Brushing Away Stones, Loose Sand and Soil From Dropping Area

Situation:

During the play of a tournament last year, a player was taking free relief from a cart path. Where he planned to drop the ball was hard pan with small stones scattered around. The player reached down and began removing the small stones (loose impediments) from the planned area to drop. After removing the small stones, he then brushed the sand and dirt away also. Did the player violate any rules in clearing the stones, sand and dirt?

Decision:

Yes. The player was allowed to remove the stones which are classified as loose impediments. When he brushed the sand and dirt away, he violated Rule 13-2. Sand and loose soil are loose impediments only on the putting green.

 

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