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Determining Out of Bounds

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi All...

During my weekly round with the usual Motley Crew...on the 4th hole slight dog right I drive the ball right.  I arrive at my ball and it is questionable as to whether it is in or out of bounds.  There is a white stake about 15 yards forward of my position and behind me is a large shrub/bush with no visible white stake to draw a straight line to determine the Out of Bounds line. It is for the most part a friendly round with some dough on the line to make it interesting so I ask one of my buddies for a ruling.  My ball is sitting on a grass line which is higher than that of what the golf course has obviously cut...so basically on a residential yard but at an angle would appear to be in play, but there is no other stake to determine this 100%.  My buddy immediately determines that the ball is out of bounds that the grass line determines out of bounds since there is no second stake to define the line.  Course score card clearly states out of bounds are determined by white stakes and or fence lines.  I argued this to be incorrect as how in the hell can a grass line determine Out of Bounds.  His logic was that he saw this ruling on the golf channel that if there are no markers indicating the out of bounds line that the difference in grass height defines the line. I cant see how this is possible simply due to the fact that what if the home owner comes out and cuts there grass to same length as the course? Now what determines OB by his logic?

 

A little long winded I know...but neither of us are budging on our position.  I have googled everything under the sun and for the life of me cannot find anything anywhere that would suggest that a grass line can determine OB.

 

Anyone have some insight on who is right or wrong here?  Or whats the correct way?

 

I took my penalty according to his ruling but immediately flagged down the cart girl to reload the Amstel cause I was a bit heated....

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scerpico22 View Post

Hi All...
During my weekly round with the usual Motley Crew...on the 4th hole slight dog right I drive the ball right.  I arrive at my ball and it is questionable as to whether it is in or out of bounds.  There is a white stake about 15 yards forward of my position and behind me is a large shrub/bush with no visible white stake to draw a straight line to determine the Out of Bounds line. It is for the most part a friendly round with some dough on the line to make it interesting so I ask one of my buddies for a ruling.  My ball is sitting on a grass line which is higher than that of what the golf course has obviously cut...so basically on a residential yard but at an angle would appear to be in play, but there is no other stake to determine this 100%.  My buddy immediately determines that the ball is out of bounds that the grass line determines out of bounds since there is no second stake to define the line.  Course score card clearly states out of bounds are determined by white stakes and or fence lines.  I argued this to be incorrect as how in the hell can a grass line determine Out of Bounds.  His logic was that he saw this ruling on the golf channel that if there are no markers indicating the out of bounds line that the difference in grass height defines the line. I cant see how this is possible simply due to the fact that what if the home owner comes out and cuts there grass to same length as the course? Now what determines OB by his logic?

A little long winded I know...but neither of us are budging on our position.  I have googled everything under the sun and for the life of me cannot find anything anywhere that would suggest that a grass line can determine OB.

Anyone have some insight on who is right or wrong here?  Or whats the correct way?

I took my penalty according to his ruling but immediately flagged down the cart girl to reload the Amstel cause I was a bit heated....

The grass "cut line" is irrelevant to everything unless there is a statement defining such in the course's local Rules.
post #3 of 15

Rules of golf are pretty clear on the line being determined by the stakes.  

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

My thought of the grass line being used to determine OB makes no sense. And I appreciate your responses.  That being said...in this particular situation...where the other white stake was missing for whatever reason...I guess at this point one would simply use best judgement.

post #5 of 15

Yeah, I've asked similar questions before.  If there is one stake, and clearly NOT a second stake, how can you know where to draw the line to?

 

On the other hand, I've also asked the question based on a slightly different scenario.  There is fairway, then rough, then cart path, then shrubbery.  The edge of the shrubbery has white stakes every 25-50', demarcating it as OB.  However, the cart path snakes and there is not a noticeable white line painted on the outside of the cart path.

 

Are you then required to draw straight lines between the stakes, such that you're ball could be sitting in the rough and technically OB?  That seems absurd.  Likewise, if you're on the convex portion of the curve, you are sitting several feet beyond the cart path in the native stuff, but within a line drawn between the stakes, you're now OK?

 

It seems that when you're not in a serious tournament (where they'd definitely make it clear for you) that there has to be some common sense applied to these type of situations.  The intent on my example is obviously to call the edge of the cart path as the OB, so that's how I'd play it.

 

In your scenario, if there was a second stake, even if you were inside of the two, if it's clear that the stakes are defining that grass cut line as being the boundary between the course and Old Man Johnson's back yard, then I'd agree with your opponent.  But if there isn't a second stake, and there isn't anything on the scorecard explaining it ... I'd agree with you that you are fine and you get to play from there.

 

If he insists, then make him show you the next stake. :)

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Yeah, I've asked similar questions before.  If there is one stake, and clearly NOT a second stake, how can you know where to draw the line to?

On the other hand, I've also asked the question based on a slightly different scenario.  There is fairway, then rough, then cart path, then shrubbery.  The edge of the shrubbery has white stakes every 25-50', demarcating it as OB.  However, the cart path snakes and there is not a noticeable white line painted on the outside of the cart path.

Are you then required to draw straight lines between the stakes, such that you're ball could be sitting in the rough and technically OB?  That seems absurd.  Likewise, if you're on the convex portion of the curve, you are sitting several feet beyond the cart path in the native stuff, but within a line drawn between the stakes, you're now OK?

It seems that when you're not in a serious tournament (where they'd definitely make it clear for you) that there has to be some common sense applied to these type of situations.  The intent on my example is obviously to call the edge of the cart path as the OB, so that's how I'd play it.

In your scenario, if there was a second stake, even if you were inside of the two, if it's clear that the stakes are defining that grass cut line as being the boundary between the course and Old Man Johnson's back yard, then I'd agree with your opponent.  But if there isn't a second stake, and there isn't anything on the scorecard explaining it ... I'd agree with you that you are fine and you get to play from there.

If he insists, then make him show you the next stake. :)
Talking about your example where there are stakes - unless there is paint on the ground, or something in the local Rules regarding the edge of the cart path, the out of bounds line is stake to stake, and all of your examples can happen. Sometimes the cart path will be in bounds, sometimes it will be out of bounds, but stake to stake rules!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Yeah, I've asked similar questions before.  If there is one stake, and clearly NOT a second stake, how can you know where to draw the line to?

 

On the other hand, I've also asked the question based on a slightly different scenario.  There is fairway, then rough, then cart path, then shrubbery.  The edge of the shrubbery has white stakes every 25-50', demarcating it as OB.  However, the cart path snakes and there is not a noticeable white line painted on the outside of the cart path.

 

Are you then required to draw straight lines between the stakes, such that you're ball could be sitting in the rough and technically OB?  That seems absurd.  Likewise, if you're on the convex portion of the curve, you are sitting several feet beyond the cart path in the native stuff, but within a line drawn between the stakes, you're now OK?

 

It seems that when you're not in a serious tournament (where they'd definitely make it clear for you) that there has to be some common sense applied to these type of situations.  The intent on my example is obviously to call the edge of the cart path as the OB, so that's how I'd play it.

 

In your scenario, if there was a second stake, even if you were inside of the two, if it's clear that the stakes are defining that grass cut line as being the boundary between the course and Old Man Johnson's back yard, then I'd agree with your opponent.  But if there isn't a second stake, and there isn't anything on the scorecard explaining it ... I'd agree with you that you are fine and you get to play from there.

 

If he insists, then make him show you the next stake. :)


There was no second stake and that was my point.  To me its absurd to suggest that a cut grass line could determine OB...especially since Old Man Johnson wasnt wearing his glasses when he cut the grass last time...that line was anything but straight. 

 

Yes for Tourney play something like this is well defined but for use weekend hackers...common sense must prevail in this type instances. 

 

Thanks for your reply

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scerpico22 View Post
 


There was no second stake and that was my point.  To me its absurd to suggest that a cut grass line could determine OB...especially since Old Man Johnson wasnt wearing his glasses when he cut the grass last time...that line was anything but straight.

 

Yes for Tourney play something like this is well defined but for use weekend hackers...common sense must prevail in this type instances.

 

Thanks for your reply

One other thing ... like I said, I've asked similar questions before, and I also remember that one answer mentioned that if the stake had a different color top to it (black, I think??) then that would be the course telling you that that stake was the end of the OB.  Of course, you'd also have to find a second stake in some direction to be able to determine what line it is the end of ... :beer:

 

Lastly, before you hit the shot off Old Man Johnson's poorly edged lawn, do yourself a favor and make sure he A) isn't home, and/or B) doesn't own a shotgun.  You never know with some people and their lawns.  :beer:

 

P.S.  Welcome to TST!!  Come enjoy all of our other fun threads while you're here. :-P  But be careful, it can be addicting.  (I should be working right now.  ssshhhh!!!)

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

One other thing ... like I said, I've asked similar questions before, and I also remember that one answer mentioned that if the stake had a different color top to it (black, I think??) then that would be the course telling you that that stake was the end of the OB.  Of course, you'd also have to find a second stake in some direction to be able to determine what line it is the end of ... :beer:

 

Lastly, before you hit the shot off Old Man Johnson's poorly edged lawn, do yourself a favor and make sure he A) isn't home, and/or B) doesn't own a shotgun.  You never know with some people and their lawns.  :beer:

 

P.S.  Welcome to TST!!  Come enjoy all of our other fun threads while you're here. :-P  But be careful, it can be addicting.  (I should be working right now.  ssshhhh!!!)


tell me about it...Im a corporate time stealing weasel myself....especially since Im bailing out of work early this Thur for the tee time I just booked for 3pm (ssshhhhhh)

 

thanks again...ill be spending plenty of time on the forum...choc-full-a great stuff!

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

 

On the other hand, I've also asked the question based on a slightly different scenario.  There is fairway, then rough, then cart path, then shrubbery.  The edge of the shrubbery has white stakes every 25-50', demarcating it as OB.  However, the cart path snakes and there is not a noticeable white line painted on the outside of the cart path.

 

 

 

 

Biggest fight I ever had on a golf course.  Member/Member, Pro gets a call they need a ruling on the first hole.  Pro asks me to go out with him.  A ball was on the outside cart path edge, but OB.  Should have been another stake installed on the apex of the cart path, but wasn't.  From stake to stake the ball was out by 6 inches.  I thought the member was going to blow a gasket.

 

It's been years and the member still doesn't like talking to me.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

 

Biggest fight I ever had on a golf course.

 

It's been years and the member still doesn't like talking to me.

Sounds like somebody needs to remind that fella that golf is just a game. :-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

 

Should have been another stake installed on the apex of the cart path, but wasn't.  From stake to stake the ball was out by 6 inches.

OK, forgive my ignorance here.  I'm gonna ask some questions, attempt to answer them myself, and then ask some more questions. :loco:

 

If you knew there was supposed to be another stake there, why couldn't you just tell them that, and add it?  I am going to assume it's because you couldn't know if anybody else who came through there previously may have encountered the same situation and it wouldn't be fair to them to change the rules now.  Is that accurate?

 

OK, assuming it is, here is the follow-up:  If you knew that nobody had encountered that yet - let's say this was the first group out - would it then be OK for you to say it should be in bounds, call it in bounds, and add the stake?  Or once the tournament has begun, the course is how it is?

 

Thanks!

post #12 of 15

If I had to do it over again, I would have suggested we call the ball in bounds and pound in another stake.  No one else had been in that position during the competition.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

If I had to do it over again, I would have suggested we call the ball in bounds and pound in another stake.  No one else had been in that position during the competition.

 

You would be better playing two balls under rule 3-3. One where it lies, the other under S&D.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scerpico22 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

One other thing ... like I said, I've asked similar questions before, and I also remember that one answer mentioned that if the stake had a different color top to it (black, I think??) then that would be the course telling you that that stake was the end of the OB.  Of course, you'd also have to find a second stake in some direction to be able to determine what line it is the end of ... :beer:

 

Lastly, before you hit the shot off Old Man Johnson's poorly edged lawn, do yourself a favor and make sure he A) isn't home, and/or B) doesn't own a shotgun.  You never know with some people and their lawns.  :beer:

 

P.S.  Welcome to TST!!  Come enjoy all of our other fun threads while you're here. :-P  But be careful, it can be addicting.  (I should be working right now.  ssshhhh!!!)


tell me about it...Im a corporate time stealing weasel myself....especially since Im bailing out of work early this Thur for the tee time I just booked for 3pm (ssshhhhhh)

 

thanks again...ill be spending plenty of time on the forum...choc-full-a great stuff!

 

In such a situation where there is no tournament committee to make the ruling, you simply have to come to an agreement among yourselves.  If you are so competitive that such an agreement can't be reached, then you are out of luck.  I personally would give the player the benefit of the doubt if it was me and my friends.  After all, it's not his fault that the course is improperly marked.

post #15 of 15

Surprised there wasn't anything on the card mentioning the residences along the course. Every course I play has signs and bold print stating not only are yards OB but private property and trespassing is forbidden. They don't want people going into yards to retrieve balls even if it's just a couple of feet in. But it's mostly clearly marked, usually the stakes are a couple of yards into course.

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