This Exists: Golfer Starts Fire When Swing Hits Rock

  • Dave Levy

Let’s chalk this into consideration for the Hyperbole Hall of Fame: the most ridiculous way to start a forest fire. I wish there was video of this report from the AP:

[A] golfer at the Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine landed a shot in the rough Saturday. On his next swing, his club snagged a rock, causing a spark that lit the rough ablaze and eventually attracted 150 firefighters to the scene.

It’s not enough that this place is called Shady Canyon, but now errant rocks and one bad slice can start a forest fire. How bad do you feel for this guy (who, by the way, was not pressed with any criminal charges)?

Remember what Smokey the Bear says: only you can prevent forest fires and bad golfers. And to help with the latter, I remind you of the definition of loose impediments and what USGA’s Rule 23 say about them:

Loose Impediments
Loose impediments” are natural objects including:

· stones, leaves, twigs, branches and the like,
· dung, and
· worms, insects and the like, and the casts and heaps made by them,

provided they are not:

· fixed or growing,
· solidly embedded, or
· adhering to the ball.

Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.

Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.

Dew and frost are not loose impediments.

23-1. Relief

Except when both the loose impediment and the ball lie in or touch the same hazard, any loose impediment may be removed without penalty.