Matt Kuchar criticised for removing many small, loose impediments in waste area

Sometimes golfers use the rules to their advantage, and sometimes it may appear that they’re taking it too far.

Matt Kuchar has had a rough year after being criticised for not paying his caddie enough money, trying to get a free drop and now for breaking the spirit of the game of golf.

Kuchar was seen to be doing a bit of handiwork to improve his lie in a waste area during last week’s Porsche European Open where Kuchar missed the cut.

According to the official rules he wasn’t breaking any of them with the removal of loose impediments allowed anywhere on the golf course (inc bunkers) according to rules 15.1a which says:

“Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).”

Here is the moment in question.

How many loose impediments are in a bunker? How many grains of sand are on a beach?

It does seem to contravene the spirit of the game in that you should be playing the ball as it lies as Mike Clayton mentions in this discussion with Golf Australia rules referee Simon Magdulski on the Inside The Ropes podcast.

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