Wow took me two days but I've just finished reading all 21 pages.
Pretty intense level of debate.
I can only imagine what the level of debate is on either the USGA or R&A rules committees with respect to any change in rules.
Then once those committees have come to a decision, the USGA and the R&A try to come to an agreement.
Amazed anything gets done.
FIRSTLY before everyone jumps all over me I will be the first to admit that I AM NOT A RULES GEEK and I will not pretend to be.
I try to play according to the rules but I will be the first to admit I do not know all the rules.
I happen to be in a profession that require me to read and interpret legal statues and to follow precedents.
IMHO any legislation, rules, codes created by man for government, religion or even sports will never be fair to everyone affected nor will they be consistent.
Back on to the topic of this thread.
Personally I don't think a divot should be treated as GUR but I do see some inequity in having a ball land into a divot especially a big crater of a divot.
Seems to me that if a ball lands right into a sand filled divot and is embedded in its own pitch mark rule 25-2 would apply
25-2. Embedded Ball
A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown areathrough the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the coursethrough the green. “Closely mown area” means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
This would imply that indeed there is one circumstance whereby one gets a free drop from a divot. I know this has nothing to do with GUR just a something that I am looking for some confirmation of by the knowledgeable rules guys on here.
2. So carrying on from my first observation, it seems odd that if my ball were to roll into a crater of a divot and 1/2 of the ball is below the surface of the fairway I would not get any relief. But if my ball were to land in a soft area of the fairway and embed into its own pitch-mark such that again 1/2 of the ball is below the surface of the fairway I get a free drop. To me the divot is "less natural" than a soft area of the fairway and I cannot see why "the rub of the green" application is so different? I know that the concept of "natural" may not be part of the rules but to me a divot is caused in the playing of golf and would not have otherwise been there whereas a wet spot is due to the natural contours of the course and hence more applicable to "the rub of the green".
3. Why is the repairing of ball marks on the green allowed to be repaired? To me, it could it be argued that an unfixed ball mark in the line of your putt is just "the rub of the green". It is again caused by the playing of golf and would not otherwise be there just like a divot. As a further aside (and more off topic) why is it OK to fix a ball mark but not a spike mark?
Just some observations from an uninformed golfer.