Originally Posted by Fourputt
Originally Posted by sacm3bill
Originally Posted by Fourputt
What I have said, over and over and over, is that I follow the word of the handicap manual. It is quite specific about how different situations are supposed to be treated. When taking a conceded putt, you record the most likely score, PER THE MANUAL. None of what I've said in this thread is opinion. It's based on what the USGA has published.
I would disagree that it's based on what's published. What's published describes how to proceed for an "unplayed" hole vs "unfinished or not played under the principles of golf" hole. The single response we have from the USGA hotline is an interpretation of what "unplayed" means. Most if not all people, if they had no knowledge of that response, would logically assume that once you've made a stroke at the ball on the tee, you've started the hole and it would therefore logically be unfinished, not unplayed.
I think it's possible the email hotline response is contrary to what most USGA representatives would say. Hotline responses don't carry the same weight as Decisions do. Maybe that's why they often state that the responses are not to be shared in public forums. (I never was told that when they responded to me, but I still tried to only summarize what they had said, not copy and paste it.)
The problem is that the manual doesn't contemplate picking up after the tee shot. It sees an unfinished hole as one in which a certain part of the hole (usually only a stroke or two) is conceded. Quitting a hole while theoretically standing on the tee and already lying lying 2 or 4 isn't a consideration because that is not within the normal parameters of the Rules of Golf. The principles of the rules state that you play your ball from tee to hole. Not doing so is not following the principles of the rules, and thus it isn't really covered by the handicap manual, unless you use the clause:
4-2. Holes Not Played or Not Played Under The Principles of The Rules of Golf
If a player does not play a hole or plays it other than under the principles of the Rules of Golf (except for preferred lies), the score recorded for that hole for handicap purposes must be par plus any handicap strokes the player is entitled to receive on that hole. This hole score, when recorded, should be preceded by an "X."
You all are agreeing that this doesn't apply. I disagree. I'm going to be traveling in about a half hour, so I won't be a further participant before Sunday at the soonest. I wish you all good luck trying to find a consensus.
I don't see how you can state "the manual doesn't contemplate picking up after the tee shot". Just because it doesn't happen to use that as an example doesn't mean it wasn't contemplated.
And you can't use the argument that "not playing your ball from tee to hole is not following the principle of the rules", because you're not playing the ball from tee to hole when you concede putts, yet it's universally accepted to count that as an unfinished hole, not a hole "not played under the principles of the rules". So you shoot your own argument in the foot when you try to use the "not played under the principles of the rules" clause to any situation where you don't hole out, because that clearly doesn't apply to the conceded putt scenario.
And the other problem with saying "the manual doesn't contemplate picking up after the tee shot" is that if that were true, then the manual would need to provide some definition of what *was* contemplated. I.e., at what point have you played "enough" of the hole that you can call it unfinished and not unplayed? That's been asked several times in this thread, and in my question to the USGA hotline, and no one has given any kind of answer.
I just reread the relevant section of the manual for the dozenth time just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Here's what it says, plainly and simply:
4-1. Unfinished Holes and Conceded Strokes
A player who starts, but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score.
I don't see how there's any way to interpret that other than as long as you have been playing under the principles of the rules prior to the point where you stop playing the hole, it's an unfinished hole.
In fact, note that it even makes a distinction between conceding a stroke and otherwise not completing a hole. (I bolded the "or" to highlight that.) So I also can't see how you can say that the manual states that it's an unfinished hole only when "a certain part of the hole (usually only a stroke or two) is conceded". The manual clearly indicates there are other ways to have an unfinished hole.