Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ask Linda #1155-Self-declared GUR

Hi Linda,
I have searched your blog and I could not find this scenario.

My playing partner found his ball in the rough. When he tried to hit his ball, he was standing on a newly aerated area with a tractor mark which he declared as GUR. There is no blue flag, no line or rope around the area. He took a relief by dropping outside of the area. Is he correct in declaring that as a GUR?

2nd question: What if his ball is outside of the marked GUR and when he tries to hit his next shot he is standing in the GUR, does he get relief?

Thanks again Linda,
Lou from Daly City, California

Dear Lou,

The responsibility to mark Ground Under Repair (GUR) lies with the Committee or course, not with the player. If the player believes the spot where his ball lies should be marked as GUR, he may play two balls under Rule 3-3. Upon review, if the Committee decides that the spot was GUR, he will count his score with the ball he dropped away from the GUR; if not, the other ball will count. If he plays only one ball, takes relief with that ball, and the Committee decides that the area was not GUR, he will incur a two-stroke penalty for moving his ball in play and not replacing it before hitting it. If he fails to include the penalty in his score when he submits his scorecard, he will be disqualified.

Many players seem to be confused about their rights regarding GUR. Unless the Committee declares that relief from GUR is mandatory, players may hit a ball lying in GUR, and they may stand in GUR to hit a ball lying outside the GUR. They may instead choose to take free relief (stance plus one club-length, no closer to the hole). Free relief is available if the ball is in the GUR, your stance is in the GUR, or the GUR interferes with the area of your intended swing [Rule 25-1a].

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