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Power of Referee??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

As Seniors Captain it is normal to act as Referee in our singles final over 18 holes.On our 17th, player 1 was in a ditch which is part of a  lateral hazard with his ball resting against part of a branch of a tree which had fallen from a dead branch overhead.Our course is not strong financially and only employs one green keeper so course maintainance is poor. I decided it was unfair to penalise player 1 so I (under no pressure from Player1) remover the branch from the hazard

.Player 1 went on to win the hole. Player 2 objected to my action. Unsure of the legality of what I had done we discussed the situation and decided to replay the hole.

i would appreciate input on what I did, especially should Player 1 have been obliged to take a penaly drop in the unplayable situation?  

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pomerol View Post

As Seniors Captain it is normal to act as Referee in our singles final over 18 holes.On our 17th, player 1 was in a ditch which is part of a  lateral hazard with his ball resting against part of a branch of a tree which had fallen from a dead branch overhead.Our course is not strong financially and only employs one green keeper so course maintainance is poor. I decided it was unfair to penalise player 1 so I (under no pressure from Player1) remover the branch from the hazard

.Player 1 went on to win the hole. Player 2 objected to my action. Unsure of the legality of what I had done we discussed the situation and decided to replay the hole.

i would appreciate input on what I did, especially should Player 1 have been obliged to take a penaly drop in the unplayable situation?  


As referee you had neither the right nor the duty to remove the branch.  Note in the definition that the referee is only there to apply the rules, not to determine the fairness of the rules.  The rules are not intended to be fair, only to be applied equally to all players.  There are many courses which don't meticulously groom their hazards, my own included.  When a player hits into a hazard, he has to accept the fact that he may have trouble with his next shot.  That is simply the nature of hazards.  To be honest, I think that your act was unfair to Player 2, since it seems that he might have been in a position to win the hole, and your act changed that outcome.  Since your act forced them to have to replay the hole, any advantage he might have had for avoiding that hazard was negated. 

 

 

Quote:

Referee
A "referee" is one who is appointed by the Committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules. He must act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him.

 

A referee should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

 

A referee could have made a determination of abnormal ground if such was warranted, but he should not be allowed to breach a rule in favor of either player.  By moving a loose impediment in a hazard, I feel that your overstepped your authority.  If there was concern for maintenance issues, then you or someone appointed by you could have gone over the course before the match and addressed those concerns.  My Men's Club has a couple of members who go over the course a day or 2 before each tournament to mark the course, including any abnormal ground conditions which they might find through the green.  They also would look for such things as large downed branches which could have an unfair effect on play.  Our hazards often have a litter of branches and stones which can significantly affect play, and getting a good or bad lie in such conditions is just the luck of the draw.

 

post #3 of 8

You did the wrong thing.  Not quite sure how you can be wondering about the legaility of your actions, becuase it's not up to a referee to make up rules or waive them. In this situation, the player wouldn't even necessarily have thought that it was bad luck because it is normal to have branches scattered about.

You said it was unfair to penalise Player 1, but he wasn't being penalised. He hit the ball there. He is the one would would decide if his ball was unplayable.

It would be like deciding that it was unfair for a person to have their ball lying in a footprint in an unraked bunker or to allow a drop from a divot, or calling a lipped out putt good if the player was distracted by a car horn. These things are all sent to try us. And when you're in a hazard, you have to accept what you get - just as you do in the middle of the fairway.

Best to just follow the rules! a1_smile.gif

post #4 of 8

Let me try and get this straight........you improved a players lie in a hazard because you didn't think it was fair?

 

Next time I hit it into the water I'm going to call you up and get you to get rid of all the water for me so I can hit my shot a2_wink.gif

post #5 of 8

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deasy55 View Post

Let me try and get this straight........you improved a players lie in a hazard because you didn't think it was fair?


Exactly. "Power of referee"? It's basically "none."

post #6 of 8

I could see you making a call that something was unmarked ground under repair -- but he was in a hazard. No possible way to improve any lie in the hazard.

 

I had a partner once who was in a hazard/ditch that had some grass in the it , like a little tiny island. He climbed in the ditch, stood on the grass, and declared that his ball was in standing water so he dropped -- in the hazard -- dramatically improving his lie but still left with an impossible shot. I could not convince him that this should cost us the hole and maybe the match. I explained to our opponents what he did as they were very far away and the ditch was so deep that they did not see us. He argued that I was misrepresenting the facts. BTW, he hit the most incredible shot ever to about six inches and we won the match because of it. Some 10 years later, I still will not play with this guy. Ever. Long story to say -- there is no improving the lie in a hazard. Even if you have standing water in the water hazard. :)

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

 there is no improving the lie in a hazard. Even if you have standing water in the water hazard. :)


Casual water’’ is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard

 

 

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

-- there is no improving the lie in a hazard.



An exception is if your ball lies on, or your swing/stance, is interfered by a movable obstruction.  You get relief from movable obstructions in hazards as well as through the green and on a putting green.  A tree branch is not an obstructions, but this might help the next time your ball is sitting in a tire someone threw in the hazard.  a1_smile.gif

 

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