Friday, January 29, 2016

Ask Linda #1244-Logs lining fairway

Hi Linda,

Trust you are well.

On our course almost the entire length of a particular fairway has been edged with logs, some as long as 8-10 feet and most at least 8 inches in diameter. To the other side of the logs there is a path, mainly used by green-keepers’ vehicles, that is integral to the course.
Presumption is that logs have been positioned in order to stop the green-keepers taking their tractors across that fairway.

Question: What to do if my ball is up against one of these logs?
They do not fit the definition of immovable obstruction because they are not artificial...even though my stance and swing are affected.
I guess they may be loose impediments but they are clearly immovable.

Is this another case of playing as it lies? Is there something in the rules to afford relief? Or does the committee need to make a local rule that they are GUR or something?

As ever grateful for advice.

Lou from West Wickham, England

Dear Lou,
If these logs have been cut and shaped to serve as a barrier, they are immovable obstructions (in the same way that an interior fence or a wooden bench is an immovable obstruction). Players are entitled to free relief under Rule 24. If there is some concern that all players will not treat them the same way, the Committee could write a Local Rule declaring the logs that line the fairway of Hole #__ to be immovable obstructions. This right of the Committee is guaranteed in the Note to the Definition of "Obstructions."

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