The CSGA Links Volume 2 Issue 1 March, 2014 - Page 40

Fun in the Snow? L iving in New England has its many advantages, but to the avid golfer, weather is not one of them. Even as signs of Spring begin to show around the state, we’re not out of the woods yet, so to speak. So what happens when you go to play that first round of the new year and find a course with snow still on it? The first thing to know when dealing with snow is that it is classified as a loose impediment. The definition states, “Snow and natural ice (other than frost) are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.” Sounds simple enough, right? Through the green is defined as the whole area of the course except the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played; and all hazards on the course.. Thus, through the green, the player is entitled to relief from the snow by either removing the snow (treating it as a loose impediment), or taking relief under the casual water rule by dropping within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole. The same applies to a ball that lies on the putting green. The player may either remove the snow himself, or place the ball at the nearest position to where it lay that affords maximum available relief from the snow, but not nearer the hole and not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief or maximum available relief may be off the putting green. The tricky ruling comes when a ball lies in a bunker. Since loose impediments cannot be moved in a bunker, the only options are either to play the ball as it lies or take relief. When taking relief, there are two options: (a) Without penalty, drop within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker. Or, (b) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped. Pictured here, the bunker is filled with snow, no different than if it was filled with water. Should a player be crazy enough to play under these conditions and his ball came to rest in this bunker, he would either have to play it, drop at a point in the bunker that offered maximum relief, or drop outside of the bunker under a penalty of one stroke. 40 Connecticut State Golf Association