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Jo Mari

can you ground your back swing in the hazard without penalty?

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can you ground your back swing in the hazard without penalty?

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Here's the rule, the short answer is no (see part b).

13-4 . Ball In Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Except as provided in the Rules , before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether a bunker or a water hazard ) or that, having been lifted from a hazard , may be dropped or placed in the hazard , the player must not:

a. Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard ;

b. Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club; or

c. Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard .

Exceptions:

1. Provided nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if the player (a) touches the ground or loose impediments in any hazard or water in a water hazard as a result of or to prevent falling, in removing an obstruction , in measuring or in marking the position of, retrieving, lifting, placing or replacing a ball under any Rule or (b) places his clubs in a hazard .

2. At any time, the player may smooth sand or soil in a hazard provided this is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and nothing is done to breach Rule 13-2 with respect to his next stroke . If a ball played from a hazard is outside the hazard after the stroke , the player may smooth sand or soil in the hazard without restriction.

3. If the player makes a stroke from a hazard and the ball comes to rest in another hazard , Rule 13-4a does not apply to any subsequent actions taken in the hazard from which the stroke was made.

Note: At any time, including at address or in the backward movement for the stroke , the player may touch, with a club or otherwise, any obstruction , any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course or any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing.

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You can brush grass, but not loose impediments and the ground.
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Was Ricky Fowler in a hazzard on the 13th today? He was inside a line marked on the ground and appeared to touch his club on the ground.

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Note: At any time, including at address or in the backward movement for the stroke , the player may touch, with a club or otherwise, any obstruction , any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course or any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing.

Was that the situation? Was it a water hazard line, ie red or yellow?

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I remember seeing him inside a yellow hazard on 15, don't remember what he did on 13. Maybe that's what the OP was thinking of. On 15 his ball was laying on the down slope.  Don't remember seeing him ground his club, but he could have touched the grass which would not have been a penalty.

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It was 13. He is allowed to touch the grass but not ground the club. They're different things.
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