It seems that there is still some confusion between what is an Loose impediment and an movable obstruction, some exmaples below
|Loose Impediments (natural)||Movable Obstruction (artificial)|
|leaves||other players’ golf clubs|
|branches and twigs||stakes (except out of bounds)|
|pine cones||signage and ropes|
|dung and droppings||bottles and cans|
|worms and their casts||pens and pencils|
|spiders and their webs||paper, tissues|
|half-eaten fruit||plastic bags|
|fruit skins||packets and boxes|
|dead birds and animals||match sticks or cigarettes|
|aeration plugs||abandoned balls|
|clods of earth||loose stones from a wall|
|gravel||wood manufactured into planks|
|wood chips||doors or windows|
Note that sand and loose soil are only loose impediments on the putting green.
Movable obstructions can be removed anywhere on the course, including when the ball lies in a hazard, without penalty if the ball moves during the removal, but MUST be replaced.
If the ball lies in or on the obstruction, the ball may be lifted and the obstruction removed. The ball MUST then be dropped, or on the putting green placed, as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where the ball lay in or on the obstruction, not nearer the hole.
However, if a player’s ball lies in a bunker it is not permitted to remove any loose impediment from that bunker. With the exception when a Local Rule which states, “Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions”, is inforce.