Thursday, May 12, 2016
Ask Linda #1303-Relief from divot holes
We have just had a new match committee set up in our club; the chairperson is a bit "zealous" to say the least re: the power they believe they have. Can you clarify the following?
We had been playing preferred lies for a while. The new chairperson, acting alone (the other two members are away), decided on Sunday that we would "play the lie," which of course is fine. He wrote on the board:
PLAY THE LIE
FREE DROP FROM RABBIT SCRAPINGS
FREE DROP FROM DIVOTS
I spoke to him on the third hole (first time I had seen him) to clarify that firstly all animal scrapings from burrowing animals entitle the player to relief but that there is no relief from divots as he had put in that we were to play the lie. He said that "as committee I can do whatever I want," to which I replied you can’t waive a rule of golf.
Thanks yet again for your assistance.
Lou from New Zealand
You are absolutely correct. A Committee is limited to Local Rules consistent with those listed in Appendix I of the rulebook. A Committee that wants to write a Local Rule that does not conform to those in Appendix I must receive approval from the governing body, which in your case is the R&A. There is no Local Rule permitting free relief from divots.
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