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where to place ball..

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

need a ruling.. friend of mine hits his tee shot.  he then chunks his second shot. third shot he hits dead straight but into an environmental protected area. now this is where it gets tricky. instead of dropping at the point of entry he decides to drop in the fairway about halfway from where he hit the ball. he claims that he can drop as far back as he wants as long as its no closer to the hole. he didnt want to drop down where it entered because his next shot would have been over trees and all that good stuff. so my question is where is the proper place to play the ball.. point of entry, or the fairway, or back to where he hit from?

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSINDEL View Post

need a ruling.. friend of mine hits his tee shot.  he then chunks his second shot. third shot he hits dead straight but into an environmental protected area. now this is where it gets tricky. instead of dropping at the point of entry he decides to drop in the fairway about halfway from where he hit the ball. he claims that he can drop as far back as he wants as long as its no closer to the hole. he didnt want to drop down where it entered because his next shot would have been over trees and all that good stuff. so my question is where is the proper place to play the ball.. point of entry, or the fairway, or back to where he hit from?

 

So much depends upon how the area was marked. If it was marked with yellow or red stakes then the options are iaw Rule 26, Water Hazards. If it's marked as ground under repair, then Rule 25 for Abnormal Ground Conditions applies. If it's marked otherwise, the Local Rules will offer the correct guidance.

post #3 of 6

I'm sorry, it's not one of those easy answers, unfortunately, it depends.... 

 

It's the responsibility of the committee (course) to define the relief procedure for the ESA.  In general, they're going to define how to treat the ESA, either as ground under repair, a water hazard (lateral or not), or OB.  In doing so, the relief procedure is then defined by looking at the options allowed for that particular situation. 

 

It sounds to me as if your buddy may have misinterpreted one of the options that would be available to him if the ESA were designated as a water hazard.  In that option,  he could drop his ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped.  Realize that line may or may not put him back in the fairway......

 

.....he can't just go back in the fairway as far as he likes, which sounds like what he did.

 

 

b. Environmentally-Sensitive Areas

 

If an appropriate authority (i.e., a Government Agency or the like) prohibits entry into and/or play from an area on or adjoining the course for environmental reasons, the Committee should make a Local Rule clarifying the relief procedure.

 

The Committee has some discretion in terms of whether the area is defined as ground under repair, a water hazard or out of bounds. However, it may not simply define the area to be a water hazard if it does not meet the Definition of a “Water Hazard” and it should attempt to preserve the character of the hole.

 

The following Local Rule is recommended:

 

“I. Definition

 

An environmentally-sensitive area (ESA) is an area so declared by an appropriate authority, entry into and/or play from which is prohibited for environmental reasons. These areas may be defined as ground under repair, a water hazard, a lateral water hazard or out of bounds at the discretion of the Committee, provided that in the case of an ESA that has been defined as a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, the area is, by definition, a water hazard.

 

Note: The Committee may not declare an area to be environmentally-sensitive.

 

 

II. Ball in Environmentally-Sensitive Area

 

a. Ground Under Repair

 

If a ball is in an ESA defined as ground under repair, a ball must be dropped in accordance with Rule 25-1b.

If it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in an ESA defined as ground under repair, the player may take relief, without penalty, as prescribed in Rule 25-1c.

 

b. Water Hazards and Lateral Water Hazards

 

If the ball is found in or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in an ESA defined as a water hazard or lateral water hazard, the player must, under penalty of one stroke, proceed under Rule 26-1.

 

Note: If a ball, dropped in accordance with Rule 26 rolls into a position where the ESA interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing, the player must take relief as provided in Clause III of this Local Rule.

 

c. Out of Bounds

 

If a ball is in an ESA defined as out of bounds, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5).

 

III. Interference with Stance or Area of Intended Swing

 

Interference by an ESA occurs when the ESA interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. If interference exists, the player must take relief as follows:

 

(a) Through the Green: If the ball lies through the green, the point on the course nearest to where the ball lies must be determined that (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids interference by the ESA and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. The player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, within one club-length of the point so determined on a part of the course that fulfills (a), (b) and (c) above.

 

(b) In a Hazard: If the ball is in a hazard, the player must lift the ball and drop it either:

 

(i) Without penalty, in the hazard, as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, on a part of the course that provides complete relief from the ESA; or

(ii) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the hazard, keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the hazard the ball may be dropped. Additionally, the player may proceed under Rule 26 or 28 if applicable.

 

(c) On the Putting Green: If the ball lies on the putting green, the player must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, in the nearest position to where it lay that affords complete relief from the ESA, but not nearer the hole or in a hazard.

The ball may be cleaned when lifted under Clause III of this Local Rule.

 

Exception: A player may not take relief under Clause III of this Local Rule if (a) interference by anything other than an ESA makes the stroke clearly impracticable or (b) interference by an ESA would occur only through use of a clearly unreasonable stroke or an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.

Note: In the case of a serious breach of this Local Rule, the Committee may impose a penalty of disqualification.”

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies.
post #5 of 6

On my home course, environmentally protected areas are hazards, either water or lateral, marked with red or yellow stakes with green tops. The rules for hazards apply except that you can not go into the hazard for any reason including to retrieve or play your ball. We do not have any OB protected areas. 

 

So, from the point of entry of the hazard, you may go back on the line with the pin as one of your hazard options. Not "line of flight."

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSINDEL View Post

need a ruling.. friend of mine hits his tee shot.  he then chunks his second shot. third shot he hits dead straight but into an environmental protected area. now this is where it gets tricky. instead of dropping at the point of entry he decides to drop in the fairway about halfway from where he hit the ball. he claims that he can drop as far back as he wants as long as its no closer to the hole. he didnt want to drop down where it entered because his next shot would have been over trees and all that good stuff. so my question is where is the proper place to play the ball.. point of entry, or the fairway, or back to where he hit from?

 

The following reply is based on the assumption that the ESA was a water hazard or a lateral water hazard (most ESA's I've encountered have been marked as some sort of water hazard).

 

The correctness of his drop depends on the line he was using for dropping.  If the line was drawn from the hole through the point where the ball crossed into the hazard, then his play was allowed, and he was allowed to drop as far back along that line as he wanted.  If the line was based on the line of flight for the previous shot, then he was wrong, period, and nothing more needs to be said about it.  The only thing that the line of flight can help with is determining the point where the ball crossed into the hazard.  It has nothing to do with the line for taking relief.

 

If the hazard was a lateral water hazard, then he also had the option of dropping within 2 clublengths of the point where the ball last crossed the margin.  Most of the time, a lateral water hazard doesn't allow for a reasonable drop along the line from the hole through the ball, which is why they have the additional 2 clublength option.  If, as the scenario sounds, he was dropping along the original line of flight to get away from trees near a lateral water hazard, then he was wrong, and in a competition, would possibly have been disqualified for playing from a wrong place which gave him a significant advantage over the proper spot.  If there was money on the line, then I'd have said that he disqualified himself from the wager for such a gross mistake.

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