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Abnormal Ground Condition? Found after 5 minutes - Page 2

post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Come on man, you were there.  You should be able to apply it yourself.  If nobody found the original ball within 5 minutes, it was lost.  It seems apparent that you thought that there was enough doubt as to the ball's location to do a full 5 minute search, so that tells me that there was uncertainty as to the possible locations.  Therefore, from what you have presented, virtual certainty was lacking.  

Actually, I don't think any of us were aware of the rule that allows you to assume it is lost in an abnormal ground condition- I read about it in another post just after the round, so the fact we did a 5 minute search isn't really evidence.

 

The only possibility other than being embedded that I saw was ricocheting off the stick 30+ yards- IS THAT ENOUGH UNCERTAINTY TO NEGATE VIRTUAL CERTAINTY?

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Actually, I don't think any of us were aware of the rule that allows you to assume it is lost in an abnormal ground condition- I read about it in another post just after the round, so the fact we did a 5 minute search isn't really evidence.

 

 

If that is the case, then your time would be better spent LEARNING the rules rather than trying to constantly rewriting them.

 

Especially since you just misstated the rule after it has just been explained.  You can't just assume it is lost in an abnormal ground condition, it must be known or virtually certain.  What I don't understand is that if, at the time, it was known or virtually certain that the ball was in the abnormal ground condition, why didn't anyone look for it there?  Because as it turned out it WAS findable, you just didn't find it.  

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

If that is the case, then your time would be better spent LEARNING the rules rather than trying to constantly rewriting them.

 

Especially since you just misstated the rule after it has just been explained.  You can't just assume it is lost in an abnormal ground condition, it must be known or virtually certain.  What I don't understand is that if, at the time, it was known or virtually certain that the ball was in the abnormal ground condition, why didn't anyone look for it there?  Because as it turned out it WAS findable, you just didn't find it.  

We did look extensively in the area that we eventually found the ball.  In fact, within the first few minutes of the search, I was standing within a foot of where player C eventually found the ball.  Even after he pointed to where the ball was, I still could not see it or see any evidence that a ball was buried there- I still don't know how he figured out there was a ball there without stepping on it.

 

I played a lot of competitive golf in the 1980s and still think I know the rules better than 90+% of the people that I play with.  With said, I will admit that I don't know 100% of the rules perfectly and have spent some time trying to learn the rules better over the last year or so.  During this process, I have come to the conclusion that the rules could be much less complicated than they currently are- I have an above average IQ, have played golf 30+ years and have spent time reading the rule book (and posts in the rules section here), but still have rules questions come up in my mind- this may not say anything to you, but it says something to me about the complexity level of some of the rules.

 

Going back to my OP here, I think there are two issues-

 

1.  What was the area of the abnormal ground condition?

2.  Did we have "virtual certainty" if the ball was lost in this area?

 

The uncertainty for me RE 1 is what area was actually ground under repair- How is a player suppose to figure that out when you have a combination of casual water, wet areas that may not be wet enough to be considered casual water and a ground under repair sign but no circled area.  The best answer I have gotten so far with this is play under 3-3 and take it to the committee, but nobody has told me what the committee should be looking at to determine the scope of the abnormal ground condition area?

 

RE 2, obviously, it is hard to know if a ball is lost in a particular area without knowing the size of the area.  Additionally, I have asked a few times if the possibility of the ball hitting the flag stick and ricocheting 30+ yards (without 4 players seeing or hearing it hit the stick) is enough of a possibility to negate virtual certainty?  NOBODY HAS ATTEMPTED TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

 

For me to learn the rules better, I really need someone to step up and answer the questions in bold.


Edited by MEfree - 8/24/13 at 9:59am
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

During this process, I have come to the conclusion that the rules could be much less complicated than they currently are- I have an above average IQ, have played golf 30+ years and have spent time reading the rule book (and posts in the rules section here), but still have rules questions come up in my mind- this may not say anything to you, but it says something to me about the complexity level of some of the rules.

I too am intelligent, know the rules, and so on, and I disagree that the rules are too complex. They could not be simplified significantly without changing the game of golf.

99% of the rules could be covered by five minutes of knowledge. The other 1% is a mixture of "easy to find" and "difficult to find."

These threads get old because nobody else ever seems to encounter the bizarre mix of poor markings and weird course situations that you have. Plus I think half the time people think you're making situations up just to ask questions about them.

As for your question, nobody can answer because we were not there. The ball hitting the stick is likely not the only possibility. It's also possible that two PGA Tour rules officials would have ruled differently. We are human. The rules cannot be made such that they're going to be applied the same 100% of the time, and the more you simplify them the more situations where two rulings could both work will increase, not decrease.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

These threads get old because nobody else ever seems to encounter the bizarre mix of poor markings and weird course situations that you have. Plus I think half the time people think you're making situations up just to ask questions about them.

As for your question, nobody can answer because we were not there. The ball hitting the stick is likely not the only possibility. It's also possible that two PGA Tour rules officials would have ruled differently. We are human. The rules cannot be made such that they're going to be applied the same 100% of the time, and the more you simplify them the more situations where two rulings could both work will increase, not decrease.

This was not a made up situation- while I have come up with some hypothetical situations at times, all the specifics I give are the actual truth unless I have stated otherwise in the thread.

 

My guess is that most golfers who encounter these type situations don't bother posting on the internet- they simply decide how to play it (often times wrong according to the rules) and then move on.  Most will continue to make the same rules mistakes over and over.  I also things it makes a difference where you play- when I played in So Cal, I encountered very few of these type situations as the courses were usually dry without complicated water hazards.

 

True, there may have been other possibilities besides hitting the stick, but in my mind this was the most likely other than the ball being plugged, which it turned out to be.  

 

I think you are right that different rules officials can rule differently in the same situation- things like "reasonable doubt" and "virtual certainty" are hard to define and have different meanings to different people- just ask different groups of people who watched the O.J. Simpson case. 

 

However, I disagree that simplifying the rules has to magnify this problem.  Sure, if it is done incorrectly then you leave too many blank or uncovered situations, but it doesn't have to be this way.  i.e. if hazards, OB and lost balls were treated the same, you wouldn't have the "virtual certainty" issue regarding whether a ball was lost in a hazard or lost outside the hazard- you would treat both the same.  Sure, this might change the game in your mind, but it would create less ambiguity, not more.  And yes, you wouldn't know exactly where a ball was lost, but being a few yards off on the drop point has much less impact on someone's score than having to decide whether you can be virtually certain a ball is lost in a hazard and drop by the hazard or that you don't have virtual certainty and have to go back to where you last struck the shot.  Of course, if the drop point is the issue for you, then you could make all hazards, lost balls and OBs play like an OB (either distance only or stroke and distance).

 

My thinking is similar for drops- why have 6 different possibilities instead of only 2 or 3?

 

Back to the topic-

 

1.  What was the area of the abnormal ground condition?

2.  Did we have "virtual certainty" if the ball was lost in this area?

 

The uncertainty for me RE 1 is what area was actually ground under repair- How is a player suppose to figure that out when you have a combination of casual water, wet areas that may not be wet enough to be considered casual water and a ground under repair sign but no circled area.  The best answer I have gotten so far with this is play under 3-3 and take it to the committee, but nobody has told me what the committee should be looking at to determine the scope of the abnormal ground condition area?

 

RE 2, obviously, it is hard to know if a ball is lost in a particular area without knowing the size of the area.  Additionally, I have asked a few times if the possibility of the ball hitting the flag stick and ricocheting 30+ yards (without 4 players seeing or hearing it hit the stick) is enough of a possibility to negate virtual certainty?  NOBODY HAS ATTEMPTED TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

This was not a made up situation

 

I never said it was. However, it is a situation where your course is once again poorly marked.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

However, I disagree that simplifying the rules has to magnify this problem. Sure, if it is done incorrectly then you leave too many blank or uncovered situations, but it doesn't have to be this way.  i.e. if hazards, OB and lost balls were treated the same…

Of course, if the drop point is the issue for you, then you could make all hazards, lost balls and OBs play like an OB (either distance only or stroke and distance).

 

Those both fundamentally changes the game. You've failed - miserably - at your attempts to simplify the rules without doing so, and I know I'm not alone in being tired of hearing about it. How about this: I like those particular rules (OB, hazard, lost ball) just fine the way they are. So do most other people.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

The uncertainty for me RE 1 is what area was actually ground under repair- How is a player suppose to figure that out when you have a combination of casual water, wet areas that may not be wet enough to be considered casual water and a ground under repair sign but no circled area. The best answer I have gotten so far with this is play under 3-3 and take it to the committee, but nobody has told me what the committee should be looking at to determine the scope of the abnormal ground condition area?

 

d2_doh.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

NOBODY HAS ATTEMPTED TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

 

Incorrect, and your rudeness is noted.

post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Please quote the answer to whether the possibility of hitting the stick and ricocheting 30+ yards without anyone seeing or hearing it hit the stick is enough uncertainty to not have virtual certainty because I missed this response.  I know you said that there are other possibilities besides hitting the stick, but I am looking for an answer that assumes this is the 2nd most likely outcome for the ball other than being embedded.
post #26 of 32
Similar situation has happened to me. Hit a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway and can't find it due to wet conditions. I know it's imbedded out there somewhere, search, can't find it. Back to tee, it's a lost ball.

Now you know the ball that was hit by player A is out there somewhere too. Is it in the drainage area hidden by grass or possibly plugged? Is it in the area near a sign that reads "ground under repair? Or did it hit the stake and go OB, or elsewhere? With all of these possibilities there is no virtual certainty. After 5 minutes of searching, the ball is LOST.
post #27 of 32

I'm still trying to figure out how there could have been virtual certainty that the ball was lost in an abnormal ground condition when there isn't even virtual certainty about the boundaries of the abnormal ground condition.

post #28 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

I'm still trying to figure out how there could have been virtual certainty that the ball was lost in an abnormal ground condition when there isn't even virtual certainty about the boundaries of the abnormal ground condition.

I agree with you, but what if the committee came back and said the entire wet area (both the fairway grass and the slightly longer grass by the drain pipe) was ground under repair?  Then it would be a matter of whether the possibility of it hitting the stick and ricocheting 30+ yards is enough to negate virtual certainty?  That is why I though fourputt gave good advice to proceed under 3-3.

 

I have a related question similar to barbm12thtee's that happened to me in June at a completely different golf course while I was on vacation-

 

I hit a high tee ball towards the middle of the fairway on #2.  The course was VERY WET after heavy rains the night before.  On #1 I found my tee ball embedded in the rough ON A DOWNSLOPE.  Using a normal standard of casual water, I would say that much of the course would be considered casual water, especially early in the round.  Is the fact that my ball on #2 buried so deeply into the fairway that I couldn't find it evidence that it is lost in casual water?  If I was virtually certain it was lost in casual water, then I don't have to take it as a lost ball, correct?  Is there any other way to be virtually certain it is lost in casual water other than to see it splash?

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I agree with you, but what if the committee came back and said the entire wet area (both the fairway grass and the slightly longer grass by the drain pipe) was ground under repair?  Then it would be a matter of whether the possibility of it hitting the stick and ricocheting 30+ yards is enough to negate virtual certainty?  That is why I though fourputt gave good advice to proceed under 3-3.

I have a related question similar to barbm12thtee
's that happened to me in June at a completely different golf course while I was on vacation-


I hit a high tee ball towards the middle of the fairway on #2.  The course was VERY WET after heavy rains the night before.  On #1 I found my tee ball embedded in the rough ON A DOWNSLOPE.  Using a normal standard of casual water, I would say that much of the course would be considered casual water, especially early in the round.  Is the fact that my ball on #2 buried so deeply into the fairway that I couldn't find it evidence that it is lost in casual water?  If I was virtually certain it was lost in casual water, then I don't have to take it as a lost ball, correct?  Is there any other way to be virtually certain it is lost in casual water other than to see it splash?
If you saw the ball splash into casual water on the fairway and can't see it, (maybe it plugged) or retrieve it, I would say it's LOST. In a County Amateur I hit my ball into a Palm tree and couldn't see it, I knew it was in there somewhere but couldn't see it. So I had to play as a lost ball.

In league play I hit my ball into a sand trap which was entirely full of water. Everyone saw it go in there. The local rule was to drop outside the trap and play, no penalty. Since it was a hazard and the water was filthy and the ball couldn't be seen, no one pressed me to find the ball. So it remained in the trap.
post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbm12thtee View Post


If you saw the ball splash into casual water on the fairway and can't see it, (maybe it plugged) or retrieve it, I would say it's LOST. In a County Amateur I hit my ball into a Palm tree and couldn't see it, I knew it was in there somewhere but couldn't see it. So I had to play as a lost ball.

 

I think the difference between casual water and a palm tree is that casual water qualifies as an abnormal ground condition while a palm tree does not- If you are virtually certain it is lost in an abnormal ground conditions, then you get a free drop outside the condition where the ball entered the condition, no?

post #31 of 32
Regardless of the conditions, if it was not found in 5 minutes the ball is considered lost.

I asked, once on this forum, if the search party could be playing Nintendo, or doing a diligent search. It still counts as a search. Even if you are looking in the wrong area, you only have 5 minutes to find it.

Bummer he had to take a 3 off the tee.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I think the difference between casual water and a palm tree is that casual water qualifies as an abnormal ground condition while a palm tree does not- If you are virtually certain it is lost in an abnormal ground conditions, then you get a free drop outside the condition where the ball entered the condition, no?
Yes you get relief and no penalty stroke.
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