Friday, a player was DQ’d after his first round at the season opener for signing an incorect scorecard. He had very apparently brushed a clump of grass out of the path of his ball as it painfully rolled back down to his feet after his chip failed to make it all the way to the green. A television viewer called in the violation and the 2 stroke penalty was charged, unfortunately he had already signed the card.
The violation cited was Rule 23: Loose Impediments.
“When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed.”
The problem with imposing this rule could be the official definition of “Loose Impediments”
Loose Impediments: "Loose impediments" are natural objects including:
• stones, leaves, twigs, branches and the like,
• dung, and
• worms and insects and casts or heaps made by them, provided they are not:
• fixed or growing,
• solidly embedded, or
• adhering to the ball.
Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.
In this case sand and loose soil are not loose impediments, therefore it should have been ok for him to move the grass.
I am not a rules expert and was hoping someone could clarify why this rule applies in this case. This also opens up the debate “should TV viewers call in rules violations?” Maybe we should just leave it up to the rules officials and the players.
P.S. When responding to this post leave out the players name.