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Papa Steve 55

Leaf Pile

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Its fall and there always seem to be questions about leaves that used to be on trees. My course is a parklands style course. Each hole with only a couple exceptions are tree lined. Most times we are talking a twenty foot wide swath of trees between each hole, 3 to 4 trees deep. We are at the point where the grounds crew are blowing leaves into these areas off the fairway. The ground is usually bare or moss covered, no brush to speak of. They will come back later, maybe spring, and pick all the leaves and pine needles up. I tend to give relief to anybody that hits into the middle of these piles. They can be 10 to 15 feet wide and a foot deep. I seems to remember Els hitting into the woods at the Masters and getting "stacked for removal" relief from something like this. is relief legit or am I playing fast and loose with the rules?  

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Start here: 

 

F-14 Accumulations of Loose Impediments
Purpose. At certain times of the year, piles of loose impediments such as leaves, seeds or acorns may make it difficult for a player to find or play his or her ball. A Committee can choose to treat such piles of loose impediments in the general area or in a bunker as ground under repair from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1.

This Local Rule may not be used for penalty areas as relief is not available for abnormal course conditions in penalty areas.

The Local Rule should be limited to the hole(s) where problems are created by such loose impediments and should be withdrawn as soon as conditions allow.

Model Local Rule F-14
During play of the [specify hole number], any ground with temporary accumulations of [identify types of loose impediments ] in the general area or in a bunker is treated as ground under repair from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1.

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=cp&section=rule&rulenum=8&subrulenum=6

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According to the Official Exceptions to the Rules of Golf;  a ball hiding in the leaves may be declared "furtive" and the player may drop, without penalty, in a location deemed to be reasonably appropriate.

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1 hour ago, Piz said:

According to the Official Exceptions to the Rules of Golf;  a ball hiding in the leaves may be declared "furtive" and the player may drop, without penalty, in a location deemed to be reasonably appropriate.

Isn't that written by the founder of the National Lampoon?

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10 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

Isn't that written by the founder of the National Lampoon?

Yes.  Henry Beard if memory serves.  

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Papa, I would ask if you are playing in a sanctioned event. If so, the committee should have rules established for this situation. If it's just a casual round with your buds, make your own rule for the round. My friend and I invoke the "leaf rule" every Fall, depending on the course and the conditions. 

Some courses do a great job managing fallen leaves, and some do not! And I've seen days where even if the course had a blower on every hole they couldn't keep up with it. It's a little windy and the leaves are just raining from the trees! 

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