Spring is very soon and we might run into a situation where we will have interference from snow or ice. This is a short review of the different possible rulings :
Definition of loose impediments
Loose impediments are natural objects. Snow and natural ice, other than frost are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Dew and frost are not loose impediments. Artificial ice is a movable obstruction.
On the teeing ground
– We all allowed to remove anything without penalty.
Through the green
– We may remove snow (loose impediment) but if the ball moves we will incur a one stroke penalty. To avoid the penalty we must consider the snow as casual water and take relief by dropping the ball in an area without snow.
– Frost near the ball or stance must never be removed before the stroke.
In a bunker
– We may not remove snow (loose impediment) in a bunker. We are allowed to use the casual water rule but the relief must be taken in the bunker.
In a water hazard
– This is an easy one: We are not allowed to remove loose impediments in a bunker. And casual water does not exist in a water hazard.
– We have the option to consider the snow as a loose impediment. In this case we may remove the snow.
– If we consider it as casual water we may take relief not only from the position of the ball or the stance; it is possible to have full relief from the line of putt and the snow is between our ball and the hole.
– We are not allowed to remove dew or frost on the green.
– If someone dropped artificial cubes of ice near your ball or the stance, it is possible to remove the ice and if the ball moves, there is no penalty if you replace the ball.
Your ball is in the forest near the green. What are your different options if:
-A the ball lies on a pile of aeration plugs
-B the ball lies on a pile of grass cuttings
-C the ball lies in a hole made in removing a tree
-D The ball is in a hole full of water