Rule - Loose impediments

Loose impediments in a hazard- Barry Rhodes Rules School

Question 1:
As a player approaches their ball lying in a bunker they accidentally kick a pine cone into the bunker. May they remove the pine cone, which was not there when their ball came to rest?

Question 2:
A player accidentally kicks a pine cone into a bunker causing their ball that is lying in the bunker to move. What is the ruling?

Answer 1:
No, the pine cone is a loose impediment, which may not be removed when it lies in the same bunker as the player's ball. Decision 13-4/14.

Answer 2:
The player incurs a penalty of one stroke for causing their ball to move and the ball must be replaced. Rule 18-2a(i).

Question 3:
A player has taken their shoes and socks off so that they can play their ball, which is lying in shallow water in a lateral water hazard.
a) Are they penalised if they touch reeds that are growing close to their ball on a practice swing?
b) Are they penalised if they touch reeds that are growing close to their ball on the backswing of their stroke?
c) Are they penalised if they touch dead reeds that are floating close to their ball on the backswing of their stroke?

Answer 3:
a) No, providing they do not improve their area of intended stance or swing. Decision 13-4/4.
b) No, providing they do not improve their area of intended stance or swing. Note to Rule 13-4.
c) Yes. A player incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play, or loss of hole in match play, for touching a loose impediment that is lying in the hazard. Rule 13-4c.

Note to Rule 13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions:
Note: At any time, including at address or in the backward movement for the stroke, the player may touch, with a club or otherwise, any obstruction, any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course or any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing.