Ask the Rules Guy: Can you move an entire tree out from in front of your ball?

Photo: Jason Raish

Ask the Rules Guy

Rules Guy: I was playing a match against a buddy who is 6'4", 290 lbs. -- we call him Godzilla. His ball wound up behind a large dead tree that he said he could move. I told him there is no way he is allowed to move the tree just because he's big enough to do so. Well, he did move the tree, hit his shot onto the green and won the hole. What do you think?
-- Robert Thomaier, via e-mail

Godzilla? I think Paul Bunyan may be more appropriate. Sorry, but your very large friend had every right to move the tree. As long as the tree is completely uprooted and is not attached to the stump, Decision 23/7 deems the tree a loose impediment that can thus be removed without penalty, no matter how large the tree may be. Consider yourself lucky that your friend is a gentle giant.

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