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Fescue v. Water Hazards? - Page 2

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post

How does the rating/slope of a course account for fescue?  I don't think it counts it like a hazard..

 

It definitely counts towards the rating!! 

post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I feel similarly about hazards right next to OB where it can be hard to tell if your ball is in the hazard or OB.

 

 

I've experienced this first hand at a former home course, and the rules are clear cut on this.  It was a par5 with OB and a road all the way down the right side of the hole.  There was also a lateral hazard that extended halfway down on the right. If your ball crosses the lateral hazard, then you take a drop where it crossed the red line.  It doesn't matter if the ball crossed the road or not......once it crossed that red line, your fate is decided by that red line even if the ball goes bounding down the roadwaya2_wink.gif

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mad max View Post

I think Sandmans point is that you don't know it there.

 

I suppose my counter-point would be "huh?" :D

 

In other words, how often is there "fescue" that you don't see? The U.S. Senior Open is being played at a course with fescue all over the place. You can see it. You know where it is. You know when your ball is going to go into it when it leaves the clubface.

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

 

I've experienced this first hand at a former home course, and the rules are clear cut on this.  It was a par5 with OB and a road all the way down the right side of the hole.  There was also a lateral hazard that extended halfway down on the right. If your ball crosses the lateral hazard, then you take a drop where it crossed the red line.  It doesn't matter if the ball crossed the road or not......once it crossed that red line, your fate is decided by that red line even if the ball goes bounding down the roadwaya2_wink.gif

Is this a local rule, or are you saying it is part of the USGA rules?  If the later, I would like one of our rules experts to confirm this.  Suppose I fly over a hazard (crossing the red line in the air) but land OB.  Are you saying that I take relieve with a stroke penalty at the point it crossed red line (in the air) instead of going back to the tee and re hitting??

post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

I've experienced this first hand at a former home course, and the rules are clear cut on this.  It was a par5 with OB and a road all the way down the right side of the hole.  There was also a lateral hazard that extended halfway down on the right. If your ball crosses the lateral hazard, then you take a drop where it crossed the red line.  It doesn't matter if the ball crossed the road or not......once it crossed that red line, your fate is decided by that red line even if the ball goes bounding down the roadway;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Is this a local rule, or are you saying it is part of the USGA rules?  If the later, I would like one of our rules experts to confirm this.  Suppose I fly over a hazard (crossing the red line in the air) but land OB.  Are you saying that I take relieve with a stroke penalty at the point it crossed red line (in the air) instead of going back to the tee and re hitting??

We have a hole that has OB all down the right side. Between the fairway and OB a water hazard runs halfway up the right side that stops about 235 off the tee. The hole bends right and the idea is to carry the lake and the dogleg. Occasionally someone will not carry the dogleg but will carry the lake and end up OB. We always treated this as OB. From what you are saying if it exits the fairway and crosses the margin of the hazard and then leaves the course it is really played from the red line?
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I suppose my counter-point would be "huh?" :D

In other words, how often is there "fescue" that you don't see? The U.S. Senior Open is being played at a course with fescue all over the place. You can see it. You know where it is. You know when your ball is going to go into it when it leaves the clubface.

I am not sure what the Senior Open has to do with this example if it doesn't have blind shots. We have a course that has quite a few blind shots and until you can play it a few times, or with a local, it can be tough because there are large clumps near the blind landing areas. I dont like it as much as the next guy but in these cases it pays to know the course!
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Is this a local rule, or are you saying it is part of the USGA rules?  If the later, I would like one of our rules experts to confirm this.  Suppose I fly over a hazard (crossing the red line in the air) but land OB.  Are you saying that I take relieve with a stroke penalty at the point it crossed red line (in the air) instead of going back to the tee and re hitting??

 

A ball that's OB is OB. It doesn't matter if it crosses over a hazard to get there. If it's not IN the hazard, it's OB.

 

Heck, here's an example of a ball that's IN a hazard, in-bounds, and is carried OB by the hazard. The ruling? It's OB.

 

 

Q.The flow of water in a water hazard carries a ball out of bounds. May the player invoke Rule 26-1?

A.No. Since the ball lies out of bounds, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1. Water is not an outside agency - see Definition of "Outside Agency" - and thus the ball would not be replaced under Rule 18-1.

In a situation where it is likely that a ball will be carried out of bounds by the flow of water in a water hazard, it is suggested that a screen be installed to prevent such an occurrence.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Is this a local rule, or are you saying it is part of the USGA rules?  If the later, I would like one of our rules experts to confirm this.  Suppose I fly over a hazard (crossing the red line in the air) but land OB.  Are you saying that I take relieve with a stroke penalty at the point it crossed red line (in the air) instead of going back to the tee and re hitting??

I'm saying it's USGA.....once you cross any red hazard line,  the drop is based on the rules for crossing the red line because it crossed that line.  Where the ball goes after that is not relevant.....  Even though a road ran the entire length of the hole, the white stakes didn't even begin until the red stakes ended.

 

This is the only golf hole I've ever seen this come into play and I've played a lot of golf courses. Most golfers will never experience the above situation.......

post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

I'm saying it's USGA.....once you cross any red hazard line,  the drop is based on the rules for crossing the red line because it crossed that line.  Where the ball goes after that is not relevant.....  Even though a road ran the entire length of the hole, the white stakes didn't even begin until the red stakes ended.

 

This is the only golf hole I've ever seen this come into play and I've played a lot of golf courses. Most golfers will never experience the above situation.......

 

Where the ball ends up is relevant. If it's OB, it's OB - you don't get to use the hazard.

 

It sounds like they don't own the entire pond so they can't put white stakes on someone else's property, but if the ball is dry and bouncing on a road, it's not in a water hazard, so it's OB.

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Where the ball ends up is relevant. If it's OB, it's OB - you don't get to use the hazard.

 

It sounds like they don't own the entire pond so they can't put white stakes on someone else's property, but if the ball is dry and bouncing on a road, it's not in a water hazard, so it's OB.

Can you post the rule?  I only ask this because you're the teaching pro. 

 

 

What I do know is this exact issue came up in club tourneys....... the head pro clearly stated the drop rules for crossing the lateral hazard apply.......and I'll believe my head pro unless I see something definitive otherwise.  The white stakes didn't even begin until after the red marked hazard stopped.....

post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

Can you post the rule?  I only ask this because you're the teaching pro.

 

I've already done so. Look up the rest yourself, please. I'm fairly confident in my answer.

 

If the "back side" of the pond or hazard is not on club property they can't very easily mark it with stakes.

post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

A ball that's OB is OB. It doesn't matter if it crosses over a hazard to get there. If it's not IN the hazard, it's OB.

 

Heck, here's an example of a ball that's IN a hazard, in-bounds, and is carried OB by the hazard. The ruling? It's OB.

 

 

Q.The flow of water in a water hazard carries a ball out of bounds. May the player invoke Rule 26-1?

A.No. Since the ball lies out of bounds, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1. Water is not an outside agency - see Definition of "Outside Agency" - and thus the ball would not be replaced under Rule 18-1.

In a situation where it is likely that a ball will be carried out of bounds by the flow of water in a water hazard, it is suggested that a screen be installed to prevent such an occurrence.

My understanding was the same as yours (that the OB trumps), but the above example really highlights to me why it is a bad idea (in terms of being unfair and creating uncertainty) to have hazards in close proximity to OB.  I mean, what level of certainty do you have to have that your ball is in the hazard as opposed to OB.  Does this level of certainty have to be backed up by tangible evidence, or can it be left up to (a figment of) the players imagination?

 

As an example, we have several rivers that run through the Keystone Golf Course (and run down to Lake Dillon several miles away).  Here is a photo that shows the water flowing in a direction that eventually exits the golf course.  

Keystone River Course #7

 

Fish live in these rivers, so it would not be practical to put up a screen.  It takes a bad shot, but suppose you plunk one in the river and see it splash (possible from the up tees, but mostly out of sight from the back tees), but don`t actually put on waders and find your ball so it might have sunk to the bottom and got stuck on a rock or maybe it got carried by the current.  Where do you play it?

 

Does your answer change if I tell you they have a drop area on the GREEN SIDE of the river CLOSER to the hole?  There may be a sign explaining this on the hole, but there is no explanation for this on the scorecard.

 

What about if you did not see it splash but hit it in the direction of the hazard with the sort of contact that would make it likely, but not 100% definitive that it would either be in the river or on land nearby that is part of the hazard with a small chance it ended up in scrub outside the hazard (and therefore is technically a lost ball)?

post #31 of 35

MEfree, your example is definitely a complex one.

 

I am not sure what I'd do in that case. I think you'd say that you're virtually certain your ball is in the hazard, so you'd play it as such.


The OP's case has him seeing a ball bouncing down the road and isn't as complex at all. It's also a pond, not a stream capable of carrying the ball away.

post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

MEfree, your example is definitely a complex one.

 

I am not sure what I'd do in that case. I think you'd say that you're virtually certain your ball is in the hazard, so you'd play it as such.


The OP's case has him seeing a ball bouncing down the road and isn't as complex at all. It's also a pond, not a stream capable of carrying the ball away.

Maybe, but I was more trying to illustrate how the rules lead to situations that are up for player interpretation with many players likely playing the ball as if it is in the hazard when this may not be a virtual certainty.  

 

I`m a math guy and like to put % on things.  I have had a number of times recently that I would bet with 80 to 99.9% certainty that my ball was in the hazard but, in the case of their being very long grass close to the hazard know that there is a 0.1 to 20% chance (depending on the shot/circumstances) that the ball could be lost in the long grass nearby.  My guess is that most players would play it as in the hazard even if it was likely only an 80% chance that it was in there (far less than a virtual certainty).  While it might be obvious that this is wrong, what about in the case where they are 90, 95 or 99% sure it is in the hazard?

 

So my question is, what % chance is a "virtual certainty?" 90? 95? 99? 99.9?  I have spent some time in casinos where some guys think a 50/50 is a virtual certainty while others would be cautious betting on a 99/1. 

 

To complicate things further, it also seems like a players actions can alter what the % chance is.  I.e. you hit towards an area with a hazard and a patch of long grass nearby.  From 250 yards away you think there is an 80% chance it is in the hazard and a 20% chance it is in the long grass outside the hazard.  You spend 5 minutes searching the long grass without finding the ball- depending on how big an area the long grass is and how well you followed your ball you might now be 90, 95, or 99.99% certain that the ball is in the hazard.  The only way you can be 100% certain that the ball is in the hazard is to actually find it there, but if you spend your 5 minutes looking in the hazard, you are now less than 80% sure it is there if you don`t find it.

post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

So my question is, what % chance is a "virtual certainty?" 90? 95? 99? 99.9?  I have spent some time in casinos where some guys think a 50/50 is a virtual certainty while others would be cautious betting on a 99/1. 

 

There's no point in putting a number on it because how does one distinguish between "98% certain" and "99% certain"?

 

So we go with this:

 

 

26-1/1

Meaning of "Known or Virtually Certain"

When a ball has been struck towards a water hazard and cannot be found, a player may not assume that his ball is in the water hazard simply because there is a possibility that the ball may be in the water hazard. In order to proceed under Rule 26-1, it must be "known or virtually certain" that the ball is in the water hazard. In the absence of "knowledge or virtual certainty" that it lies in a water hazard, a ball that cannot be found must be considered lost somewhere other than in a water hazard and the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

When a player's ball cannot be found, "knowledge" may be gained that his ball is in a water hazard in a number of ways. The player or his caddie or other members of his match or group may actually observe the ball disappear into the water hazard. Evidence provided by other reliable witnesses may also establish that the ball is in the water hazard. Such evidence could come from a referee, an observer, spectators or other outside agencies. It is important that all readily accessible information be considered because, for example, the mere fact that a ball has splashed in a water hazard would not always provide "knowledge" that the ball is in the water hazard, as there are instances when a ball may skip out of, and come to rest outside, the hazard.

In the absence of "knowledge" that the ball is in the water hazard, Rule26-1 requires there to be "virtual certainty" that the player's ball is in the water hazard in order to proceed under this Rule. Unlike "knowledge," "virtual certainty" implies some small degree of doubt about the actual location of a ball that has not been found. However, "virtual certainty" also means that, although the ball has not been found, when all readily available information is considered, the conclusion that there is nowhere that the ball could be except in the water hazard would be justified.

In determining whether "virtual certainty" exists, some of the relevant factors in the area of the water hazard to be considered include topography, turf conditions, grass heights, visibility, weather conditions and the proximity of trees, bushes and abnormal ground conditions.

The same principles would apply for a ball that may have been moved by an outside agency (Rule 18-1) or a ball that has not been found and may be in an obstruction (Rule 24-3) or an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1c).  (Revised)

post #34 of 35

Thanks for that passage, but I still contend that different players will interpret this differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

...how does one distinguish between "98% certain" and "99% certain"?

 

 

Similar to how one player is determined to be a 50 to 1 shot to win while another is a 100 to 1 except that the relevant factors to be considered include

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

26-1/1

Meaning of "Known or Virtually Certain"

... However, "virtual certainty" also means that, although the ball has not been found, when all readily available information is considered, the conclusion that there is nowhere that the ball could be except in the water hazard would be justified.

In determining whether "virtual certainty" exists, some of the relevant factors in the area of the water hazard to be considered include topography, turf conditions, grass heights, visibility, weather conditions and the proximity of trees, bushes and abnormal ground conditions.

 

 

I interpret their threshold ("nowhere that the ball could be except in the water hazard") as over 99% and that you would need pretty closely mown grass and a lack of trees/bushes/abnormal ground conditions near the hazard.

 

In addition to the likelihood that different players will have different interpretations, I think this rule slows down the game as you have to spend time to either locate the ball in the hazard (to be certain that it is in there) or spend time looking near the hazard to rule out the possibility that it is anywhere besides the hazard.

 

I was playing through a group yesterday on a 218 yard par 3 and hooked my long iron into a lateral water hazard that has some big trees in it between the green and the river.  I looked in the dry part of the hazard and found about 6 balls, none of which were mine and then dropped near the point I thought my ball crossed into the hazard.  I`d say there was less than a 1% chance that my ball could have hit a tree and ended up outside the hazard or made it into the river and floated away but these were certainly (very small) possibilities.  Because there was somewhere else the ball could have been besides the hazard, under the rules of golf that you quoted, I think I should have gone back to the tee but doubt this would have gone over very well with the group I was playing through.

 

It also seems like 26-1/1 favors players like Tiger who have more spectators as they can be used in determining virtual certainty.

 

I realize that it would change the game (and possibly even course design) to an extend and penalize bad shots less, but I think golf would be improved if lost balls (and OBs to be consistent) where simply treated similar to (lateral?) water hazards.  This would speed up the game and remove the possibility of some players being more easily convinced that their ball is in a water hazard when in reality they should treat it like a lost ball as there is a chance that it could be somewhere else. 

post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Thanks for that passage, but I still contend that different players will interpret this differently.

Similar to how one player is determined to be a 50 to 1 shot to win while another is a 100 to 1 except that the relevant factors to be considered include

 

I interpret their threshold ("nowhere that the ball could be except in the water hazard") as over 99% and that you would need pretty closely mown grass and a lack of trees/bushes/abnormal ground conditions near the hazard.

 

Someone else might call it over 95%. Which is why the numbers don't make any sense. They've defined it. They can't do any more.

 

I think you're overstating how much this slows the game down. Unless you see a splash, and if your ball isn't sitting in the really shallow part of the hazard, it's lost and you play your provisional. If you see a splash and the ball couldn't have skipped out, it's in the hazard. If you see it roll over a bank, walk to that bank and the ball didn't get caught in the grass, it's in the hazard.

 

And so on.

 

OB and lost balls can't treated as hazards. If your ball is lost by definition you don't know where it is. But that's another topic entirely, and one we won't get into here.

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