I am sure that you are familiar with the phrase, 'A picture is worth a thousand words'. Sometimes, I find it difficult to clearly describe some of the myriad Rules situations that occur on the golf course using just words. So, this is the first in a new series of weekly emails, posing questions that are based on an accompanying photo, or photos. I am confident that this will prove to be an interesting way for you to increase your understanding and knowledge of the Rules of Golf.
 
No.1 Loose Impediments in a Bunker

Question 1. A player wants to play their ball over the bunker to the putting green. May they remove the detached branch from the bunker first, without incurring a penalty?

Question 2. A player wants to play their ball from the bunker to the putting green. May they remove the detached branch from the bunker first, without incurring a penalty?
 
Answers:
 
1. Yes.
2. No.
 
Explanation: Rule 23-1 states;
 
"Except when both the loose impediment and the ball lie in or touch the same hazard, any loose impediment may be removed without penalty."
 
The penalty for removing a loose impediment that lies in the same hazard as the player's ball is two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in match play.

Other than on the putting green, if a player causes their ball to move, they incur a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a.

This is the first in a weekly series of questions based on situations that golfers may commonly encounter on the course. In my opinion, questions with answers and explanations are the easiest way to gradually assimilate the Rules of Golf.

Always play to the Rules,

 
Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,

 
Good golfing,
 
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