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Should Pros Play by a Different Set of Rules? - Page 6

Poll Results: Should Professional Golf Have Its Own Rules/Ruling body(s) That Are Different Than Amateurs?

 
  • 26% (12)
    Yes. It's really a different game than we play and should be recognized as such.
  • 73% (33)
    No. I think pros and amateurs should play by the same rules.
45 Total Votes  
post #91 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

I would tend to prefer they be marked as such too, but Decision 33-8/41 clarifies all of this:

 

 

If an appropriate authority prohibits entry into and/or play from an area for environmental reasons, it is the Committee's responsibility to decide whether an environmentally-sensitive area should be defined as ground under repair, a water hazard or out of bounds.

However, the Committee may not define the area as a water hazard or a lateral water hazard unless it is, by Definition, a water hazard. The Committee should attempt to preserve the character of the hole.

 

 

Those could have been marked as water hazards. Sometimes courses will mark water hazards that are also ESAs by putting a green cap on top of the stakes. They clearly mean "do not enter this area" (as all ESAs do) and they still play as water hazards and afford players those same options.

 

If they marked water hazards as OB, then perhaps they shouldn't have.

 

More from the same Decision, including some examples. Bolded text is my doing.

 

 

(a) A small area of rare plants close to a putting green has been declared an environmentally-sensitive area. The Committee may define the area to be ground under repair or out of bounds, but it may not be defined as a water hazard or lateral water hazard. In view of the area's proximity to a putting green, it should not be defined as out of bounds because a stroke-and-distance penalty would be unduly harsh. It would be more appropriate to define the area as ground under repair.

(b) A large area of sand dunes along the side of a hole has been declared an environmentally-sensitive area. In contrast to (a) above, it should not be defined as ground under repair because the absence of a penalty would be unduly generous. It would be more appropriate to define the area as out of bounds.

(c) A large area of wetlands along the side of a hole has been declared an environmentally-sensitive area. As in (b) above, it could be defined as out of bounds, but it would be more appropriate to define it as a lateral water hazard.

An environmentally-sensitive area should be physically protected to deter players from entering the area (e.g., by a fence, warning signs and the like) and it should be marked in accordance with the recommendations in the Rules of Golf (i.e., by yellow, red or white stakes, depending on the status of the area). It is recommended that stakes with green tops be used to designate an environmentally-sensitive area.

While I understand the logic of these decisions, the fact that you can`t have a hazard without water makes it an all (stroke and distance) or nothing (free drop) situation when there isn`t water involved.  At the very least, I think a course designer should have the option to create a non-water hazard that is played similar to a lateral WH.  In example A, they say it should not be defined as OB because of the proximity to the green with the stroke and distance penalty being too harsh.    

 

Today, I was playing with a guy in his 20s (age, true handicap would be higher) who has been playing for a year.  On the 5th hole at the Keystone Ranch course, the white tee was 183 yards to the middle of an elevated green with a slight wind behind us.  It is 140 yards to carry the ESA lateral water hazard (where they provide a drop area about 30 yards short of the greeen).  10 yards over the green is some lush grass almost 2 feet tall where losing a ball is likely.  The guy makes his best swing of the day and nuts a 6 iron that flies the green into the long grass.  Result- lost ball.  Needless to say, he was quite dejected.  He would have better off chunking one 40 yards into the ESA hazard and being able to take the penalty drop near the green.

 

I agree with the USGA that stroke and distance can be too harsh in some situations and a free drop too lenient.  IMO, cutting the grass down 10+ yards over the green would detract from the look and character of this hole while adding hazard stakes would seem appropriate.  With this being the case, why not give the course architect and/or greens committee the option of creating a non-water hazard to best represent the character of the hole while providing a fair penalty for an errant shot?

post #92 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

While I understand the logic of these decisions, the fact that you can`t have a hazard without water makes it an all (stroke and distance) or nothing (free drop) situation when there isn`t water involved.  At the very least, I think a course designer should have the option to create a non-water hazard that is played similar to a lateral WH.  In example A, they say it should not be defined as OB because of the proximity to the green with the stroke and distance penalty being too harsh.

 

Here's the deal: the course designer has the option to not put the green or fairway right by an ESA that isn't water.

 

If they put the darn fairway or green right by the ESA then they likely intended it to play as it plays.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Today, I was playing with a guy in his 20s (age, true handicap would be higher) who has been playing for a year.  On the 5th hole at the Keystone Ranch course, the white tee was 183 yards to the middle of an elevated green with a slight wind behind us.  It is 140 yards to carry the ESA lateral water hazard (where they provide a drop area about 30 yards short of the greeen).  10 yards over the green is some lush grass almost 2 feet tall where losing a ball is likely.  The guy makes his best swing of the day and nuts a 6 iron that flies the green into the long grass.  Result- lost ball.  Needless to say, he was quite dejected.  He would have better off chunking one 40 yards into the ESA hazard and being able to take the penalty drop near the green.

 

Frankly, I think that's the mis-use of a drop zone and it's meant to speed up play. So I disagree that the course is set up properly there, because as you point out, the player could dribble the ball just off the tee and not get within 100 yards of the hole, then get to drop 30 yards away?

 

Here's a quote from this thread - http://thesandtrap.com/t/36142/drop-zones-across-a-water-hazard :

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

What you describe is not the recommended method for establishing dropping zones, but it isn't entirely prohibited either. First, a dropping zone should only be used if there is no other practical option other than rehitting from the previous spot. If the normal options under Rule 26-1 are available, then there is no need under the rules to even have a dropping zone. When possible the dropping zone should not take the hazard completely out of play nor should it play from a spot significantly closer to the hole than where the ball entered the hazard. There are exceptional cases where the committee has no choice but to pass those recommendation in the interest of playability, but such cases are rare on a properly designed golf course.

 

It sounds like what was done at this course was done in a questionable effort to speed up play, not out of actual necessity. A local rule such as you describe has usually not been submitted for approval to the USGA (a requirement for it to be a true "rule"), but just invented by the course and instituted with the idea the most players won't ever question it. If I played there I would be inclined to play by the Rules of Golf, not by the whim of a questionable "local rule" unless I could see the justification for it.

 

140 to carry is not a ridiculous distance or a big forced carry. And yes, for the record, dropping from 60 yards on the 17th at TPC Sawgrass during the Players Championship doesn't seem right, either. Anyway, continuing on…

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I agree with the USGA that stroke and distance can be too harsh in some situations and a free drop too lenient.  IMO, cutting the grass down 10+ yards over the green would detract from the look and character of this hole while adding hazard stakes would seem appropriate.  With this being the case, why not give the course architect and/or greens committee the option of creating a non-water hazard to best represent the character of the hole while providing a fair penalty for an errant shot?

 

So... don't go over the green. It's OB.

 

I played a hole like this a few weeks ago. It's 180 or so to the flag. The grass behind the green isn't mowed too long and it's anywhere from 6-10 yards into the water (a regular water hazard, yellow, so no two clublengths stuff). The tees are to the left, and oh yeah, the green edge to the water is about six feet downhill, so balls just over the green often go into the water. You can drop on the far side of the water, but that leaves a 100-yard shot from the rough to a green sloping away from you.

 

 

1000

 

Guess what you do on this hole? You just hit the front of the green. You take enough club so that if you absolutely pure it, it'll get to the back third of the green and no farther. Short gives you an option to save par. Long does not.

 

It's a perfectly fair hole.

 

P.S. I've actually played the hole twice. The first time the pin was back right and my ball found the front left portion of the green. I two-putted for par. The second time, in a scramble, I flushed a 7I and the pin was back middle. I was back right about 12 feet away. I made the putt, but that's as deep as that ball was going to go, and it had to be flushed AND get a little help from the wind.

post #93 of 102

Erik,

 

The Keystone Ranch course is a Robert Trent Jones design,, and I didn't see any questionable hole designs there.  I played it in 2010 and 2011 (and some 20 odd years ago too), and there is no hole on the course which should require that sort of drop zone treatment. 

 

I think that this is the hole he's referring to.  It plays from top to bottom of the map.  It measures about 120 yards to carry the junk from the middle tee.  There is plenty of room to bail short.  Overshooting the green is simply a huge miscue.  There certainly are plenty of places on that course to lose balls though.  I won't deny that.

 

(I couldn't figure out how to bring it in as an image, so here it is as a link)

 

https://maps.google.bs/maps?hl=en&ll=39.584061,-106.000659&spn=0.002501,0.006539&t=h&z=18

post #94 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

Erik,

 

The Keystone Ranch course is a Robert Trent Jones design,, and I didn't see any questionable hole designs there.  I played it in 2010 and 2011 (and some 20 odd years ago too), and there is no hole on the course which should require that sort of drop zone treatment. 

 

I think that this is the hole he's referring to.  It plays from top to bottom of the map.  It measures about 120 yards to carry the junk from the middle tee.  There is plenty of room to bail short.  Overshooting the green is simply a huge miscue.  There certainly are plenty of places on that course to lose balls though.  I won't deny that.

 

(I couldn't figure out how to bring it in as an image, so here it is as a link)

 

https://maps.google.bs/maps?hl=en&ll=39.584061,-106.000659&spn=0.002501,0.006539&t=h&z=18

You are mostly correct, but when I click on the link you provide, it centers on #7, also a par 3.  Here is link to a picture of #5 http://golftravel.about.com/od/coloradogolfcourses/ss/keystone-ranch2_3.htm  (or pan down and to the right of the link you provided https://maps.google.bs/maps?hl=en&ll=39.582876,-105.997725&spn=0.001817,0.004128&t=h&z=19).  Here is another of the green http://www.flickr.com/photos/tangsphoto/6421116403/ which shows it to be wider than it is deep.

 

The white tees were back of the marker today by about 14 yards, so I would estimate the carry was more than 120 yards, closer to 140 imo.  There is not a ton of room short, but obviously that is the correct strategic play (or back bunker or just off the back, but not 10+ yards long)

 

I was happy with the two putt par I made today and don`t think it is an unfair hole for a good player, but it can be tough for your 20+ capper crowd.  I think where I differ from Erik is that I think the optimum course design and rules should not only separate excellent players from good ones, but bad players (and bad shots) from really bad players (and really bad shots).  On the driving range most high cappers would rather hit a shot 20 yards further than they normally do rather than duff it 40 yards, but because of the higher penalty for a lost ball it is better to do the later than the former on this hole.  

 

I know course management is a big part of the game but even Erik quoted " In view of the area's proximity to a putting green, it should not be defined as out of bounds because a stroke-and-distance penalty would be unduly harsh."  Yes, this was in a discussion about ESAs, but I think the stroke and distance penalty is too harsh here for higher cappers.  Erik is a pro who may deserve stroke and distance for being 10+ yards long, but maybe it makes sense having different set of rules for high cappers to more fairly differentiate bad shots from really bad shots.  

 

Erik is right it is not the recommended drop area for coming up short, but some guys might never finish if they didn`t have these type of drops (especially true on #6 on the River course which has a 200+ carry).      


Edited by MEfree - 8/2/12 at 1:57am
post #95 of 102

That's a cool hole.  I remember it well now.  At that elevation it shouldn't be more than a weak 8I for the majority of players to get over the junk, and a 9I or PW for many with today's equipment.  You are right in that it's surrounded by a lot of bad stuff, but the hole is short enough that I never felt a serious threat.  If it doesn't qualify as fitting the definition of a water hazard, then I see it as a time when OB is necessarily the best choice.  It certainly isn't GUR.  It's an area where if you hit into the brush and weeds, it's probably at least 75-25 that the ball is lost or unplayable anyway, so you can't be rewarded for such a poor short iron shot.  If I was playing the hole and saw my ball airmail the green, I'd probably hit a provisional ball, not knowing what might be back there.

 

I have a photo from somewhere near that same spot.  When we played that hole in 2010 there was a thunderstorm bearing down on us from the Eagle's Nest wilderness to the north, and shortly after finishing it we had to hide out for a half hour or so while it blew through.
 


Edited by Fourputt - 8/2/12 at 9:37am
post #96 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I know course management is a big part of the game but even Erik quoted " In view of the area's proximity to a putting green, it should not be defined as out of bounds because a stroke-and-distance penalty would be unduly harsh."  Yes, this was in a discussion about ESAs, but I think the stroke and distance penalty is too harsh here for higher cappers.  Erik is a pro who may deserve stroke and distance for being 10+ yards long, but maybe it makes sense having different set of rules for high cappers to more fairly differentiate bad shots from really bad shots.  

 

Erik is right it is not the recommended drop area for coming up short, but some guys might never finish if they didn`t have these type of drops (especially true on #6 on the River course which has a 200+ carry).      

 

I disagree with the bold part. 10 yards is a lot of room, particularly when there are bunkers between the putting green and the ESA. I took the "close to the putting green" in the part you didn't quote as being much, much closer than 10 yards away (FWIW the shortest distance I can get on that hole is 10.8 yards).

 

I don't think it's too harsh, and I don't understand "separating bad shots from really bad shots." If you hit it OB, it's a bad shot. Can you define "really" in terms of the rules and the quality of a bad shot?

 

Guys might never finish? They have to carry the ball 120 from that middle little tee to be fine. If they can't hit a ball 120 they shouldn't be playing back that far.

 

The 200+ yard carry I don't have a problem with putting a drop zone farther across the hazard. This one shouldn't have a drop zone IMO.

 

Edit: In the meantime FourPutt says similar things. It's a short hole. It's a relatively easy hole. 18 at Carnoustie has OB closer to the green (IIRC) than this one and it's a lot tougher shot than this one.

post #97 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

I disagree with the bold part. 10 yards is a lot of room, particularly when there are bunkers between the putting green and the ESA. I took the "close to the putting green" in the part you didn't quote as being much, much closer than 10 yards away (FWIW the shortest distance I can get on that hole is 10.8 yards).

 

I don't think it's too harsh, and I don't understand "separating bad shots from really bad shots." If you hit it OB, it's a bad shot. Can you define "really" in terms of the rules and the quality of a bad shot?

 

Guys might never finish? They have to carry the ball 120 from that middle little tee to be fine. If they can't hit a ball 120 they shouldn't be playing back that far.

 

The 200+ yard carry I don't have a problem with putting a drop zone farther across the hazard. This one shouldn't have a drop zone IMO.

 

Edit: In the meantime FourPutt says similar things. It's a short hole. It's a relatively easy hole. 18 at Carnoustie has OB closer to the green (IIRC) than this one and it's a lot tougher shot than this one.

I should just let this drop but whoever does the handicapping must not think it is a relatively easy hole for all golfers as it is the #2 handicap hole (#1 on the front side) on a course that has a men`s rating of 72.3/69.5/67.0 and slope of 141/129/118 depending on what tees you play from.  

 

This hole was selected as part of the Fantasy 18 for High Country Golf http://summitdailynews.co.newsmemory.com/special.php?date=20120627 page s26.

The description says "If one hole can accurately describe this great course, this is it.  The most challenging par 3 comes in at 190 yards and is as intimidating to the eye as it is to play.  This hole requires a solid tee shot that will land softly on the elevated green.  Good luck there."

 

Define "really bad" compared to a "bad" in terms of a high handicapper?  From 180 yards out, I would call duffing one under 100 yards or hitting it sideways as a really bad shot while hitting a well struck shot 10-15 yards over the green as a bad shot..  For a pro like yourself, maybe duffing one 100 yards short of the green from 180 yards is a better shot than being 10 yards long given that the grass has gotten long there recently.  Of course, if it was a PGA Tour event, maybe it would be the other way around since the chances of finding the ball 10-15 yards long would improve greatly with a gallery around who would likely stomp down the grass and provide a decent lie.  

 

I agree that the generous drop area bails out a really bad shot.  Removing that drop area would put the really bad and bad shots on more equal footing.  Alternatively, having a hazard over the green would also make that less penal.


Edited by MEfree - 8/2/12 at 1:20pm
post #98 of 102

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, but are we talking the same tees?  The only way yo get 190 is from the back of the back tee box.  I measure on Google Earth from the middle tee box to the center of the green and it's exactly 140 yards.  There are 2 tee boxes ahead of that and one long narrow one in back of it.  From the front of the back tee box it's 170 yards, but it's still just 140 to clear the junk, with a 50 yard window before you get to the bad stuff over the green. 

 

The 18th is the real fun one on that course anyway.  I'm always lying 3 with my second ball off the tee. c1_cursing.gif
 

post #99 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I should just let this drop but whoever does the handicapping must not think it is a relatively easy hole for all golfers as it is the #2 handicap hole (#1 on the front side) on a course that has a men`s rating of 72.3/69.5/67.0 and slope of 141/129/118 depending on what tees you play from.

 

Handicap ratings have almost nothing to do with the difficulty of a hole. We've covered this elsewhere. They're more a matter of where a higher handicapper needs strokes from a lower handicapper.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Define "really bad" compared to a "bad" in terms of a high handicapper?  From 180 yards out, I would call duffing one under 100 yards or hitting it sideways as a really bad shot while hitting a well struck shot 10-15 yards over the green as a bad shot..  For a pro like yourself, maybe duffing one 100 yards short of the green from 180 yards is a better shot than being 10 yards long given that the grass has gotten long there recently.  Of course, if it was a PGA Tour event, maybe it would be the other way around since the chances of finding the ball 10-15 yards long would improve greatly with a gallery around who would likely stomp down the grass and provide a decent lie.

 

Now a high handicapper is playing the 180-yard tees? As Fourputt says that's not realistic. And the gallery wouldn't be allowed to stand in an ESA.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I agree that the generous drop area bails out a really bad shot.  Removing that drop area would put the really bad and bad shots on more equal footing.  Alternatively, having a hazard over the green would also make that less penal.

 

Except it's not a hazard, nor is it GUR, so it's OB. Stay short of going OB. Almost no poor golfers FLY greens. It almost never happens. The only people I've played with that fly greens (from > 80 yards out - I am excluding the people who blade a lob wedge from 65 yards out or something) are really low index golfers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, but are we talking the same tees?  The only way yo get 190 is from the back of the back tee box.  I measure on Google Earth from the middle tee box to the center of the green and it's exactly 140 yards.  There are 2 tee boxes ahead of that and one long narrow one in back of it.  From the front of the back tee box it's 170 yards, but it's still just 140 to clear the junk, with a 50 yard window before you get to the bad stuff over the green.

post #100 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, but are we talking the same tees?  The only way yo get 190 is from the back of the back tee box.  I measure on Google Earth from the middle tee box to the center of the green and it's exactly 140 yards.  There are 2 tee boxes ahead of that and one long narrow one in back of it.  From the front of the back tee box it's 170 yards, but it's still just 140 to clear the junk, with a 50 yard window before you get to the bad stuff over the green. 

 

The 18th is the real fun one on that course anyway.  I'm always lying 3 with my second ball off the tee. c1_cursing.gif
 

The card says 190 blues, 169 whites, 146 gold and 103 red tees.  IIRC, the blue and white share the same long tee box with the white plate at the very front.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Handicap ratings have almost nothing to do with the difficulty of a hole. We've covered this elsewhere. They're more a matter of where a higher handicapper needs strokes from a lower handicapper.

 


 

Now a high handicapper is playing the 180-yard tees? As Fourputt says that's not realistic. And the gallery wouldn't be allowed to stand in an ESA.

 

 

Except it's not a hazard, nor is it GUR, so it's OB. Stay short of going OB. Almost no poor golfers FLY greens. It almost never happens. The only people I've played with that fly greens (from > 80 yards out - I am excluding the people who blade a lob wedge from 65 yards out or something) are really low index golfers.

 

In a lot of ways, I think it makes sense that this is the #2 handicap hole- like you said, (for a really good golfer) it is "relatively easy" but like I have been saying, for a higher capper, it is not an easy hole.

 

Playing from the whites, the hole is 169 on the card, but like I said a while ago, the tees were back 14 yards from the marker.  The course is 6521 from the whites and 5842 from the golds, but most players I see play the whites.  I think that was appropriate for the high capper I posted about flying the green as he hit his 6 iron 190+ on that occasion which was in line with his handful of other really good shots.  His problem was that he has only been playing a year and is very inconsistent.  He did fly the green, I saw it, but would agree that most bad players come up short outside 100+ yard, not long.  That was kinda my point, he connects with his first good shot in 5 holes and pays the ultimate penalty and would have been better off just duffing the shot into the ESA.

 

I was suggesting the gallery would stand behind the green which is where he lost his ball and is NOT and ESA.  The ESA goes from just in front of the tee to about 30 yards short of the green.

post #101 of 102

I voted no.  It should be the same for everyone imo.

post #102 of 102

Apologies, but I was a bit off on my description of where the drop area is on #5 at Keystone Ranch.  

 

While there are some orange markers (beginner/Junior tees) on the far side of the hazard about 30 yards from the green, the drop zone is just in front of the red tees about 80 yards from the green in an area about equal to the middle of the hazard where it gets narrower.  This means that guys who barely hit it into the first part of the hazard or go to the left side of the hazard get a favorable drop area that advances them about 50 yards from their point of entry while guys who carry it longer into the right side of the hazard are dropping close to where they should anyway.

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