Yesterday I discussed the Loose Impediment definition and how sand is considered a loose impediment only on the green. If on the fringe, you cannot remove the sand. Looking at the same picture from yesterday, if a player wants to brush off the sand (on the green), they can use their hand or towel while making sure they aren’t trying to determine the grain direction or other information gleamed from touching the line.
Another way that golfers violate the loose impediment rule is to remove the sand by tapping it down with the putter. It doesn’t seem like this should be improper because you were going to remove the sand anyway. Well, welcome to the RULES OF GOLF. It is a violation (2 stroke penalty). You can not tap down the line of your putt unless it is to fix a ball mark. You have to pick the sand up or brush it away.
Another situation similar to this is during early morning rounds when you get the tiny clumps of dirt from worms or insects. In the southwest, you might find dozens of these tiny dirt mounds in your line. Again, they are loose impediments and you are allowed to remove them. Tapping them down with your putter is easy and quick….but a violation. Sometimes it seems like they want to make the Rules of Golf as hard as the actual Game of Golf.