Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Ask Linda #1605-Sprinkler head interferes for putt from fringe
Thank you for all that you do for all of us duffers.
My question is, I was just off the green and would have liked to putt my ball instead of chipping it. However, in my line there was a sprinkler head, which would have interfered. I did choose to chip the ball. Could I have elected to take relief and move my ball so that I wouldn't have had to putt over a sprinkler head?
Lulu from New Jersey
Under Rule 24-2, the player is not entitled to free relief from an immovable obstruction (such as a sprinkler head) on her line of play, unless her ball lies on the putting green. However, the Rules do permit Committees to adopt a Local Rule providing relief from an immovable obstruction on the line of play for a very specific situation. (This Local Rule is found in Appendix I, Part A, #4a, “Obstructions.”) If the Committee adopts this Local Rule, a player is entitled to free relief from an immovable obstruction that is situated within two club-lengths of the putting green, provided her ball lies within two club-lengths of the obstruction and the obstruction intervenes on her line of play to the hole. The player must drop the ball at the nearest point that avoids the intervention and is not nearer the hole; she may not drop on the green or in a hazard.
Talk to a Committee member or the golf course manager about adopting this Local Rule for your course. It makes good sense for courses that mow the aprons around the greens very short and have sprinkler heads installed on the aprons.
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