Loose Impediments
"Loose Impediments" are natural objects, which include Rocks, leaves, branches, rights, and similar objects.
  • Manure of livestock.
  • Worms, insects, and their analogs, as well as abandoned and accumulated objects created by them.
  • They provided that these objects meet the following conditions.
  • Are not fixed or growing.
  • Are not firmly embedded in the ground.
  • Are not adhering to the ball.
  • Sand and loose dirt are scattered hazards on the green, but not elsewhere
  • Snow and natural ice (excluding frost) may be considered temporary water or scattered hazards at the player's discretion.
  • Dew and frost are not loose hazards.

Lost Ball
A ball is considered "lost" after one of the following has occurred:
a. The ball is not found within five minutes after the player's side, or their caddie starts looking for it
or the ball cannot be identified as his.
b. The player has hit the provisional ball at the probable location of the initial ball or closer to the hole than that location.
b. The player hits the tentative ball at the likely location of the initial ball or closer to the hole than that location (see Rule 27-2b);
C. The player, after taking a one-shot plus distance penalty (see Rule 27-la), throws another ball
into use.
d. A ball known or sure to have not been found by a thousand has been moved by an outsider (see Rule
18-1), or is located in an obstruction (see Rule 24-3, unusual court conditions (see Rule 25-le), or in a water hazard (see Rule 26).
or in a water hazard (see Rule 26-1), so the player puts the other ball into play.
e. A player hits a replacement ball.
The time spent hitting the wrong ball does not count the five minutes allowed for ball finding.

The "Marker" is the person appointed by the Committee to record the players' results in a stroke-play tournament. He may be a competitor in the same division. He is not a referee.

Move or Moved
A ball is considered "moved" if it leaves its original position and comes to rest in any other location.


Nearest Point of Relief
The "Nearest Point of Relief" is a reference point for penalty-free relief of obstructions caused by immovable obstructions (Rule 24-2), unusual course conditions (Rule 25-1), or errant greens (Rule 25-3).

The point on the course is closest to the point where the ball stopped, which meets the following conditions.

(a) The point of redress is no closer to the hole than the original stopping point of the ball.
(b)The obstruction caused by the condition for which the player seeks redress will no longer exist when the ball is located at that point, as measured by the stroke used by the player, assuming that the obstructive condition does not exist.

Note: To accurately determine the nearest point of redress, the player shall simulate his shot preparation position, ball direction, and swing using the club he would have used on his next shot, assuming the condition did not exist.

An "observer" is a person designated by the Committee to assist the umpire in determining questions of fact and reporting rule violations to them.

Observers shall not tend the flagstick, stand next to the hole, or indicate the hole's location, nor shall they pick up or mark the ball's position.

Obstructions" means any artificial object, including artificial surfaces and edges of roads and approaches and artificial ice. The following objects are excluded.

Objects outside the demarcation boundary include walls, fences, stakes, and railings—any part of an immovable artificial object outside the boundary.

Any structure declared by the Commission to be an undivided part of the course.

An obstruction is movable when it can be moved without undue effort and undue delay or injury to the game. Otherwise, it is a non-movable obstruction.

Note: The Committee may establish local rules to declare a movable obstruction non-movable obstruction.

Out of Bounds
Out of Bounds" means the area outside the boundaries of the course or any part of the course that the Committee has designated as out of bounds.

When stakes or fences are used as a reference for out-of-bounds, the out-of-bounds line is determined by the point on the ground closest to the inside of these stakes or fences (excluding angled supports). If both stakes or lines are used to mark the boundary, the stakes serve as the identification mark of the boundary, while the line determines the boundary. When a line on the ground is used to mark the perimeter, the line itself is outside the perimeter. The out-of-bounds line extends vertically up and down.

When a ball as a whole is out of bounds, the ball is out of bounds. A player may stand outside of bounds and play a ball in bounds. Objects that mark out-of-bounds (such as walls, fences, stakes, and railings) are not obstructions and are considered stationary. Stakes used as out-of-bounds identification markers are not obstructions and are considered stationary.

Note 1: The stakes or lines marking the perimeter should be white.
Note 2: The Commission may establish local rules declaring a stake used as an out-of-bounds identification marker, rather than to mark the out-of-bounds, to be a movable obstruction.