Swishing Grass

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ADB

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 1, 2009
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2,469
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Sussex
Bounce game with a friend and he put his ball towards a gorse bush which was surrounded by high grass - we both thought the ball was in the bush so he played a provisional. When we got near to the gorse he swished his club through the long grass to make a route to where we thought the ball was - when he did that his ball was exposed in the long grass. The ball was not touched but (unintentionally) it would appeared he had improved the lie - is there a penalty?
 

duncan mackie

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Feb 19, 2012
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11,127
If it appears that he has improved his lie then he has improved his lie!

Rule 13-2 applies.

Rule 12 covers the act of searching for the ball and is very specific in its wording

"In searching for his ball anywhere on the course, the player may touch or bend long grass, rushes, bushes, whins, heather or the like, but only to the extent necessary to find or identify the ball, provided that this does not improve the lie of the ball, the area of his intended stance or swing or his line of play;"

It is so specific that there aren't even any decisions to clarify it further!

Basically you can't move stuff (non technical term!) in a manner that means it wont return to where it was and potentially improve your situation.
 
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