Ball in Bunker - Covered by leaves
Question: - My ball is lying in a bunker, covered by leaves and is not visible. Is it permissible to remove the leaves so as I can see the ball when addressing it?
If the ball is covered by loose impediments (e.g. leaves or sand), in a hazard, you are allowed to remove as much as will enable you to see a part of the ball. (R&A Rules 12-1)
You are only entitled to see part of the ball so if you expose too much of the ball you must re-cover it so that only part is visible. If you have to do this you do not incur a penalty.
If the ball is only visible when you crouch down this means that you can see part of the ball and you are therefore not permitted to remove any loose impediments.
You are only entitled to remove loose impediments, covering a ball in a hazard, when the ball is not visible from any angle. (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 12-1/3)
Remember - You are not entitled to see the ball when playing a stroke. (R&A Rule 12-3)