is a loose impediment if it is not "solidly embedded." When is a stone solidly embedded? A.If a stone is partially embedded and may be picked up with ease, it is a loose impediment. When there is doubt as to whether a stone is solidly embedded or not, it should not be removed.

    and from a blog post from 2013 which elaborates on this point:

    I had occasion recently to talk about partially embedded acorns in a putting green with a USGA official. He told me that they are loose impediments if you can easily flick them out of the ground. If you need to use your divot tool to pry them out, they are solidly embedded and may not be removed. Please remember that if you do remove loose impediments on your line of putt, you may not repair the indentation until after you putt.
    source: http://lindamillergolf.blogspot.com/2013/04/ask-linda-634-solidly-embedded.html


    separately, it appears the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" are no longer in use, and "The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf" is being used instead. does anyone know if the "Official Guide" is available as a free resource online or is purchase required?

    Posted:

    any hunch or conviction i share today may very well be disproven or overturned tomorrow, and i welcome that. i'm simply here to learn with others, even if my enthusiasm for golf occasionally masquerades as knowledge. after all, the more i learn the less i know.

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  • hoselpaloozahoselpalooza  253Members Posts: 253
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    thanks, but based on what's been published by the USGA it's not clear at all to me where i can find the information i'm seeking at the link you shared.

    here's what the USGA has previously published about this resource:

    The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf: This “guidebook” replaces the Decisions book, and will contain information to support committees and officials. It includes interpretations on the Rules, Committee procedures (available model local rules and information on establishing the terms of the competition), and the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities. It is a “long-form” resource document intended as a supplementary publication. It will be available as a pdf around September 2018 and will be available in print before the end of 2018.

    19. When will the three Rules publications be available for reference?
    The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf: Pdf and digital versions will be available from mid-September 2018 and the print publication will be available beginning November 2018.

    source: https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/text/golfs-new-rules-faqs.html

    both of the above quotes would have me believe the "guidebook" replacement for "decisions" is a standalone document i should be able to find on the web. though i'm starting to suspect many of the decisions have been rolled into the rules without any clear indication that something was previously a decision and not part of the rules document, it that makes sense.

    would appreciate any further clarification, please and thank you.

    Posted:

    any hunch or conviction i share today may very well be disproven or overturned tomorrow, and i welcome that. i'm simply here to learn with others, even if my enthusiasm for golf occasionally masquerades as knowledge. after all, the more i learn the less i know.

  • NewbyNewby  7119Members Posts: 7,119
    Joined:  edited Sep 17, 2019 7:22pm #25
    Posted:
  • SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro  802Members Posts: 802
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    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    So everyone agrees that as long as I felt that it was easy for me to pick the stone out on the fringe, then no penalty?

    i believe so. just found some info to support this though it's possible it could be outdated.

    according to decision 23/2 (from google cache):

    23/2 Meaning of "Solidly Embedded" in Definition of "Loose Impediments" Q.The Definition of "Loose Impediments" states that a stone is a loose impediment if it is not "solidly embedded." When is a stone solidly embedded? A.If a stone is partially embedded and may be picked up with ease, it is a loose impediment. When there is doubt as to whether a stone is solidly embedded or not, it should not be removed.

    and from a blog post from 2013 which elaborates on this point:

    I had occasion recently to talk about partially embedded acorns in a putting green with a USGA official. He told me that they are loose impediments if you can easily flick them out of the ground. If you need to use your divot tool to pry them out, they are solidly embedded and may not be removed. Please remember that if you do remove loose impediments on your line of putt, you may not repair the indentation until after you putt.
    source: http://lindamillergolf.blogspot.com/2013/04/ask-linda-634-solidly-embedded.html


    separately, it appears the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" are no longer in use, and "The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf" is being used instead. does anyone know if the "Official Guide" is available as a free resource online or is purchase required?

    Am I correct in assuming the 2019 rules now allow you to fix the indentations on greens from acorns, stones, etc.

    Posted:
  • hoselpaloozahoselpalooza  253Members Posts: 253
    Joined:  #27

    @SkiSchoolPro said:

    @hoselpalooza said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:
    So everyone agrees that as long as I felt that it was easy for me to pick the stone out on the fringe, then no penalty?

    i believe so. just found some info to support this though it's possible it could be outdated.

    according to decision 23/2 (from google cache):

    23/2 Meaning of "Solidly Embedded" in Definition of "Loose Impediments" Q.The Definition of "Loose Impediments" states that a stone is a loose impediment if it is not "solidly embedded." When is a stone solidly embedded? A.If a stone is partially embedded and may be picked up with ease, it is a loose impediment. When there is doubt as to whether a stone is solidly embedded or not, it should not be removed.

    and from a blog post from 2013 which elaborates on this point:

    I had occasion recently to talk about partially embedded acorns in a putting green with a USGA official. He told me that they are loose impediments if you can easily flick them out of the ground. If you need to use your divot tool to pry them out, they are solidly embedded and may not be removed. Please remember that if you do remove loose impediments on your line of putt, you may not repair the indentation until after you putt.
    source: http://lindamillergolf.blogspot.com/2013/04/ask-linda-634-solidly-embedded.html


    separately, it appears the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" are no longer in use, and "The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf" is being used instead. does anyone know if the "Official Guide" is available as a free resource online or is purchase required?

    Am I correct in assuming the 2019 rules now allow you to fix the indentations on greens from acorns, stones, etc.

    correct. excerpt from 13.1c(2):

    13.1 Actions Allowed or Required on Putting Greens
    c. Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
    During a round and while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a, a player may take these two actions on the putting green, no matter whether the ball is on or off the putting green:
    (2) Repair of Damage. A player may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition, but only:

    • By using his or her hand, foot or other part of the body or a normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment, and
    • Without unreasonably delaying play (see Rule 5.6a).

    “Damage on the putting green ” means any damage caused by a person or outside influence, such as:

    • Embedded objects (such as a stone, acorn or tee).
    Posted:

    any hunch or conviction i share today may very well be disproven or overturned tomorrow, and i welcome that. i'm simply here to learn with others, even if my enthusiasm for golf occasionally masquerades as knowledge. after all, the more i learn the less i know.

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  • diugnaldiugnal  13Members Posts: 13
    Joined:  #28

    @Sawgrass said:

    @SkiSchoolPro said:

    @Sawgrass said:
    From the definition of bunker:

    The word “sand” as used in this Definition and Rule 12 includes any material similar to sand that is used as bunker material (such as crushed shells), as well as any soil that is mixed in with the sand.


    . . . But where a stone (or boulder for that matter) comes from is not the issue, its embedded status is. And its size and weight are completely irrelevant.

    Why are size and weight irrelevant? Wouldn't they be factors (along with how firmly it was embedded) in deciding if it could be picked out easily?

    You must separate the “easily” requirement as only related to the embedded aspect of the loose impediment. A huge, heavy LI which can therefore not be easily moved is still allowed to be moved as long as it can be done in a timely fashion and as long as it’s not solidly embedded.

    Here’s a relevant Interpretation:

    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).
    For example, a player may use a towel, hand or hat, or may lift or push a loose impediment for removal. A player is also allowed to seek help in removing loose impediments, such as by asking spectators for assistance in removing a large tree branch.

    With embedded and “easily” removed. My take is if it readily removed by hand, say by your fingers, it is easily removed. If you need to resort to equipment such as a tee or pitch repairer maybe not so obviously “easily”.
    BUT the point on getting the job done quickly is relevant.
    The fact that a tee or pitch repairer is used might be considered “unusual” but using a towel or hat to move sand on a green is acceptable.

    The weakness of subjective language is exposed. This is where an Interpretation would be useful. Alternatively rewrite the Rule.

    Posted:
  • NewbyNewby  7119Members Posts: 7,119
    Joined:  edited Sep 21, 2019 8:30am #29

    @diugnal said:

    Alternatively rewrite the Rule.
    >
    Have you a suggestion as to how?

    Posted:
  • diugnaldiugnal  13Members Posts: 13
    Joined:  #30

    I will check it out and do a draft....off to sleep now. Will look tomorrow sometime.

    Posted:
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  • VindogVindog Don't order the schnitzel. They're using schnauzer!  17792Members Posts: 17,792
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    IMO the difference, at least to me, is that sand is not embedded and may be swept away using a towel or hat. However a stone or shell which requires a tool to be used, or some other prying method means that the LI is embedded.

    A more specific interpretation would suffice, over a rule rewrite which I don’t feel is necessary. But that’s just me.

    Posted:
    run of the mill driver with stock shaft
    a couple of outdated hybrids
    shovel-ier shovels
    wedges from same shovel company
    some putter with a dead insert and
    a hideous grip
2

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