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Should divots be considered ground under repair? - Page 13

post #217 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

The Rule was not changed in 2010. It was clarified. The rule itself (33-8, particularly 33-8b) remained the same.


If half of the golf clubs of Scotland were using an incorrect Rule, then that's surprising, but we also have only one lousy post which says this). The only instance I can find of this on the R&A website after a quick search is this one: http://www.randa.org/en/RandA/News/News/2010/February/Why-is-there-no-relief-from-divots-on-the-fairway.aspx . It's dated 2010, so it's after the Decision clarified things. 

 

 

 

I suspect a few people did not in fact read your link. I have taken the liberty of posting the full text. That should make it pretty clear what the R&A's long term stance has been.

 

 

Why is there no relief from divots on the fairway?

David Rickman: It's a fundamental principle that the ball is played as it lies. There are exceptions to this, but these are limited in number, and restricted to circumstances where relief is considered appropriate and necessary: immovable obstructions, casual water, ground under repair - that sort of thing. Course conditioning has improved considerably over the years to the extent that some golfers now feel they have an entitlement to a perfect lie. But I think it's a fundamental principle that you have to accept good and bad lies as part of the game.

Peter Dawson: And just what is a divot? There'd be a big debate - it would go on and on.

 

DR: Exactly. The good shot that ends up in a bad lie - that frustrates people, we understand that. But the bad shot that ends up in a good lie is accepted more readily. It's all part of golf's challenge, and I think very good players can deal with it. I'd be astonished if there were any movement here as there's no sympathy within the Rules of Golf Committee for changing that fundamental principle.

post #218 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

And that is exactly how the rules cannot be applied.  It shows your basic lack of understanding about the rules of the game.  The Rules of Golf must be written in such a way that they are applied the same way for all players playing under similar conditions, and your method would lead to inconsistent application and would be a clear breach of equity.

 

Notice Kenn has a question mark next to his handicap, makes sense because who knows what his handicap is when he's playing by the "Kenn Rules of golf" where you vote on the rules within your foursome.  

post #219 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

Notice Kenn has a question mark next to his handicap, makes sense because who knows what his handicap is when he's playing by the "Kenn Rules of golf" where you vote on the rules within your foursome.  

That is true, the question mark is there because I don't know what my handicap is, never officially determined it.

 

There was another thread where the question about where to drop a ball that went into a water hazard.  The guy said where he wanted to drop it 2 of the 4 players said "no, farther back" and one agreed with his decision.  He dropped where the 2 said he should.  Was he breaking the rules?  I think what the other players playing with you think is more important than your rule book and the scores I shoot are a very accurate reflection of what I can shoot even if every 25 rounds I might take relief from one divot. 

 

I have posted various tour professionals as well as a PGA tour coordinator that feel the same as I do so I am not alone.  Deciding what is or is not a divot is no more difficult than deciding what is an animal scrape and relief from them is allowed.  Is there some long diatribe within the rules about defining one of them?  What do the rules say you do if you find yourself in an animal scrape but those playing with you say it's nothing more than an old divot?  Remember, no voting on the rules within your foursome.

 

I think the most important rule in golf deals with honor and the players doing what they mutually agree is fair under the circumstances.  If such a rule existed it should be very easy to let honor make the decision of what is or is not a divot.  Maybe not with you guys here but I don't think the guys I play with would have any difficulty in determining what was an unacceptable or unfair lie in someone else's divot. Isn't there something about "honor" in your rule book?

post #220 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn View Post
 

I have posted various tour professionals as well as a PGA tour coordinator that feel the same as I do so I am not alone.  Deciding what is or is not a divot is no more difficult than deciding what is an animal scrape and relief from them is allowed.  Is there some long diatribe within the rules about defining one of them?  What do the rules say you do if you find yourself in an animal scrape but those playing with you say it's nothing more than an old divot?  Remember, no voting on the rules within your foursome.

 

 

An animal scrape is not an abnormal ground condition and relief is not allowed.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn View Post
 

 

I think the most important rule in golf deals with honor and the players doing what they mutually agree is fair under the circumstances.  If such a rule existed it should be very easy to let honor make the decision of what is or is not a divot.  Maybe not with you guys here but I don't think the guys I play with would have any difficulty in determining what was an unacceptable or unfair lie in someone else's divot. Isn't there something about "honor" in your rule book?

 

There is absolutely nothing in the rules that addresses fairness.  As discussed in previous posts, do not confuse the principle of equity with fairness.

 

I do find it somewhat amusing that you get so bent out of shape over the otherwise good shot that, through bad luck lands in a divot, but are equally accepting of the terrible shot that through a stroke of good luck bounces out of the woods and lands in the fairway.  With the good must come the bad.  It's part of the game.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn View Post
 

 Isn't there something about "honor" in your rule book?

 

And I quote......  Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules.

 

Note, it says that individuals are expected to abide by the rules.....  not make up their own based on some subjective sense of fairness.

 

 

Sorry, but you continue to demonstrate that not only do you not understand the rules of golf, but more importantly, you don't understand the principles by which the individual rules are developed.

 

I highly recommend the book The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf, by Richard Tufts.  You can get it from the USGA website for $2.  I think you'd find it informative and even entertaining. You'll certainly gain a better understanding of the game itself.

post #221 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn View Post
 

 

There was another thread where the question about where to drop a ball that went into a water hazard.  The guy said where he wanted to drop it 2 of the 4 players said "no, farther back" and one agreed with his decision.  He dropped where the 2 said he should.  Was he breaking the rules?  

 

 

He might well have been, particularly if they were as uninformed about the rules and you seem to be.  

 

Quote:
 I think what the other players playing with you think is more important than your rule book and the scores I shoot are a very accurate reflection of what I can shoot even if every 25 rounds I might take relief from one divot. 

 

It has been said before and I'm not going to waste my time (and those who read it) posting it again after this.  It is not rule by majority vote.  Most of the players I play with do not know the rules very well.  They don't understand all of the dropping options.  Polling them would be a waste of time, and would likely result in being further penalized for playing from a wrong place.  Read the damn rule book and then you'll know what we are talking about.  You are never going to win a debate about the rules by throwing out the rule book.  That suggestion is just ludicrous.

 

Quote:
 

I have posted various tour professionals as well as a PGA tour coordinator that feel the same as I do so I am not alone.  Deciding what is or is not a divot is no more difficult than deciding what is an animal scrape and relief from them is allowed.  Is there some long diatribe within the rules about defining one of them?  What do the rules say you do if you find yourself in an animal scrape but those playing with you say it's nothing more than an old divot?  Remember, no voting on the rules within your foursome.

 

You are allowed relief from a burrowing animal's hole, the runway leading into it and the cast left from digging the hole.  A scrape is not a hole .  You do not get relief from a hole which is not a burrowing animal's hole or the cast from the hole or the runway leading into it.  You do not get relief from a hole dug by a dog, because it is not a burrowing animal.  From the Definitions section of the Rules of Golf:

 

Quote:
 Abnormal Ground Conditions

An “abnormal ground condition” is any casual waterground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.

 

 

Quote:
 I think the most important rule in golf deals with honor and the players doing what they mutually agree is fair under the circumstances.  If such a rule existed it should be very easy to let honor make the decision of what is or is not a divot.  Maybe not with you guys here but I don't think the guys I play with would have any difficulty in determining what was an unacceptable or unfair lie in someone else's divot. Isn't there something about "honor" in your rule book?

 

Fair is not a term which is ever mentioned in the rule book, and has no bearing on the game in the way you intend it.  Golf is not fair, nor is it intended to be fair.  It is intended to be played by the rules, and if that is done correctly, the game will always be equitable.  The only mention of honor is in relation to order of play:

 

Quote:
 Honor

The player who is to play first from the teeing ground is said to have the “honor.”

 

The closest thing to what you are referring to is Rule 6-1 under the player's responsibilities.

 

Quote:
 

6-1. Rules

The player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the Rules. During astipulated round, for any breach of a Rule by his caddie, the player incurs the applicable penalty.

 

That puts the responsibility of knowing and playing by the rules and acknowledging any deviation from the rules directly on the player.  Not on a group vote among golfers who probably have no more idea of what is right than you do.

post #222 of 508

Grovel, grovel  :8):surrender::whistle:

 

I have now had a response from the R&A and they confirm that it was a permissible rule prior to 2010.

 

I then asked them to send me the reasoning for a change of heart and this is the response.

 

However, the Committee took a change in position as divots are not abnormal ground conditions - they are prevalent on any golf course. 

 

If relief is permitted from any type of divot (seeded or otherwise), there is the strong possibility that the player will create another divot in playing the stroke from the new location.  This exasperates (sic) and further adds to the number of divots and potential bad lies.  It also doubles the course maintenance problems in repairing more divots.  Whereas playing from the divot hole does not damage any good ground and the only down side is some sand/seed being scattered, which can be easily replaced.

 

So whilst it is appreciated from the golfer’s point of view that a "good" lie is their priority, divots, although created by other players, are not abnormal on the course and should not be afforded any more consideration than a ball that lies in an equally difficult position created by nature

post #223 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Fair is not a term which is ever mentioned in the rule book, and has no bearing on the game in the way you intend it.  Golf is not fair, nor is it intended to be fair.  It is intended to be played by the rules, and if that is done correctly, the game will always be equitable.  The only mention of honor is in relation to order of play:

 

 

Yep 100% correct. The only thing fair is that you are playing by the same rules as everyone else. 

post #224 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

Grovel, grovel  :8):surrender::whistle:

 

I have now had a response from the R&A and they confirm that it was a permissible rule prior to 2010.

 

I then asked them to send me the reasoning for a change of heart and this is the response.

 

However, the Committee took a change in position as divots are not abnormal ground conditions - they are prevalent on any golf course. 

 

If relief is permitted from any type of divot (seeded or otherwise), there is the strong possibility that the player will create another divot in playing the stroke from the new location.  This exasperates (sic) and further adds to the number of divots and potential bad lies.  It also doubles the course maintenance problems in repairing more divots.  Whereas playing from the divot hole does not damage any good ground and the only down side is some sand/seed being scattered, which can be easily replaced.

 

So whilst it is appreciated from the golfer’s point of view that a "good" lie is their priority, divots, although created by other players, are not abnormal on the course and should not be afforded any more consideration than a ball that lies in an equally difficult position created by nature

Good stuff ... except I don't buy it.  I don't mean I don't believe you ... I mean I don't understand the R&A guy.  His reason for saying they changed the rule was because the player might make another divot?  And it "doubles" the course maintenance?  So at the courses in Europe that he's referring to ... 1/2 of all shots landed in divot holes????

 

Weird.

post #225 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

I have now had a response from the R&A and they confirm that it was a permissible rule prior to 2010.

 

 

Thank you for the post.  You continue to be a great source of information on the Rules of Golf.

post #226 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

Grovel, grovel  :8):surrender::whistle:

 

I have now had a response from the R&A and they confirm that it was a permissible rule prior to 2010.

 

I then asked them to send me the reasoning for a change of heart and this is the response.

 

However, the Committee took a change in position as divots are not abnormal ground conditions - they are prevalent on any golf course. 

 

If relief is permitted from any type of divot (seeded or otherwise), there is the strong possibility that the player will create another divot in playing the stroke from the new location.  This exasperates (sic) and further adds to the number of divots and potential bad lies.  It also doubles the course maintenance problems in repairing more divots.  Whereas playing from the divot hole does not damage any good ground and the only down side is some sand/seed being scattered, which can be easily replaced.

 

So whilst it is appreciated from the golfer’s point of view that a "good" lie is their priority, divots, although created by other players, are not abnormal on the course and should not be afforded any more consideration than a ball that lies in an equally difficult position created by nature

@birlyshirly, I stand corrected.  :beer:

post #227 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

I mean I don't understand the R&A guy.  His reason for saying they changed the rule was because the player might make another divot?  And it "doubles" the course maintenance?  

 

 

If you read it in full and in context you might have understood.

 

It also doubles the course maintenance problems in repairing more divots.

 

Incidentally the R&A and the USGA work to the same rules and approved local rules. The R&A are not only concerned with managing the rules in Europe but all the rest of the world outside the USA. ie over half the golf played in the world..

post #228 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
It also doubles the course maintenance problems in repairing more divots.

though interesting, I think this is a tangent that doesn't apply and is more of a rationalization than 'reason'  (though I never thought about the consequence that moving the ball from a divot is selfish in that it might just result in more divots that hurt following players more than just playing from it).

 

playing the ball as it lies includes divots - I doubt more is needed

 

 

(If someone plays winter rules because that's more fun, great.  But shouldn't post a handicap for those rounds, and is likely losing the opportunity to learn to play better because they took away variety, and has to realize it's against the rules if they ever compete)

 

I wonder if on practice rounds if it would be a great learning day to play entire rounds with good lies, and entire rounds purposely putting the ball in divots as much as possible.

I suspect that pros will take days at the range where they purposely practice from divots again and again.

post #229 of 508

we should just all hit it off a tee anywhere we like! :)

post #230 of 508

I'm not willing to concede this one yet.

 

I have three points:

  1. I've talked to no less than three people of varying ranks in the local (1) and national (2) level of rules, and none said this was ever a legitimate Local Rule.​ They're USGA men, but the Rules have been synchronized for quite some time, and the definitions for the relevant words/phrases have not changed in quite some time.
  2. It was never mentioned in this thread or any other thread to my knowledge - or to the knowledge of several other long-time members - prior to 2010 as being a Local Rule at the time, or having previously been a Local Rule. Furthermore, except for one article cited in a few places, there don't seem to be any articles available anywhere that talks about how this ends the practice of such a local rule - particularly in the U.S. 2009/2010 was recent - we should expect to see plenty of articles covering this*.
  3. A divot does not meet the definition of an "abnormal ground condition." Never has.

 

We have no insight into the full content of the discussion, or the standing of the R&A official with whom @Rulesman has spoken. (To wit, none of you have any insight into my conversations either, so you could say the same about me, but they obviously satisfy my curiosities.)

 

* By "covering this" I mean more than just the addition of the Decision, but the literal change to the legitimacy or "legality" (from a Rules perspective, not a law perspective) of such a Local Rule.

 

P.S. A divot also does not meet the conditions for "Preferred Lies" or "Winter Rules." Perhaps some courses are extending this to conditions that don't truly qualify (divot holes), but that abuse of the Local Rules (read Appendix I for more on this).

 

P.P.S. The PGA Tour is often looked down upon for their cavalier (ha ha, see what I did there?) use of Lift, Clean, and Place and yet they've never had a Local Rule allowing for relief from divots. For a group that is run by members (the PGA Tour players) and which so liberally employes LCP, it's highly suspect that they've never had a Local Rule allowing relief from divot holes, particularly after Payne Stewart made a stink about it (yes, during a USGA event, but he plays non-USGA events the other 51 weeks of the year).

post #231 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

 

We have no insight into the full content of the discussion, or the standing of the R&A official with whom @Rulesman has spoken.

 

I am disappointed you doubt my integrity in suggesting I would not seek clarification at a very high level.

I cannot disclose a name or specific position of the person concerned as the R&A do not permit such information to be disclosed.

However, I can assure (and you will have to trust me) that my contact in this case is a senior member of the Rules Department staff. I know most of them.

 

I have just phoned them and received this confirmation.

 

Dear XXXX

 

Yes, this was a permissible Local Rule prior to 2010.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Regards

 

XXXXX

 

Xxxxxxxxxxxxx  - Rules

The R&A, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, KY16 9JD

Tel: +44 (0) 1334 460000; Fax: +44 (0) 1334 460003

post #232 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

I am disappointed you doubt my integrity in suggesting I would not seek clarification at a very high level.

 

It directly conflicts with my own "clarifications" at very high levels as well, as well as a rather basic level understanding of the relevant rules.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

However, I can assure (and you will have to trust me) that my contact in this case is a senior member of the Rules Department staff. I know most of them.

 

I do not any more than you trust that I've talked to someone equally as high up in the USGA.

 

Again, their reasoning is in direct conflict with the rather simple, easy-to-understand relevant Rules and Definitions.

post #233 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Good stuff ... except I don't buy it.  I don't mean I don't believe you ... I mean I don't understand the R&A guy.  His reason for saying they changed the rule was because the player might make another divot?  And it "doubles" the course maintenance?  So at the courses in Europe that he's referring to ... 1/2 of all shots landed in divot holes????

 

Weird.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

If you read it in full and in context you might have understood.

 

It also doubles the course maintenance problems in repairing more divots.

 

Incidentally the R&A and the USGA work to the same rules and approved local rules. The R&A are not only concerned with managing the rules in Europe but all the rest of the world outside the USA. ie over half the golf played in the world..

I'm confused ... I read every word of your post, so I don't know what context I could have missed.  Maybe I didn't clarify my statement enough, but the math is still correct.  I meant that if he is saying that it "doubles" the course maintenance (even in the context of just filling in more divot holes) then that directly implies that half of all shots currently land in divot holes.  Right?

 

If, at the end of the day, the greenskeeper has to repair 100 divot holes, then for that portion of the course maintenance to double, he would have to be repairing 200 divot holes, would he not?  So, he is suggesting that 1/2 of all shots played into the fairway are currently landing in divot holes and because that saves on course maintenance, then thats why we're going to abolish the free relief rule.  That just doesn't add up to me at all.  I agree with @rehmwa that this sounds like a rationalization more than a reason.

 

Regardless, for whatever reason they were doing that optional local rule, I think it was wise of them to stop doing it.  It's a part of the game.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

My favorite line in this thread is from your post #217 where David Rickman points out ... "The good shot that ends up in a bad lie - that frustrates people, we understand that. But the bad shot that ends up in a good lie is accepted more readily."  Too many people want to have their cake and eat it too (whatever the heck that means ;)) ... the same people griping about good shots ending up in bad lies are not feeling guilty and wanting to amend the rules to punish bad shots that end up in good lies.  If I started a thread that said "Should balls that deflect off trees into the fairway be moved back into the woods?" I think that most people would just laugh.  But it's really the same thing.

post #234 of 508
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Fair is not a term which is ever mentioned in the rule book, and has no bearing on the game in the way you intend it.  Golf is not fair, nor is it intended to be fair.  It is intended to be played by the rules, and if that is done correctly, the game will always be equitable.  The only mention of honor is in relation to order of play:

 

.

From page 1 in the Rules of Golf:

 

Play the ball as it lies,
play the course as you find it,
and if you cannot do either,
do what is fair.
But to do what is fair,
you need to know
the Rules of Golf.

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