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Should divots be considered ground under repair? - Page 18

post #307 of 506

I am not defending the R&A's action prior to 2010 but why cannot people understand that the R&A have absolute discretion to manage the rules in their own territories. As I have said before, winter tees are an example. They and the USGA only write and publish them jointly.

The R&A assumes responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf with the consent of 143 organisations from the amateur and professional game, and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 128 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

For the USA and Mexico, the USGA is the governing body, an organisation with whom The R&A has jointly issued the Rules of Golf since 1952.

 

However, to the point about playing the ball as it lies. How do preferred lies, lift clean and place, embedded ball though the green and winter fairway mats fit in to the scheme of things? 

I can imagine a situation during the winter, when the divot holes are not healing, where one or more fairways are so badly pockmarked, that permission was given to courses to take relief from divot holes on those fairways on similar grounds.

Adverse conditions, including the poor condition of the course or the existence of mud, are sometimes so general, particularly during winter months, that the Committee may decide to grant relief by temporary Local Rule either to protect the course or to promote fair and pleasant play.

.

post #308 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

I am not defending the R&A's action prior to 2010 but why cannot people understand that the R&A have absolute discretion to manage the rules in their own territories. As I have said before, winter tees are an example. They and the USGA only write and publish them jointly.

The R&A assumes responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf with the consent of 143 organisations from the amateur and professional game, and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 128 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

For the USA and Mexico, the USGA is the governing body, an organisation with whom The R&A has jointly issued the Rules of Golf since 1952.

 

However, to the point about playing the ball as it lies. How do preferred lies, lift clean and place, embedded ball though the green and winter fairway mats fit in to the scheme of things? 

I can imagine a situation during the winter, when the divot holes are not healing, where one or more fairways are so badly pockmarked, that permission was given to courses to take relief from divot holes on those fairways on similar grounds.

Adverse conditions, including the poor condition of the course or the existence of mud, are sometimes so general, particularly during winter months, that the Committee may decide to grant relief by temporary Local Rule either to protect the course or to promote fair and pleasant play.

.

The Old Course in St Andrews actually "requires" the ultimate in winter rules. You must carry and play off a small patch of astroturf from the fairways because the links grass is dormant and does not heal in the winter. Although, I doubt that this is officially sanctioned by the R&A.

post #309 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOX View Post
 

The Old Course in St Andrews actually "requires" the ultimate in winter rules. You must carry and play off a small patch of astroturf from the fairways because the links grass is dormant and does not heal in the winter. Although, I doubt that this is officially sanctioned by the R&A.

It is. The GB & Ireland Handicap System authority (CONGU) includes the recommended wording in its Regulations. Although it is not published in the Decisions, the R&A has ruled that is permissible/authorised for many years. 

 

The suggested wording is:
“A ball that comes to rest on a closely mown area through the green must be lifted, placed on and
played from an Astroturf, or similar type of mat. The mat must be placed as near as possible to
where the ball originally lay. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Local Rule.
If a ball when placed rolls from the mat it may be replaced without penalty. If it still fails to remain
on the mat,the mat must be moved to the nearest spot not nearer the hole where the ball, when
placed on it, will remain at rest. There is no penalty should the ball move or be moved after being
placed on the mat and before making a stroke, including when addressing the ball or taking a practice
swing.
Should a peg tee be used to secure the mat the ball must not be placed on the tee.”

 

As it happens recently I had occasion to ask if this could be extended to through the green and was told no. 


Edited by Rulesman - 11/27/13 at 8:11am
post #310 of 506

I have just spoken to a different contact in the R&A about a completely unrelated matter.

When I mentioned this topic they said the original decision/ruling (qv) made by the R&A, related to sand filled divot holes only. The reasoning being that if a ball was played from on the sand it would probably undo the job for which it was intended. It was subsequently recognised that identifying when the holes were sand fill or healed etc was a problem they withdrew their decision/ruling. Later they supported the USGA in introducing 33-8/34.

 

qv I use the words decision/ruling as the contact could not remember when this was in effect but said it predated 2010 by many years. Without searching through the files, they could not be sure whether it was an R&A only decision or not but it was certainly published by the R&A in some form. It was not a 'case by case' permission.  

 

I did not ask for a search to be made as it is now water under the bridge. This contact knew nothing about my earlier correspondence.

post #311 of 506
[/quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

It is. The GB & Ireland Handicap System authority (CONGU) includes the recommended wording in its Regulations. Although it is not published in the Decisions, the R&A has ruled that is permissible/authorised for many years. 

The suggested wording is:
“A ball that comes to rest on a closely mown area through the green must be lifted, placed on and

played from an Astroturf, or similar type of mat. The mat must be placed as near as possible to

where the ball originally lay. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Local Rule.

If a ball when placed rolls from the mat it may be replaced without penalty. If it still fails to remain

on the mat,the mat must be moved to the nearest spot not nearer the hole where the ball, when

placed on it, will remain at rest. There is no penalty should the ball move or be moved after being

placed on the mat and before making a stroke, including when addressing the ball or taking a practice

swing.

Should a peg tee be used to secure the mat the ball must not be placed on the tee.”


As it happens recently I had occasion to ask if this could be extended to through the green and was told no. 

If I remember correctly, Merion required the use of mats by the membership prior to the US Open this year in order to preserve course conditions for the championship. I wonder if they asked for and received approval for a similar LR in doing so.....
post #312 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

[/quote]
If I remember correctly, Merion required the use of mats by the membership prior to the US Open this year in order to preserve course conditions for the championship. I wonder if they asked for and received approval for a similar LR in doing so.....

 

I think they used them for a month or 2 prior to the open. Lol and I am sure they were not too worried about approval to do so.

post #313 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

 

I think they used them for a month or 2 prior to the open. Lol and I am sure they were not too worried about approval to do so.

 

Do the members at Augusta really keep formal handicaps?

post #314 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

Do the members at Augusta really keep formal handicaps?
From what I've read, Augusta isn't even usga rated, so I would imagine not.
post #315 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post


From what I've read, Augusta isn't even usga rated, so I would imagine not.

 

Yep, they want to maintain their memeber's only feel of the club. That means no USGA rankings.

 

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/golf-masters/2010-04/how-tough-augusta-knuth

post #316 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGleno View Post

They said AND-That says to me it is both.-That is what "AND" means right?

Yes, AND means both reasons.  A couple posters only mentioned the safety aspect. I still think the safety aspect cited by the USGA was window dressing.

post #317 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post
 

I understand the "danger" issue of stones in bunkers but it is not dissimilar from a stone imbedded in turf or a swing that may hit a tree, etc...  No relief is given to many other situations where a ricocheting ball, dislodged stone or branch or broken club might injured someone.  The justification for the Local Rule is stated to be safety but that sort of flies in the face of all the other times attempting a shot can cause an injury.

 

That is because it is assumed that the player will take reasonable care not to play his ball in such a way as to be a hazard to another player.  If he doesn't that a problem for him and the people he plays with to deal with, not something which can really be legislated.  If I'm playing a shot out of the trees, I'm the one most likely in the danger spot, so I accept the risk or I play a different shot or I go with Rule 28.

 

The stones in bunker sand is a very different situation, as there is no telling where such a stone might go.  It is a very limited allowance too, as only stones are allowed to be moved, not sticks or leaves or any other loose impediment.  I doubt that a stone embedded in turf would usually even be visible, so how are you planning to take relief?  And if it is visible, most players are going to play such a shot cautiously to avoid possible damage to a club.  It is also much less likely that an embedded stone is going to become a dangerous projectile.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

 

However, to the point about playing the ball as it lies. How do preferred lies, lift clean and place, embedded ball though the green and winter fairway mats fit in to the scheme of things? 

I can imagine a situation during the winter, when the divot holes are not healing, where one or more fairways are so badly pockmarked, that permission was given to courses to take relief from divot holes on those fairways on similar grounds.

Adverse conditions, including the poor condition of the course or the existence of mud, are sometimes so general, particularly during winter months, that the Committee may decide to grant relief by temporary Local Rule either to protect the course or to promote fair and pleasant play.

.

 

 

My experience is that the preferred lies local rule has only been instituted under extreme necessity - others may have been more liberal than my men's club competitions have been.  When winter actually set in, our handicap season is inactive because the courses don't play to their ratings.  Associations in different parts of the country have different active season dates.  In Colorado, the season runs from March 15 to November 15.  I can count on one hand with fingers left over the number of times I played a competition under that local rule in the 22 years I was in the Foothills Men's Club.  

 

If courses are that bad in parts of the UK during winter, do they also have an inactive season?  That would seem to make more sense to me than widespread use of the preferred lies local rule.  If play from divot holes is so damaging to the course, then it seems that it should be closed to play during such periods.  If they are playing from mats in the fairway, then I would think again that such scores should not qualify for handicap, but I admit that I know little about the handicap rules outside of the US.


Edited by Fourputt - 11/27/13 at 11:05am
post #318 of 506

sad thing is playing it up or rolling it out of a divot only hurts yourself. Its kind of funny when these people have to play it "down" in a event. They usually score much higher. same hold true for the ones who give putts. I am sure most  Augusta members have a handicap from there other course to which the belong.

post #319 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

If courses are that bad in parts of the UK during winter, do they also have an inactive season?  That would seem to make more sense to me than widespread use of the preferred lies local rule.  If play from divot holes is so damaging to the course, then it seems that it should be closed to play during such periods.  If they are playing from mats in the fairway, then I would think again that such scores should not qualify for handicap, but I admit that I know little about the handicap rules outside of the US.

There is no close season in the UK. Golf only stops if the course is under snow or water.

Mats are designed to prevent divot damage. They make no material difference to players' scores. After a few attempts the apprehension disappears. Preferred lies simply allow players to play from normal spring to autumn fairway surfaces. Incidentally, the handicap rules require that the distance limit is 6". 

post #320 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

There is no close season in the UK. Golf only stops if the course is under snow or water.

Mats are designed to prevent divot damage. They make no material difference to players' scores. After a few attempts the apprehension disappears. Preferred lies simply allow players to play from normal spring to autumn fairway surfaces. Incidentally, the handicap rules require that the distance limit is 6". 

The locals do frown on it if you place the ball on the very back edge of the mat when playing fairway woods or driver "off the deck". It makes it like playing off a tee.

post #321 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

There is no close season in the UK. Golf only stops if the course is under snow or water.

Mats are designed to prevent divot damage. They make no material difference to players' scores. After a few attempts the apprehension disappears. Preferred lies simply allow players to play from normal spring to autumn fairway surfaces. Incidentally, the handicap rules require that the distance limit is 6".

It certainly would make a big difference in mine. Let me lay my ball on a piece of carpet and I'll shoot at least 4 to 6 strokes lower almost without exception.

 

(But that's just me).

post #322 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

[/quote]
If I remember correctly, Merion required the use of mats by the membership prior to the US Open this year in order to preserve course conditions for the championship. I wonder if they asked for and received approval for a similar LR in doing so.....

 

Yes I heard the same thing was required at Olympic, so they've probably been doing it for several years.

post #323 of 506

I just find it rather shocking that the two ruling bodies of the game would have such a diverse approach to such a fundamental part of the game.  They are supposed to have been together on the basic principles for the last 50+ years, yet in this case their responses are diametrically opposed.  Granted that they are now back in step since 2010, but this is just a disturbing development.  It makes one wonder how much other unpublicized permissiveness has been "allowed" in opposition to the foundations of the game.  

 

My experience in the US is that when conditions are such that the preservation of the course is at stake, the course is closed until such time as conditions improve.  We use the Preferred Lies local rule when necessary for brief periods or in some cases for winter play.  Some courses have created their own unauthorized local rule for non-water lateral hazards in areas which are supposed to be covered by Rule 27, but the USGA does not recognize or approve them because they are not allowed under the rules. 

 

Its only real significance in the allowance for relief from divot holes is in the rather cavalier way that the R&A approached the issue.  As far as the overall effect on the game, having to hit from a divot hole is actually a fairly rare occurrence.  It's just a poor precedent, and one which I wouldn't expect a respected organization like the R&A to set.

post #324 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

Its only real significance in the allowance for relief from divot holes is in the rather cavalier way that the R&A approached the issue.  As far as the overall effect on the game, having to hit from a divot hole is actually a fairly rare occurrence.  It's just a poor precedent, and one which I wouldn't expect a respected organization like the R&A to set.

 

I'm not sure that we should judge the R&A based upon what we think we know from this thread. 

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