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Ball in tire track indentation

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

The other day on a par 3 I hit my tee shot next to a drainage area that apparently must have been fairly soggy and when a maintenance vehicle or golf cart drove through there the tires left a deep track that later dried up and caused a severe "rut". Where my ball sat it was at best a 1% chance I was going to get the ball to stay on the green it was right against one of the "walls" of this rut. I felt I was entitled to a free drop but instead decided to play my ball where it was just in case and after holing out played a different ball from the nearest point of relief and have 2 scores of bogey 4 and double bogey 5 (of course the double came from the ball in the tire rut). What is the ruling on this?

post #2 of 9

I played from a tire indentation around a green. Play it in the direction of the treads to get it out.

 

Someone ran a golf cart onto the approach of the green.

post #3 of 9

The tyre rut was not in itself an abnormal ground condition - it would need to marked off as GUR.  Your score with the original ball played as it lay  stands.   See Decision 25/16

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-25/#d25-16

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 

The other day on a par 3 I hit my tee shot next to a drainage area that apparently must have been fairly soggy and when a maintenance vehicle or golf cart drove through there the tires left a deep track that later dried up and caused a severe "rut". Where my ball sat it was at best a 1% chance I was going to get the ball to stay on the green it was right against one of the "walls" of this rut. I felt I was entitled to a free drop but instead decided to play my ball where it was just in case and after holing out played a different ball from the nearest point of relief and have 2 scores of bogey 4 and double bogey 5 (of course the double came from the ball in the tire rut). What is the ruling on this?

 

As you can see from the link that Colin provided, the answer is "it depends".  I know that isn't a lot of help, but the answer depends on a few factors. 

 

First what was the purpose of the round?  Where was the rut located and how deep is it?  

 

If it was a casual round with friends, it would be possible for your group to make such a determination among yourselves.  You are, in essence, your own committee if there is no organized competition involved.  

 

It also depends on the depth of the track, and I don't really see anything that would provide a guideline.  I've hit from some rather ugly lies in similar situations in tournaments, but most my home course tournaments were on a properly marked course - such conditions would be marked as GUR if they were in the fairway or in a natural collection area close to the green.  In a case such as yours I may have played it the same way under Rule 3-3 and taken the case to the committee, but usually if it wasn't marked as GUR then they were unsympathetic.  

 

Such areas are usually in the rough, and as such you take your chances.  My home course even has a couple of unimproved tracks used by the maintenance crew to travel around the course, and they are considered as an integral part of the course, with no relief given without penalty even though they can be rather rutted.  The thinking with them is if you hit out into the rough in those areas, you get what you get.  Play it as it lies or declare the ball unplayable under Rule 28.

post #5 of 9

As Colin and Rick say above.

 

Another consideration, of course, is properly applying R3-3 (assuming stroke play.) R3-3, which tells a player how to proceed if he is unsure of the correct procedure, is very specific in its application. By that, I mean, the player must carefully apply the Rule in order to obtain the benefit. Unless the player knows how to go about playing the second ball, he may make matters worse.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

As you can see from the link that Colin provided, the answer is "it depends".  I know that isn't a lot of help, but the answer depends on a few factors. 

 

First what was the purpose of the round?  Where was the rut located and how deep is it?  

 

If it was a casual round with friends, it would be possible for your group to make such a determination among yourselves.  You are, in essence, your own committee if there is no organized competition involved.  ..............

 

,

 

 

I must say  I didn't see any "it depends on the purpose of the round" here, but then I am familiar with the CONGU handicapping system where all qualifying rounds are played under competition conditions.  As a result, answers/opinions  I give on the Rules are habitually from the perspective of a competition round.   I see how you could in your system make a "committee"  determination of GUR just amongst the players in the group.  We can of course do what we like in a social round but could not do that in any round counting towards handicap.  However it is done, though, there does have to be a determination that the rut is GUR.  Without that, it isn't.

 

Nor am I seeing any "it depends on where and how deep."  The Decision makes no mention of either factor and I would hold to the view that a tyre rut no matter where or how deep is not an AGC. ..... unless of course persuaded otherwise, but as you say you can't find any guidelines.

 

One hopes that with good course management, new ruts would be quickly marked off as GUR,  but if someone just ahead has been trying to do handbrake turns in his cart and left gouges on the fairway, it's just too bad if your ball is in one.  Play as it lies or deem it unplayable under R28

 

Under competition conditions that is.  ;-)

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

As you can see from the link that Colin provided, the answer is "it depends".  I know that isn't a lot of help, but the answer depends on a few factors. 

 

First what was the purpose of the round?  Where was the rut located and how deep is it?  

 

If it was a casual round with friends, it would be possible for your group to make such a determination among yourselves.  You are, in essence, your own committee if there is no organized competition involved.  ..............

 

,

 

 

I must say  I didn't see any "it depends on the purpose of the round" here, but then I am familiar with the CONGU handicapping system where all qualifying rounds are played under competition conditions.  As a result, answers/opinions  I give on the Rules are habitually from the perspective of a competition round.   I see how you could in your system make a "committee"  determination of GUR just amongst the players in the group.  We can of course do what we like in a social round but could not do that in any round counting towards handicap.  However it is done, though, there does have to be a determination that the rut is GUR.  Without that, it isn't.

 

Nor am I seeing any "it depends on where and how deep."  The Decision makes no mention of either factor and I would hold to the view that a tyre rut no matter where or how deep is not an AGC. ..... unless of course persuaded otherwise, but as you say you can't find any guidelines.

 

One hopes that with good course management, new ruts would be quickly marked off as GUR,  but if someone just ahead has been trying to do handbrake turns in his cart and left gouges on the fairway, it's just too bad if your ball is in one.  Play as it lies or deem it unplayable under R28

 

Under competition conditions that is.  ;-)

 

Most golf in the US is played on municipal or public access courses.  Most of these are poorly marked for such things as GUR, even during competitions (I was fortunate to play most of my golf on a course which did not have this shortcoming).  As such, in a casual round among friends, a player must sometimes make these decisions for himself or among the group.  Not doing so could potentially lead to an unfairly inflated handicap.  Granted that the effect would normally be minimal, it is none the less possible.  I asked the USGA instructor in my first USGA Rules workshop how this should be handled, since my entire golfing life has been spent on public courses.  He gave the answer that I repeated above.  If it doesn't occur in a competition, and there is no committee in charge of the course as is the case in many private clubs, then your group of players is its own committee.  

 

If you are playing solo, then you have to be honest with yourself and ask if it's reasonable to give yourself relief.  I personally would not if I didn't have a group decision to go on.  If the ball was unplayable, I'd take my penalty.  If it was playable, I'd take what the lie gives me.  But that's just how I approach the game.  Sometimes things don't go my way, but the game, and life, goes on. ;-) 

post #8 of 9

Yeah the problem is that some courses would have something like a bad tire rut marked as GUR (or quickly fixed). Others (most around here) don't ever mark or fix anything unless there's a tournament (if then).

 

Makes for some lopsided matchups and accusations of sandbagging when players meet on a neutral course and go by handicaps.

 

A lot more fair for everybody to do like Fourputt said and let the group be the committee. If they think it would have been marked during a tournament, play it that way.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

This was a casual round that I intended to post, I was by myself but felt if this was a tournament situation they would have determined it GUR, the rut was at least 3" deep and I was right against the wall that didn't allow me to strike the ball in the direction of the green, all I could do was hit it backwards towards the front of the green or up a hill that would have left me in a bad situation.

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