Do I get Relief from these Holes on the Green?

It is aeration time again in Florida and many golf courses are punching their greens; a very necessary agronomic practice to promote healthy greens.

The problem is that aeration has consequences that may require some temporary rules or not often used Rules to get you through this period.

First, the Committee has the authority to implement a Local Rule that allows a player to gain relief from aeration holes. From Appendix 1 of the Rules of Golf, the USGA recommends the following language when implementing this Local Rule:

On the putting green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be placed at the nearest spot not nearer the hole that avoids the situation.

Second, after the greens are aerated, the maintenance crew will top dress the greens with sand to help fill the holes caused by the aeration. This may cause a

 second issue. Can I move the sand?

The answer is yes, since the sand is a loose impediment when on the putting green. If the ball moves while moving a loose impediment on the putting green, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.

This is just a temporary condition that is very necessary to the health of the putting greens. In three weeks, the greens will be back to normal.

Remember, use the definitions, index or the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help enjoy the game of golf.

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