Following strong winds a large branch fell from
a mature tree. The greenkeeping staff had
started sawing the branch into logs. A
right-handed player's ball came to rest under
the detached branch.
Under the Rules is the status of the branch...
a) A loose impediment?
Ground under repair?
A movable obstruction?
If the player decides to move the branch in
order to play their ball as it lies are they
permitted to enlist the help of their fellow
If the player chooses to take relief from the
Do they incur a penalty?
b) May they drop on the
fairway (far) side of the branch?
a) and b). The detached branch is a loose
impediment but may also be treated as ground
Note: Ground under repair
includes material piled for removal. The logs
are a firm indication that the greenkeeper
intends that the branch will be removed. The
branch is a loose impediment as it is not fixed
or growing, solidly embedded, or adhering to the
Yes. Decision 23-1/3.
Note: Spectators, caddies
and fellow-competitors may all assist a player
in removing a large loose impediment.
a) No, there is no penalty in taking relief from
ground under repair, Rule 25-1b.
b) No, the nearest point of relief for a
right-handed player is obviously on the near
side of the branch.
The player may only take relief from
interference by the detached branches piled for
removal, not any part of the tree that is still