My guess is the scramble had a lot to do with guys trying to cut the corner. The drop could have been there just for that. It was whacky either way with all the in course OB. My thoughts about this place could be due to my experience that day. They started two different tournaments at the same time. Each hole had 8 players on it. It was the only time I've been there and wouldn't go back based on the conditions but all in all the entire place seemed odd. Their twilight rates look to be the same as my home course but even if it was cheaper there are so many affordable golf options in Denver really no reason to settle.
Safety Out of Bounds - Page 3
TheSandTrap.com Top Picks
He said (and this is where I gave up) that you can play with that penalty, but the course is giving you the option to drop for free within two club lengths (of the boundary, I guess; rules were being made up from whole cloth at this point). He reiterated that golf courses can absolutely make up whatever local rules they want. I tried to make the point that the USGA offers guidance and samples for allowable local rules, but that wasn't being taken in stride.
I don't think you're alone in this experience. It is not uncommon to find courses that make up local rules out of sheer ignorance, and it's also common for them to become defensive should you question them about it, since you're essentially telling those who consider themselves "the experts" that they don't know what they're talking about. You're right and they're wrong, but often the only way to get them to fix it is a heated debate and being labeled a "rules lawyer" by the clubhouse staff. Nobody really wants that. It's unfortunate that's how such incidents often turn out.
If I were playing a tournament there, I certainly would ask someone on the committee a few days before the tournament about how that area was going to be handled, and lodge my complaint should it not be within the rules. However, If they stood their ground and would not budge, I would just play the tournament as they desired.
Playing it as a lateral hazard wouldn't accomplish anything since you always have the option of playing from a hazard without penalty...
I've only played one or two courses that I can remember having an OB between parallel holes. In each case it was simply OB....nothing else. You abandon the original ball and play another - with a one stroke penalty.
This is like an exam question. Wow.
A couple of thoughts--
local rules can not simply displace the Rules, they have to be consistent with the Rules and provide a local application that addresses a particular problem.
you can't have OB without having stroke and distance, with the penalty. OTOH, I live in the Desert Southwest and it's pretty common in this part of the world to provide for a drop in the rough about where the ball went off into the scrub (adding a penalty stroke). People get all excited about rattlesnakes in a way that Lyme disease just doesn't seem to bring on. Personally, I'm not keen on Desert Rules, and I hit a lot of provisionals.
If you play it as a lateral hazard, you need to take a penalty stroke, don't you?
I think what these guys really want to be doing is treating the area on the other side of the B&W stakes as, in effect, 'ground under repair', allowing the player to take relief, no closer to the hole, without penalty. Given the great deference that the Rules accord to decisions made in the interests of 'safety', the course could pr'ly make that provision, consistent with the Rules, although it's suboptimal, to put it mildly.
But the way it's formulated, about the best that can be said for it is that it's creative.
.......I think what these guys really want to be doing is treating the area on the other side of the B&W stakes as, in effect, 'ground under repair', allowing the player to take relief, no closer to the hole, without penalty. Given the great deference that the Rules accord to decisions made in the interests of 'safety', the course could pr'ly make that provision, consistent with the Rules, although it's suboptimal, to put it mildly........
That would only discourage players from deliberately playing over the "safety" line if the GUR was "play prohibited" and the GUR was marked so that the NPR was going to be in the trees, would it not?
Anyway, there is a problem: the GUR would have to apply to the other hole as well. Which could mean that you play a decent drive down the middle and have to lift and drop somewhere off to the side. Not a popular move!
It aways comes back to the same thing. There is only one way within the Rules to legislate for the safety issue and that is internal OOB which applies to just the one hole.
GUR may be declare to be 'play prohibited' it is not always optional.
This is often (but not exclusively) used to prevent players taking chunks out of newly seeded areas.
But it wouldn't solve the problem identified by ColinL (above).
I think in this case they want it to apply to both holes, even though, you're right, there's no reason for it to apply on 8. And as you might expect with a crazy rule like this, I've seen people start to apply it very generously. The times I've seen people take the drop is playing on 8 and missing the fairway right on their drives. Basically, they're aiming down the right side to avoid the water left and if it goes onto the 7th fairway, they take a safety OB drop back onto the 8th hole. Even though the stakes don't extend anywhere near that far up 8 (this is by the 7th tee box usually). It's a mess. They had a junior PGA tournament there a couple weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to ask them how they were playing it because all the marshals were driving around frantically shuttling people back to tees after every OB, haha.
I don't think I was quite clear. The problem with making an area of the 8th hole GUR with play prohibited in order to discourage players from deliberately playing on to the 8th from the 7th is this. When playing the 8th, if your ball was in this area, you would have to take relief from the GUR. A perfectly good drive down the 8th and you are forced to lift and drop to one side of the fairway or the other.
Now, if you did the same thing for play from the 8th tee to discourage players from deliberately hitting on to the 7th, you would have the wonderful situation where for two holes in succession nobody would be allowed to play from the fairway of the hole they were playing.
I think the clue as to what was done in the PGA tournament lies in the picture of the marshals charging up and down taking players back to the tee. The tournament director had, I expect, said this "safety' OOB is nonsense. It's an internal OOB and players must take stroke and distance. It does make you wonder what they understood about provisional balls.