Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ask Linda #1635-GUR marked on one side only

Linda, my scenario is as follows.
We have a water hazard on the left side, well into the rough. They have reseeded the area immediately to the right of the hazard, which extends about 1/2 way (just the seeded area) from the hazard to the fairway. The reseeded area is roped off as Ground Under Repair, but only on the right side (towards the fairway), and not completely around the GUR.

The question is: Is the water hazard, which is still Red-staked, still considered a water hazard and to be assumed that the GUR ends at the hazard line, or with only the right side of the GUR roped off, would the GUR continue to the edge of the course? In this case the edge is a highway and no longer any part of the course.

Thank You.
Lou from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Dear Lou,

The Committee should have been a bit more careful marking the ground under repair (GUR), or should have informed players of the boundary of the GUR. A simple statement, such as: “The newly-seeded area to the right of the hazard on Hole #12 is ground under repair from which play is prohibited. The margin of the ground under repair extends to the edge of the lateral water hazard,” would be sufficient.

You will need to ask the Committee (or the golf course management) to explain its intention regarding this GUR. I would assume they meant to mark only the newly-seeded area, and that they meant to prohibit play from that area. If play is prohibited, the Committee would do well to establish a temporary Dropping Zone for balls that would ordinarily be dropped in the area marked as GUR under the two-club-length relief option in Rule 26-1c.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ask Linda #1634-Player holes out with provisional

Dear Linda,
Yesterday we were in the following situation:

Player A tees off on a par 3 hole and his ball goes right into the trees. He announces that he will play a provisional ball and he does. He gets a "Hole in ONE” with the provisional. He is not willing to search for his ball in the trees, and he is walking towards the green.

What is the ruling here?

I assume that the other players have now to go and search for him (for 5 minutes) – this is not very “polite”…
I know that Player A cannot just declare his provisional ball as the new ball in play (in this situation is Player A allowed to just wait for 5 minutes, in order to declare his provisional as the ball in play?).

So now the rest of the players have to search in order to “protect” their scores? Correct?

Thank you,
Lou from Athens, Greece

Dear Lou,

The provisional ball will become the ball in play as soon as the player takes it out of the hole, provided the original ball is not found within five minutes before he does so [Decision 27-2b/2].

The other players are not obligated to search for the ball, but they may certainly do so, even if Player A requests that they not search. If they find the original ball within five minutes and before Player A picks his provisional out of the hole, Player A must complete the hole with the original ball.

If Player A is Rules-smart and fleet of foot, he will race to the hole in an attempt to remove the ball from the hole before anyone finds the original. If he wins the race, his score on the hole is 3.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ask Linda #1633-Ball stuck in OB fence

A player hits her tee shot into an out-of-bounds fence. The ball is stuck in the chain link fence about half way up. The ball is still halfway in bounds.

Is the ball out of bounds or can she take an unplayable, add a penalty stroke, and hit from there?

The ball on the boundary line is still in play, we believe.

Lulu from Longview, Washington

Dear Lulu,

A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds [Definition of “Out of Bounds”]. The out-of-bounds line is determined by the inside points at ground level of the fence posts. If the fence posts are on the course side of the fence, the ball may be out of bounds. It would depend on the diameter/width of the posts.

If the posts are on the out-of-bounds side of the fence, a ball that is stuck partly in the fence is not out of bounds. The player may attempt to hit it out of the fence (probably not the best idea, but may be possible – see Decision 14-1a/5). The wiser choice might be to declare the ball unplayable, add one penalty stroke to her score, and either drop within two club-lengths (no closer to the hole) or play again from the teeing ground. If she returns to the tee, she may re-tee the ball. 

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ask Linda #1632-Ball hit towards hazard not visible from tee

Hi Linda,
The first hole at my club has a water hazard that's in play from the tee. It's about 250 yards out and maybe ten yards left of the fairway. It's not a very big pond, but it's there. 

The problem is that it's not visible from the tee and there are some trees and a little bit of high grass around it. During tournament play, what is the proper procedure if you hit a tee shot that appears likely to end up in the water? You can't be certain that it's in. 

Thank you,
Lou from Rye, NY

Dear Lou,

Since there is no knowledge or virtual certainty that the ball entered the hazard, and it is possible that it may be lost outside the hazard in the high grass, the player should hit a provisional ball [Rule 27-2a]. If he does not find the original ball, he must continue with the provisional, which would be fourth stroke on the hole.

If the area adjacent to the pond were closely mowed, such that you could be virtually certain that a ball not found was in the hazard, the player could choose any of the relief options in Rule 26-1.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ask Linda #1631-Ball in animal hole under bush

Ciao Linda,
Yesterday I had a friendly argument with a Marshal. It was about a theoretical situation that may occur.
The situation we discussed is when a ball is under a bush inside a hole (made by a mole or a rabbit). My opinion was that I have the opportunity to take free relief from the hole; as a side effect I have the ball out of the bush.
The Marshal replied that the bush has the priority, so the only possibility for me is to declare the ball unplayable. He said that there is a Decision about this.
What is your opinion about this?
Thanks in advance.
Lou, an Italian living in the Czech Republic

Dear Lou,

I don’t have an “opinion,” Lou, but I do have an answer. The marshal is correct. The Decision he was referring to is 25-1b/19, which describes this exact situation.

The Exception to Rule 25-1b states that a player is not entitled to free relief from an abnormal ground condition if interference by something other than the abnormal condition makes the stroke clearly impracticable.

Therefore, if a player’s ball lies unplayable in a bush, he is not entitled to free relief from a burrowing animal hole. Similarly, if a ball lies unplayable in the roots of a tree, the player is not entitled to free relief if his stance is in casual water.

Ask yourself: If the abnormal ground condition weren’t there, would you be able to play the shot? If the answer is “no,” you are not entitled to free relief.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.