RULE: Movable Obstruction

What's the difference between movable and immovable? What is the status of those directional signs and hoops around the course?

Have a look at the illustration and tell me!

Now you tell me - are these hoops and signs that direct cart traffic around the course movable or immovable? Obviously I can move them - but am I permitted to do so under the rules? Can I obtain any relief from these if my ball is A, B, or C?

A does not interfere with my line of play, my stance or swing - but it does psychologically! B is on my line of play, but I could chip over it and onto the green. But C I reckon is inteferred on all three counts - line of play, stance & swing and psychologically! (I'm a real mess!)

What does the rule book say?

Firstly Definitions (p30  of new Rule Book) defines "obstruction" as "anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces of roads and paths and manufactured ice except:

  • objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;
  • any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds; and
  • any construction declared by the committee to be an integral part of the course. "

But when is it movable? Can you accept assistance to move an obstruction that one person alone could not move??

The rules tell us an obstruction "is a movable obstruction if it may be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. Otherwise it is an immovable obstruction."

Note however, the committee may make a local rule declaring a movable obstruction to be an immovable obstruction.

Well, what about these hoops and signs? To eliminate any confusion, our local rules board makes it clear that these objects (temporary posts, ropes, hoops and cart signs) are MOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS. 

So after all that ..... RULE 24 Obstructions (pp90-94) informs us. You can get relief from these movable obstructions. The obstruction may be removed.  (Please remember to replace them!)  BUT - you cannot obtain relief from these MOVABLE obstructions by dropping your ball away from the obstruction. If you want relief from a MOVABLE obstruction, you have to move the obstruction!!

It really doesn't matter which ball is yours (A, B or C) - movable obstructions can be moved (except when your ball is in motion). There are no conditions re area of swing, stance, line of play or psychological influence for movable obstructions (but it it a different story re IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS).

What happens if your ball moves when you are removing the hoop/sign/posts?? You can find out by reading Rule 24!! (That's your homework!)

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