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Safety Out of Bounds

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

I've played one of the courses here on Long Island, Crab Meadow, a number of times, and I was looking over the score card the other day. One of the local rules declares that there is a "safety out of bounds" between holes 7 and 8 marked by black and white stakes, for which there's no penalty. I've been thinking about it, but I can't seem to figure out what they're going for. I did some poking around online and, best I can tell, this seems to be an internal out of bounds rule, but I'm confused because it seems that those tend to be for one hole and not another, and they also carry with them some sort of penalty. I asked at the pro shop and no one seemed to have any idea. So what does "no penalty" mean in this case if you hit the ball out of bounds? Do you get to hit again without penalty? Do you pick the ball up and bring it in bounds without penalty? Can you play out of there if it's safe (say, no one else on 7 or 8)? Is any of this actually legal under the rules or did they sort of Frankenstein together a local rule? In all of the times that I've played there, it's only come up once and the older gentleman that I played with just brought the ball back into our hole (the rough between the two holes is uncharacteristically sparse for this course; it's basically all fairway)

 

I'm including a picture of the score card and a screen grab of a satellite view of the relevant area from Google Maps. For further reference, the way the two holes are set up is that the tee box on 7 is elevated about 20 feet above the rest of 7 and 8. 7 doglegs around the start of 8, and I would guess slices for right handed players from both 7 and 8 would land in the adjacent fairways pretty commonly. The white / black OB stakes are confined to the tree line between the fairways. 

 

Anyway, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

 

 

post #2 of 45

I've never seen that before. The only thing I can guess is that they don't want to have anybody hitting from there.

 

Sort of makes sense on 8 so people wouldn't be hitting across those other greens. Can't figure out number 7 though?

 

Edit: Well after another look I guess on 7 it's to keep people from hitting directly over number 8 tee box.

post #3 of 45

Sorry, but that's crazy.  It can't be out of bounds if there is no penalty for it, and since there is no such thing as "safety OB" in the rules, there is no answer to your question here.

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

Sorry, but that's crazy.  It can't be out of bounds if there is no penalty for it, and since there is no such thing as "safety OB" in the rules, there is no answer to your question here.

OK, thanks! That's what I thought, which is why this thing red-flagged for me.

 

So how is one supposed to play it? I'm fortunate that right around when I became meticulous about following the Rules, I started hitting draws, so this largely doesn't come into play for me, but if someone finds themselves outside of these stakes, what is the Rules-obeying player to do? Do they treat it as having gone out of bounds and take stroke and distance because we ignore their "no penalty" local rule? The counter argument there is that it would be overly penal because the course didn't want to have a penalty and so they might've marked it differently if they thought golfers would be penalized. Or does one ignore it altogether because it's a made-up rule and is therefore invalid? The counter there would be that the course obviously has some sort of concerns about safety and wants to discourage play to that area, so flaunting that directive doesn't seem right to me either. 

 

My intuition would be to play it as a generic OB, take my penalty strokes, and just be really mad at the course, but I'd love to hear how others would play such a situation or if the Rules provide guidance on what to do with made up local rules.

post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkolo View Post
 

OK, thanks! That's what I thought, which is why this thing red-flagged for me.

 

So how is one supposed to play it? I'm fortunate that right around when I became meticulous about following the Rules, I started hitting draws, so this largely doesn't come into play for me, but if someone finds themselves outside of these stakes, what is the Rules-obeying player to do? Do they treat it as having gone out of bounds and take stroke and distance because we ignore their "no penalty" local rule? The counter argument there is that it would be overly penal because the course didn't want to have a penalty and so they might've marked it differently if they thought golfers would be penalized. Or does one ignore it altogether because it's a made-up rule and is therefore invalid? The counter there would be that the course obviously has some sort of concerns about safety and wants to discourage play to that area, so flaunting that directive doesn't seem right to me either. 

 

My intuition would be to play it as a generic OB, take my penalty strokes, and just be really mad at the course, but I'd love to hear how others would play such a situation or if the Rules provide guidance on what to do with made up local rules.


I would play it as OB. The last thing I'm going to do is hit a ball from there if the course operators don't want me to. If something went wrong and I hit somebody I wouldn't want to try to explain that I didn't care for their policy and decided to just ignore it.

(But that's just me).

post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkolo View Post
 

OK, thanks! That's what I thought, which is why this thing red-flagged for me.

 

So how is one supposed to play it? I'm fortunate that right around when I became meticulous about following the Rules, I started hitting draws, so this largely doesn't come into play for me, but if someone finds themselves outside of these stakes, what is the Rules-obeying player to do? Do they treat it as having gone out of bounds and take stroke and distance because we ignore their "no penalty" local rule? The counter argument there is that it would be overly penal because the course didn't want to have a penalty and so they might've marked it differently if they thought golfers would be penalized. Or does one ignore it altogether because it's a made-up rule and is therefore invalid? The counter there would be that the course obviously has some sort of concerns about safety and wants to discourage play to that area, so flaunting that directive doesn't seem right to me either. 

 

My intuition would be to play it as a generic OB, take my penalty strokes, and just be really mad at the course, but I'd love to hear how others would play such a situation or if the Rules provide guidance on what to do with made up local rules.


I would play it as OB. The last thing I'm going to do is hit a ball from there if the course operators don't want me to. If something went wrong and I hit somebody I wouldn't want to try to explain that I didn't care for their policy and decided to just ignore it.

(But that's just me).

 

Pretty much the same.  OB is OB, and the course has no authority to waive or modify the penalty for it.  Although out of bounds within the course like this is frowned on, it is not prohibited.  But where it exists, it should be treated as ordinary out of bounds.  

 

My home course had internal out of bounds just as poorly executed as this is between the 9th and 18th fairways, but it only counted as OB when you were playing 18.  It was only a temporary condition caused by a "fence" of poplar tees that all died and the OB was put in for safety reasons until some new trees could grow up.  Now there is a mix of cottonwoods and conifers between the holes, no out of bounds, and although the trees don't prevent the player from hitting onto the 9th fairway, it is not a favorable way to play 18 any more.  Now it's only done by accident, and most of the time the only reasonable play is to get up over the trees and back to the 18th fairway.  To get to the 18th green from the 9th fairway you have to make a blind shot over a grove of trees and across a pond (with another lake in play if you hit long from that angle), and since the green is narrower side to side that it is front to back, it's a smaller target from the wrong fairway. 

 

There are better, more natural ways to discourage players from playing wrong fairways than creating goofy local rules.

post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 Although out of bounds within the course like this is frowned on, it is not prohibited. 

 

Who frowns on it? Certainly not the RBs. 

Royal Liverpool has an internal OOB. No one has suggested they remove it.

post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 Although out of bounds within the course like this is frowned on, it is not prohibited. 

 

Who frowns on it? Certainly not the RBs. 

Royal Liverpool has an internal OOB. No one has suggested they remove it.

 

I know that the USGA prefers that a course find a better way to manage the intended path of play if that is desired.  I've talked to more than one USGA/CGA rules guy about it.  I also saw an article associated with the USGA quite a few years ago expressing the same opinion.  It is not prohibited by any means, but it is not recommended either.  And it certainly is looked poorly on when implemented like my course did where the stakes only "count" from one side, or even worse, like the OP's where they have waived the penalty entirely.

 

A links course may have no choice because the lack of trees leaves them with few options.

post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

There are better, more natural ways to discourage players from playing wrong fairways than creating goofy local rules.

 

That violate the actual rules of golf....

post #10 of 45

I have a guess as to what this safety OB is about, safety!  They probably don't want people playing off 7 onto 8's fairway and then to 7's green, but IMHO, that's golf.  Anytime you play two holes running opposite of one another, there is a chance a ball will be heading your way.  I don't see a great advantage in playing those holes in that fashion, but maybe at one time that was an advantage.  I play an A.W. Tillinghast design in my area that has a hole like that, dogleg left but it plays shorter if you pull a drive into the previous holes fairway.  There is internal OB for that hole, so I get the reasoning behind the internal OB, plus it is a bit of a hazard for the people playing the previous hole.  Still, it's OB and a penalty.

post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thing is, playing 7 off of the 8th fairway is nuts. The only benefit would be that it eliminates the chance of being in jail from a drive that doesn't exceed 200 yards because of the trees on the right. But if you play off of 8, you still have water long and right, but now the bunker and pond come into play so anything short, long or right is in water or the deepest bunker on the course. If you play down 7 and clear the corner, it's a pitch and if you come up short, it's totally puttable. It's weird, because the previous holes 4, 5, 6, and later 9 all run parallel to one another without any similar OB.
post #12 of 45

Snipped from the USGA publication, How to Conduct a Competition, Chapter 4, Marking the Course ...

 

“It is a common misconception that it is not proper to define as out of bounds an area within a course. The USGA often marks as out of bounds areas such as parking lots, clubhouses, maintenance areas, tennis courts, practice areas, etc.

 

Decision 33-2a/12 states that it is permissible to establish out of bounds between two holes if this is necessary for safety reasons or to prevent players from ‘cutting a dogleg.’”

post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville View Post
 

Snipped from the USGA publication, How to Conduct a Competition, Chapter 4, Marking the Course ...

 

“It is a common misconception that it is not proper to define as out of bounds an area within a course. The USGA often marks as out of bounds areas such as parking lots, clubhouses, maintenance areas, tennis courts, practice areas, etc.

 

Decision 33-2a/12 states that it is permissible to establish out of bounds between two holes if this is necessary for safety reasons or to prevent players from ‘cutting a dogleg.’”

 

That doesn't explain the lack of a penalty, however.

post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkolo View Post
 

I've played one of the courses here on Long Island, Crab Meadow, a number of times, and I was looking over the score card the other day. One of the local rules declares that there is a "safety out of bounds" between holes 7 and 8 marked by black and white stakes, for which there's no penalty. I've been thinking about it, but I can't seem to figure out what they're going for. I did some poking around online and, best I can tell, this seems to be an internal out of bounds rule, but I'm confused because it seems that those tend to be for one hole and not another, and they also carry with them some sort of penalty. I asked at the pro shop and no one seemed to have any idea. So what does "no penalty" mean in this case if you hit the ball out of bounds? Do you get to hit again without penalty? Do you pick the ball up and bring it in bounds without penalty? Can you play out of there if it's safe (say, no one else on 7 or 8)? Is any of this actually legal under the rules or did they sort of Frankenstein together a local rule? In all of the times that I've played there, it's only come up once and the older gentleman that I played with just brought the ball back into our hole (the rough between the two holes is uncharacteristically sparse for this course; it's basically all fairway)

 

I'm including a picture of the score card and a screen grab of a satellite view of the relevant area from Google Maps. For further reference, the way the two holes are set up is that the tee box on 7 is elevated about 20 feet above the rest of 7 and 8. 7 doglegs around the start of 8, and I would guess slices for right handed players from both 7 and 8 would land in the adjacent fairways pretty commonly. The white / black OB stakes are confined to the tree line between the fairways. 

 

Anyway, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

 

 

 

Pick up the telephone. A little leg work might lead you to the person who wrote the Local Rule. The rest of us, "inquiring minds," would like to know, too. 

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post


I would play it as OB. The last thing I'm going to do is hit a ball from there if the course operators don't want me to. If something went wrong and I hit somebody I wouldn't want to try to explain that I didn't care for their policy and decided to just ignore it.
(But that's just me).

Very surprised the pro shop didn't know how to play it. My inclination would be to play those stakes as red, 2 club lengths from where it crossed with no penalty. If they hold a tournament, they'd have to clarify for the field, no?
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville View Post
 

Snipped from the USGA publication, How to Conduct a Competition, Chapter 4, Marking the Course ...

 

“It is a common misconception that it is not proper to define as out of bounds an area within a course. The USGA often marks as out of bounds areas such as parking lots, clubhouses, maintenance areas, tennis courts, practice areas, etc.

 

Decision 33-2a/12 states that it is permissible to establish out of bounds between two holes if this is necessary for safety reasons or to prevent players from ‘cutting a dogleg.’”

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilmar2k View Post
 

 

That doesn't explain the lack of a penalty, however.

 

Correct.  While on course OB may be established, the penalty may NOT waived in doing so.

post #17 of 45

Agree that they do a very poor job by failing to explain a local rule that is really uncommon.  It seems as if there would be several logical ways to play it based on their very limited description-

 

1.  re-hit counting both your original and replacement shot.

2.  re-hit but only count your replacement shot

3.  Play as a lateral hazard without taking a penalty.

 

1 makes the most sense to me followed by 3.  You would think somebody at the club should be able to explain, but I too have been frustrated with poorly written local rules where nobody seems to definitively know how to play it. 

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


Correct.  While on course OB may be established, the penalty may NOT waived in doing so.

This is news to me; I've always been under the impression local rules supersede the rules of golf. I know where that could go, obviously, but this was always my assumption.
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