Rules Guy: Can I use a leaf blower to remove loose impediments on the green?

February 14, 2019

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

So I was recently playing with a buddy of mine at a heavily treed course in West Virginia. When we got to the first green, he pulled a very small electric leaf blower from his cart and proceeded to carefully clear leaves, grains of sand, dead insects and anything else along his putting line. The rest of us obviously questioned this practice; he was adamant that it was within the rules. But if it was an allowable practice, Tour players would surely do it, wouldn’t they?


An Asian tournament director shows a worker where to direct his blower on the green.
Getty Images

Tour pros and caddies, look away! Okay, loyal readers, now that it’s just us, Rules Guy informs you that, under Rule 15.1a, loose impediments may be removed by any means. Which is to say, a leaf blower is a permissible way to remove loose impediments.



And just so you all know, I recently returned from the Patent and Trademark Office, where I secured exclusive rights to the “Line of Putt Loose Impediment Leaf Sweeper®.” Thoughts?

Got a rules question? Of course you do! Whatever it may be, send yours to [email protected] and the question may be answered in an upcoming issue of GOLF. Until then, play by the Rules!