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Is the inadvertent movement of a golf ball really that important to, and for the game of golf?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

A question to (hopefully) promote some  nice dialog about a topic (ball movement) that comes up quite often.

 

Think of all the times a ball is dropped or  re-dropped;... it could be 2 club lengths away from a point of reference. (Yes, I'm calling this a ball movement as the ball is not where it was before)

 

Or how about when the ball has to be re-placed back to where you think it originally was?

Another example could be when you are on the green and your placed ball marker needs to be moved so as not to interfere  another players rolling ball.  In the act of re-marking your ball,  the ball most likely will not  wind up exactly where it really should be. (If it doesn't matter here, then why does it matter some other time)?

 

In these situations where inches do not seem to matter, why is it that penalties are enforced on movements sometimes so small  that the movements can be seen only with magnified images?

We are allowed to intentionally move the ball in some instances, and other times, an accidental movement is grounds for penalty, even if a position advantage or favorable lie is not gained.

 

With all the rules regarding  a golf ball moving, shouldn't the rule be in respect to if the movement does or does not benefit the golfer?

 

Please be civil

post #2 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by scv76 View Post
 

A question to (hopefully) promote some  nice dialog about a topic (ball movement) that comes up quite often.

 

Think of all the times a ball is dropped or  re-dropped;... it could be 2 club lengths away from a point of reference. (Yes, I'm calling this a ball movement as the ball is not where it was before)

 

Or how about when the ball has to be re-placed back to where you think it originally was?

Another example could be when you are on the green and your placed ball marker needs to be moved so as not to interfere  another players rolling ball.  In the act of re-marking your ball,  the ball most likely will not  wind up exactly where it really should be. (If it doesn't matter here, then why does it matter some other time)?

 

In these situations where inches do not seem to matter, why is it that penalties are enforced on movements sometimes so small  that the movements can be seen only with magnified images?

We are allowed to intentionally move the ball in some instances, and other times, an accidental movement is grounds for penalty, even if a position advantage or favorable lie is not gained.

 

With all the rules regarding  a golf ball moving, shouldn't the rule be in respect to if the movement does or does not benefit the golfer?

 

Please be civil

all the fuss about minute ball movement always seemed a bit extreme to me - but I guess a line has to be drawn & that line is absolutely no movement of any kind.  That's it.

 

Now, as for TV coverage call-ins or replays determining penalties, that's another issue ... and one that needs to be dealt with by limiting the penalty time to a predetermined time period, say 5 or 10 minutes; and after play has resumed, no penalties shall be brought.   PERIOD

post #3 of 45

The rules are fine. If a ball has to be replaced it is replaced to the best of the golfer's ability to the same spot. If a golfer causes a ball to move, and somebody sees it, it's a penalty.

 

To change that rule would leave even more room for argument in whether it created an advantage or not each time.

 

Sort of like gimmies. A foot turns into two feet and then more. First thing you know there are no 3 putts.

post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by scv76 View Post
 

A question to (hopefully) promote some  nice dialog about a topic (ball movement) that comes up quite often.

 

Think of all the times a ball is dropped or  re-dropped;... it could be 2 club lengths away from a point of reference. (Yes, I'm calling this a ball movement as the ball is not where it was before)

 

Or how about when the ball has to be re-placed back to where you think it originally was?

Another example could be when you are on the green and your placed ball marker needs to be moved so as not to interfere  another players rolling ball.  In the act of re-marking your ball,  the ball most likely will not  wind up exactly where it really should be. (If it doesn't matter here, then why does it matter some other time)?

 

In these situations where inches do not seem to matter, why is it that penalties are enforced on movements sometimes so small  that the movements can be seen only with magnified images?

We are allowed to intentionally move the ball in some instances, and other times, an accidental movement is grounds for penalty, even if a position advantage or favorable lie is not gained.

 

With all the rules regarding  a golf ball moving, shouldn't the rule be in respect to if the movement does or does not benefit the golfer?

 

Please be civil

 

Who is supposed to make that determination?  How much movement is beneficial, and how much is not?  One time one inch could be of benefit, the next time 6 inches is not.  You put too much emphasis on individual judgement when you try to base a rule on such subjective reasoning.  

post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 

I see your point about making a determination, but on the same hand I don't see a minute movement as grounds for penalty....I know, i know, what is the standard definition of a minute measurement?

I guess my subjective reasoning has no place on the course, and as was said, would bring more questions and argument into play.

post #6 of 45

Read The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf by Richard S. Tufts.  It is discussed in this thread.  http://thesandtrap.com/t/70205/the-principles-behind-the-rules-of-golf-by-richard-s-tufts

 

When you accept the basic principles of the rules of golf, play the ball as it lies and play the course as you find it, it is easier to accept what happens.  This year, I have changed my attitude towards bad shots, and bad lies, penalties, etc.  It makes it more fun just to keep playing what your last shot gave you.

 

If the ball moves, and you are penalized, accept it an move on.  Don't let it destroy your round.

post #7 of 45

Read the IRS income tax codes and you'll begin to understand why the USGA and R&A attempt to keep the rules of golf absolute and precise.

post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by scv76 View Post
 

A question to (hopefully) promote some  nice dialog about a topic (ball movement) that comes up quite often.

 

Think of all the times a ball is dropped or  re-dropped;... it could be 2 club lengths away from a point of reference. (Yes, I'm calling this a ball movement as the ball is not where it was before)

 

Or how about when the ball has to be re-placed back to where you think it originally was?

Another example could be when you are on the green and your placed ball marker needs to be moved so as not to interfere  another players rolling ball.  In the act of re-marking your ball,  the ball most likely will not  wind up exactly where it really should be. (If it doesn't matter here, then why does it matter some other time)?

 

In these situations where inches do not seem to matter, why is it that penalties are enforced on movements sometimes so small  that the movements can be seen only with magnified images?

We are allowed to intentionally move the ball in some instances, and other times, an accidental movement is grounds for penalty, even if a position advantage or favorable lie is not gained.

 

With all the rules regarding  a golf ball moving, shouldn't the rule be in respect to if the movement does or does not benefit the golfer?

 

Please be civil

 

I wonder about this often.  Golf is a game of rules, and some rules are absolute.  Are all golf rules make sense?   I don't think so.   I think there are rules that can be modified to improve the game.  But I will be treated like a heretic in this forum for suggesting changes to any golf rules.   Some of them won't be so civil.    

post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

 

I wonder about this often.  Golf is a game of rules, and some rules are absolute.  Are all golf rules make sense?   I don't think so.   I think there are rules that can be modified to improve the game.  But I will be treated like a heretic in this forum for suggesting changes to any golf rules.   Some of them won't be so civil.  

^ indeed

post #10 of 45
Bermuda grass is pretty bad stuff. I pressed down on it on the fairway, that could count as changing the lie. It also moved the ball up and down. Not totally oscillation, because there is elastic deformation of the grass. If I used a height gauge, it might have changed 0.5mm.

I did not give myself a stroke, but kind of felt guilty about it.
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

Bermuda grass is pretty bad stuff. I pressed down on it on the fairway, that could count as changing the lie. It also moved the ball up and down. Not totally oscillation, because there is elastic deformation of the grass. If I used a height gauge, it might have changed 0.5mm.

I did not give myself a stroke, but kind of felt guilty about it.

 

Rule of bogey golf 32-4, subsection A says you are ok not to give yourself a penalty stroke in that situation ;-).  

post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

I wonder about this often.  Golf is a game of rules, and some rules are absolute.  Are all golf rules make sense?   I don't think so.   I think there are rules that can be modified to improve the game.  But I will be treated like a heretic in this forum for suggesting changes to any golf rules.   Some of them won't be so civil.    

 

It's OT for this thread, but if you suggest a rules change and back it up with better reasons than "because I hate that rule and it's stupid," I think you'll find that the treatment is perfectly civil. That's not to say many or most will agree with you, but it'll certainly be civil. Try it out. Pick your favorite. Start a new thread. (Unless it already exists and you find it via search.)

 

Back to the topic…

post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghalfaire View Post
 

Read the IRS income tax codes and you'll begin to understand why the USGA and R&A attempt to keep the rules of golf absolute and precise.

The rules of golf are pretty straight forward.  It is just a tiny book and an easy read.

 

A penalty incurred for a ball that has moved is just a penalty. It is not an insult to your character.  It doesn't make you a bad person for adding a stroke.  The sun will still rise tomorrow.  Just play the next shot and move on.

post #14 of 45
I think the rule could be changed.

Incidental (or accidental) movement caused when a player addresses the ball outside of a hazard should incur no penalty. The ball should be replaced unless it has moved so slightly that it cannot feasibly be "replaced" and the player has incurred no apparent advantage.

Movement caused when a player moves a loose impediment. Incur a one-stroke penalty if the ball moves or oscillates in any manner. Replace the ball unless the ball has moved so slightly that it cannot feasibly be replaced.

This would eliminate some of the more awkward judgment calls about movement vs oscillation and unfairness about incurring an additional stroke for "playing from the wrong spot" when you judge it wrong, even when the ball has moved so slightly that it can't really be replaced (ie Tiger's situation). It would also eliminate the unfairness (some would say) of sometimes spontaneous movement caused when a player addresses the ball. I recall we had a pretty heavy debate last year about a ball that started rolling down a hill when a player stepped up to it and we had to decide what caused the movement: was it spontaneous affect of gravity that coincided with the players actions or did some action by the player provide the tiny amount of stimulus required to overcome the ball's inertia.
post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

I think the rule could be changed.

Incidental (or accidental) movement caused when a player addresses the ball outside of a hazard should incur no penalty when the ball has moved so slightly that it cannot feasibly be "replaced" and the player has incurred no apparent advantage.

Movement caused when a player moves a loose impediment. Incur a one-stroke penalty if the ball moves or oscillates in any manner. Replace the ball unless the ball has moved so slightly that it cannot feasibly be replaced.

This would eliminate some of the more awkward judgment calls about movement vs oscillation and unfairness about incurring an additional stroke for "playing from the wrong spot" when you judge it wrong, even when the ball has moved so slightly that it can't really be replaced (ie Tiger's situation). It would also eliminate the unfairness (some would say) of sometimes spontaneous movement caused when a player addresses the ball. I recall we had a pretty heavy debate last year about a ball that started rolling down a hill when a player stepped up to it and we had to decide what caused the movement: was it spontaneous affect of gravity that coincided with the players actions or did some action by the player provide the tiny amount of stimulus required to overcome the ball's inertia.

 

Why add more complexity to the rules.  99% of the complaints against the rules are that they are too complicated, yet you want to add more decision making to the rules.  Who decides if an advantage has been gained?  The player?  A rules official?  The committee?  What constitutes an advantage?  We already have one rule which requires a judgement call by the committee involving the definition of a "significant advantage", now we have to add to that a rule which requires specifying what defines an advantage anytime the ball twitches?

 

I'll throw one back at you which is much easier to regulate.  Anytime that any movement of the ball is observed, it is a one stroke penalty.  No twitching, no oscillating, no special definition for just for golf as to what "moved" means.  The ball must be replaced to avoid a 2 stroke penalty, even if the movement is so slight that you are just going through the motions.  Now you have a rule which is clear, black and white, and easily enforceable.

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

Why add more complexity to the rules.  99% of the complaints against the rules are that they are too complicated, yet you want to add more decision making to the rules.  Who decides if an advantage has been gained?  The player?  A rules official?  The committee?  What constitutes an advantage?  We already have one rule which requires a judgement call by the committee involving the definition of a "significant advantage", now we have to add to that a rule which requires specifying what defines an advantage anytime the ball twitches?

 

I'll throw one back at you which is much easier to regulate.  Anytime that any movement of the ball is observed, it is a one stroke penalty.  No twitching, no oscillating, no special definition for just for golf as to what "moved" means.  The ball must be replaced to avoid a 2 stroke penalty, even if the movement is so slight that you are just going through the motions.  Now you have a rule which is clear, black and white, and easily enforceable.

 
Down with Allowing Oscillation!
Down with Allowing Oscillation!
Down with Allowing Oscillation!
Down with Allowing Oscillation!

 

:dance:

 

(I agree, actually - just use the common definition of "moved.")

post #17 of 45

From a molecular standpoint, the ball is always moving.  From a Quantum Mechanics standpoint, it may not actually be there.  See decision 123.54i, Schrödinger's ball.

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

From a molecular standpoint, the ball is always moving.  From a Quantum Mechanics standpoint, it may not actually be there.  See decision 123.54i, Schrödinger's ball.

 

Schrödinger's ball........  :dance:

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