Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ask Linda #1533-Ball settles in rotted tree stump

Hi and thanks for all your help in the past.
A fellow competitor's ball rolled into the rough and came to rest in the middle of a rotted tree stump. I did not think this could be considered ground under repair because it was obvious the stump had been there a long time.
But we were wondering if the rotted stump could be declared as an abnormal condition.
Thank you again.
Lou from Ontario

Dear Lou,

That’s just bad luck, Lou. There’s nothing unusual or abnormal about a rotted tree stump. Unless the Committee has marked it “ground under repair” (and I can’t see why they would, unless there are imminent plans to remove it), the player must either play it as it lies or declare it unplayable.

From a golf point of view, a tree stump is just a very short tree. You would not expect to get free relief if your ball were in a tree, or wedged between its roots, or leaning against the trunk, would you? With respect to the Rules of Golf, a tree stump is no different from a tree. The same rules apply to both.

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