Sunday, April 2, 2017
Ask Linda #1500 Re-revisited
The gentleman from Phoenix who posed the original question responded to my request for additional information with photos and distances. Here is a link to a bird’s-eye view of the hole in question on Google maps:
Basically, what we’re looking at is a 270-yard Par-4 with an island green that lies 60 yards from the end of the fairway. Considering that a player who hits his ball into the water has an area of fairway within 60 yards of the front of the green where he can drop on the flagline, I do not understand the need for a Dropping Zone (DZ) at all, let alone one that lies on the fringe of the island. The DZ on this island green does not conform to the Rules of Golf in that it allows the player to move 60 yards closer to the hole and removes the requirement to negotiate the hazard [Decision 33-8/2]. It is not unreasonable to expect any golfer who is not a raw beginner to be able to hit a ball 60 yards in the air, even on a bad day.
Since the DZ is there (most likely to speed up play), and the course is unlikely to remove it, a Committee running a tournament at this course should include in the Conditions of Competition a notice that players are not permitted to use the DZ on Hole #X. Players out for a casual round with friends can proceed however they wish – as one reader pointed out, golf is supposed to be fun. However, serious golfers who strive to follow the Rules should ignore the DZ on this hole and find the appropriate relief in Rule 26-1.
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