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Unknown Drop Zones


djfajt71
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So, here's the scenario.  I was playing in a tournament last month.  I, for some reason, seemed to be compelled to hit my tee shots into water that day.  Since the water was close to the teeing area, there really wasn't any relief to be had, other than re-teeing.  On a couple of the holes, I hit my subsequent shots into the water.  After finally finding dry land and laying 5, I happened upon unmarked drop zones on my way to my ball.  They weren't marked anywhere on the card and there were no signs for them.  Since I had already played my shots, I didn't use them and just took my medicine.  However, in the future, are you permitted to play a provisional, until you are able to verify the existence of a drop zone on that hole?

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How often do you encounter unmarked drop zones?

The only example I can think of personally is due entirely to the laziness of the City of Dayton. A couple of years ago, they simply stopped marking the drop zones. All the old heads still played drops from the spots, but if you weren't familiar with the course, you'd never know. Had some issues like this at Community GC this year, because I hadn't played there in a long time before Kittyhawk closed. Had to ask some playing partners that weren't all that interested where I dropped from.

 

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11 hours ago, mcanadiens said:

How often do you encounter unmarked drop zones?

The only example I can think of personally is due entirely to the laziness of the City of Dayton. A couple of years ago, they simply stopped marking the drop zones. All the old heads still played drops from the spots, but if you weren't familiar with the course, you'd never know. Had some issues like this at Community GC this year, because I hadn't played there in a long time before Kittyhawk closed. Had to ask some playing partners that weren't all that interested where I dropped from.

 

I can think of 3 drop zones on the 36 holes. None are marked, and at this point I am not sure that they are DZs because there is no distinct circles on any of them.

For me, I encounter them every week, though I know where they are. I can't imagine the unsuspecting chap on 3 or 5 on Dales or 5 Hills that hits another ball off the tee because they see absolutely nothing.

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6 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

5 Hills

That's exactly the one I meant. I knew there was supposed to be a drop zone, but I didn't remember where it was. 

Take the very small extra effort required and mark that stuff if it exists. The random playing the course the first time would have no idea.

 

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23 hours ago, mcanadiens said:

How often do you encounter unmarked drop zones?

The only example I can think of personally is due entirely to the laziness of the City of Dayton. A couple of years ago, they simply stopped marking the drop zones. All the old heads still played drops from the spots, but if you weren't familiar with the course, you'd never know. Had some issues like this at Community GC this year, because I hadn't played there in a long time before Kittyhawk closed. Had to ask some playing partners that weren't all that interested where I dropped from.

 

This had been the first time.  We usually play the same courses every year, so I'm familiar with the layouts.  This was the 1st time we had played a tournament at this course.  I normally try to get out and play a practice round, but our schedule got compressed with COVID postponements and wasn't able to schedule anything.  If I run into a new course, and don't get a chance to scout it, I'll have to ask someone that works there prior to the round.  Thanks for the feedback!

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On 9/22/2020 at 8:19 AM, mcanadiens said:

That's exactly the one I meant. I knew there was supposed to be a drop zone, but I didn't remember where it was. 

Take the very small extra effort required and mark that stuff if it exists. The random playing the course the first time would have no idea.

 

Yeah, it is/was left of the green. On top of that, 3 on Dales has one just shy of where the path crosses the creek, and 5 on Dales has one just off the false front. At this moment none are marked, and unless you have a keen eye, you won't know where they were/are. Since I didn't pony up the bucks for a men's association membership (and the much sought after GHIN), I don't know if they are in play or out (which would turn them into yellow hazard I think). Duck made 5 Hills a yellow hazard, doing away with the DZ, but in my casual rounds I have been playing it still for PoP. Luckily I have only been in the drink on 1 of my last 5 rounds. The short/right bailout has been doing me wonders lol.

I wish that they marked them more clearly, and on most proper courses they do, but I think that an argument could be made for a rule change to "provisional" that would include this. Pace of play when you lack course knowledge shouldn't result in a jacked up score, at least in my eyes.

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Like on the 18th hole at High Cedars Golf Course in Orting, WA there's a drop zone by the sprinkler head nearest the cart path on the left near the bridge by the water hazard. It extends 8 feet around the sprinkler head. It was designated in 2014 by The Committee. I was a club officer who helped get it designated. The course has never marked it. The old drop zone was on the other side of the hazard which was not in keeping with the RoG because it advanced the ball past the hazard. As of now only a few of us know where the official DZ is located. It's in the binder inside the club. 

I can just imagine in a tournament, dunking a ball, then heading over to the DZ and getting into a discussion with a rules official, and they'd have to call the club house for the location. 

I make it a point of informing people about the unmarked DZ if they hit a ball in the water.

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