According to the USGA, “‘Temporary water’ is any temporary accumulation of water in the “general area” that is not in a penalty area and is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Snow and natural ice are either temporary water or loose impediments and is at the option of the player. Manufactured ice or ice cubes are considered an obstruction. Dew and frost are not temporary water.”
“A ball is in temporary water when it lies in or any part of it touches the temporary water.”
According to rule 16-1: Without penalty the player can lift and drop the ball within one club length of the nearest point of relief. Whenever you can see standing water under your feet or your ball you are allowed free relief at the nearest point where there is no standing water. Remember, the relief can never be closer to the hole.
Temporary water, loose impediments, obstructions… there are a lot of rules that require the golfers attention. Temporary water and loose impediments are two basic rules that all golfers should understand. If you know these rules you may save yourself a few strokes.