Not building a stance….or so I believe!

Jigger

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This week I found my ball next to a boundary hedge (yes lots of hedges where I play) but there were two bendy branches sticking out over the area of my intended swing and stance. As per 8.1B/2 I bent a branch back to get in and take my stance but it was my swing I am concerned about. Does pace of swing come into it?

I got my club in position but as I took my practice backswing the V of the branch slid up my club shaft, not disturbing or breaking anything, so I made a slow backswing on my actual shot to ensure I had control of the club with no intention on bending the branch out of the way to gain an advantage.

Does anyone see this as an infraction? My view is that I’m entitle to genuinely swing my club any speed I want and, like long grass, the branch was just in the way.
 

jim8flog

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One thing - it would depend on how you bent the branch back.

E.G. Do it with your hands or your club and it would be a penalty. Do it by stepping in to your stance and it moving out of the way naturally i.e. it moves with you legs or back and it would not be.
 

Jigger

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One thing - it would depend on how you bent the branch back.

E.G. Do it with your hands or your club and it would be a penalty. Do it by stepping in to your stance and it moving out of the way naturally i.e. it moves with you legs or back and it would not be.
I first moved it with my hands to get in then as I took my stance it bent back against the back of my legs.
 

salfordlad

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You are allowed to fairly take your stance in the least intrusive way - see 8.1b/2. That commonly means do not use your hands to move stuff unless that is the only way to take a stance. But once you are in stance you can blaze away, providing the stroke is made there is no issue with blasting any vegetation out of the way during backswing, downswing or follow through.
 

Jigger

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You are allowed to fairly take your stance in the least intrusive way - see 8.1b/2. That commonly means do not use your hands to move stuff unless that is the only way to take a stance. But once you are in stance you can blaze away, providing the stroke is made there is no issue with blasting any vegetation out of the way during backswing, downswing or follow through.
That’s my interpretation too as a fair swing was made.
 

jim8flog

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I first moved it with my hands to get in then as I took my stance it bent back against the back of my legs.

Then you have incurred a penalty.

8.1a Actions That Are Not Allowed
Except in the limited ways allowed in Rules 8.1b, c and d, a player must not take any
of these actions if they improve the conditions affecting the stroke:
(1) Move, bend or break any:
• Growing or attached natural object,

Fairly taking a stance does not mean lifting such things out our way.

You would be allowed to move it by say backing in to it or moving it slightly sideways with your body as you step in to your stance.
 

rulefan

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8.1b/2 – Examples of “Fairly Taking a Stance”​

Although a player is allowed to play in any direction, they are not entitled to a normal stance or swing and must adapt to the situation and use the least intrusive course of action.
Examples of actions that are considered fairly taking a stance and are allowed under Rule 8.1b even if the action results in an improvement include:
  • Backing into a branch or a boundary object when that is the only way to take a stance for the selected stroke, even if this moves the branch or boundary object out of the way or causes it to bend or break.
  • Bending a branch with their hands to get under a tree to play a ball when that is the only way to get under the tree to take a stance.

8.1b/3 – Examples of Not “Fairly Taking a Stance”​

Examples of actions that are not considered fairly taking a stance and will result in a penalty under Rule 8.1a if they improve the conditions affecting the stroke include:
  • Deliberately moving, bending or breaking branches with a hand, a leg or the body to get them out of the way of the backswing or stroke.
  • Standing on tall grass or weeds in a way that pushes them down and to the side so that they are out of the way of the area of intended stance or swing, when a stance could have been taken without doing so.
  • Hooking one branch on another or braiding two weeds to keep them away from the stance or swing.
  • Using a hand to bend a branch that obscures the view of the ball after taking the stance.
  • Bending an interfering branch in taking a stance when a stance could have been taken without doing so.

 

Jigger

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Thanks for the clarity everyone. It was a friendly knock and didn’t want to get caught out in a comp 🙂
 

salfordlad

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Then you have incurred a penalty.

8.1a Actions That Are Not Allowed
Except in the limited ways allowed in Rules 8.1b, c and d, a player must not take any
of these actions if they improve the conditions affecting the stroke:
(1) Move, bend or break any:
• Growing or attached natural object,

Fairly taking a stance does not mean lifting such things out our way.

You would be allowed to move it by say backing in to it or moving it slightly sideways with your body as you step in to your stance.
There is no automatic penalty on the information we have been provided so far - these scenarios can rarely be ruled away from the scene.

Most significant, we have not gotten any information to say that CATS were improved by the player taking their stance in the way they did - this is the critical question. While the player's approach by touching stuff by hand was not the right way to go about it, a referee would need to conclude that this resulted in an outcome beyond what the player was entitled to in fairly taking a stance.
 

Jigger

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There is no automatic penalty on the information we have been provided so far - these scenarios can rarely be ruled away from the scene.

Most significant, we have not gotten any information to say that CATS were improved by the player taking their stance in the way they did - this is the critical question. While the player's approach by touching stuff by hand was not the right way to go about it, a referee would need to conclude that this resulted in an outcome beyond what the player was entitled to in fairly taking a stance.
I probably could’ve shuffled into position to be fair so will take the hand thing on board. These were bendy outcrop twigs, hence how once moved up the club shaft. There was no advantage gained in my opinion.
 
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