Can this player move the OVERHANGING TREE to take his tee shot?

If a tree overhangs a tee box, is the player allowed to break the branches so they can swing freely?

Matt Chivers's picture
Wed, 20 Oct 2021

Can this player move the OVERHANGING TREE to take his tee shot?

Here at GolfMagic, we like to keep our readers updated and informed on as many golf rules as possible. The rules are an extremely important part of the sport.

It is impossible to know every rule, we are all aware of that. But if you can absorb as many as possible, then this means you can play your round without any chance of a rules dispute.

An unusual situation cropped up on the golfrules_questions account, a player teed up his ball on a part of the tee box that featured an overhanging tree.

If he teed it up in this area of the tee box, his club would hit the tree. So this begs the question: is he allowed to break the branches of the tree to allow himself to swing?

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According to rule 8.1, certain conditions in the teeing area may be improved. You can alter the surface of the teeing area and move or bend grass. 

You may press down sand and soil and remove frost and water. However, his applies to things that are specified in the teeing area.

As you can see in the video, the tree has grown from outside of the teeing area and overhangs the tee box. This means that you cannot alter the tree.

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Therefore, you cannot break branches or move the tree to your benefit. If the player did break the branches, they would be liable to the general penalty for breaching rule 8.1.

So if you find yourself in this situation, please just use a different part of the teeing area. You may feel that you want to take a different angle with your tee shot, but if an overhanging tree prevents this, it is bad luck.

 

 

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