|(Courtesy of The Massie Boy)|
"The Rules of Golf define snow and natural ice, other than frost, as either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player," wrote Mike Charrie, USGA Rules of Golf Associate.
The player needs to determine his or her best option: moving the snow or ice, or taking relief at the nearest point of relief.
Option 1, Rule 23-1:
USGA's Charrie: If a player wishes to remove the snow and natural ice, he would simply deem it as a loose impediment, and proceed under Rule 23-1 (Loose Impediments). Under this Rule, he is entitled to lift, move or remove the loose impediment(s) as he sees fit, as long as his ball does not move. This option would be beneficial to the player if he likes the lie of his ball, his line of play and distance to the hole (particularly on the putting green). However, if the ball and the snow or natural ice lie in the same bunker or water hazard, the player cannot move or remove the snow and ice without penalty.Option 2, Rule 25-1:
USGA's Charrie: If a player has interference as defined by Rule 25-1 (Abnormal Ground Conditions), and he wishes to take relief from the snow and natural ice, he could simply deem it as casual water and proceed under this Rule. The player would determine his nearest point of relief, lift his ball and drop it within one club-length of his nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole, as described in Rule 25-1b. This option could be beneficial to the player if he does not like the position of his ball for the next stroke. Taking relief may give the player a better angle to the hole or a better line of play.The Rules Geek realizes that most people don't play golf in snow or ice, or get caught in a freak winter storm while knocking it about. But if it happens to you, now you know the rules.
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