RULE: Movable Obstruction in Penalty Area!

 We have discussed in previous articles your ball or swing impeded by an IMMOVABLE obstruction in a penalty area (bridge, log , grate, etc.), or relief from movable obstructions in the general area.

But what is the ruling when my ball lies next to a MOVABLE obstruction in a PENALTY AREA? Is it the same ruling as before? Or can a different ruling be applied?

Have a look at this image taken in the penalty area between #3 and #4 (yes - I have been there too, from both sides!) My ball is definitely in the penalty area, but the polypipe adjacent to my ball interferes with my shot. It is attached and fixed to a submerged pipe behind me. But the end near my ball can easily be moved. Hmm - movable obstruction, penalty area. How do you rule?

  Rule 15 says that free relief is allowed from interference by movable obstructions. "You may remove a movable obstruction without penalty anywhere on or off the course and may do so in any way."

 This section of Rule 15 makes no reference to which part of the course your ball lies in - no condition about whether it lies in the general area, in a penalty area, in a bunker, on the green. It doesn't matter where on the course your ball lies - you may take relief from a MOVABLE obstruction.

 So I can move this pipe away from my ball so I can have a swipe at it! If the ball moves, it must be replaced on the original spot (no penalty, unless you don't replace it.) And guess what - you may, under this rule, CLEAN the BALL before replacing it! And yes, you may ground your club too. Wow, sometimes the rules are good to me!

See the rock near my ball? Can I move it too? YES - Rule 15.1 is a great change from our old rules. "You may remove a loose impediment without penalty anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as using your hand or foot or a club or other equipment" 

Now have a look at this next picture, taken in the penalty area between 3 and 4. Here is another pipe which is not attached at one end, near my ball, and easily can be moved. There are palm fronds all about, and would interfere with my stance and/or my swing.

Now here is your test - how would you rule? I am brave enough to have a go at hitting my ball through the gap you can see in front of me, but the pipe is in my way. Can I move my ball? Can I get relief from the pipe by moving it? What about the fronds - can I get them out of the way so I can swing and/or stand properly?  

 

 

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