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Common Rules Violations (That Are Hard to Call)


reidsou
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Rules I see broken all the time in tournaments. Examples: 

  • Rotating the ball in place on the green without marking. 
  • Dropping farther than two club lengths from lateral penalty area to avoid dropping on a cart path. 
  • Declaring unmarked bare ground as "GUR". (A USGA video actually implies this is OK.)
  • Taking free relief for a lost ball that embedded. 
  • Backstopping. 

Other examples? How do you "protect the field" while maintaining serenity? 

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24 minutes ago, reidsou said:

Other examples? How do you "protect the field" while maintaining serenity? 

I don't think you can.

Also, moving ball out of divot. Swapping (inadvertantly probably) ball after marking on the green. Also, lifting/rotating ball in general area to ascertain it's identity without marking.

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Another example is giving unsolicited advice. Could be as simple as, "it plays long." Supposed to be a two stroke penalty.  

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I must be playing with more observant people than you.  My club's rules controversies are few and far between.  Although the tournament chairman did catch someone a month or two ago taking a drop and then claiming it was a ball that he couldn't find.  That's one person we won't be seeing at events for a while.

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12 hours ago, reidsou said:

Rules I see broken all the time in tournaments. Examples: 

  • Dropping farther than two club lengths from lateral penalty area to avoid dropping on a cart path. 

Other examples? How do you "protect the field" while maintaining serenity? 

This is one of those that depend on the situation.  If you do have a cart path right next to the hazard and your two club lengths drop comes into there, you are entitled to free relief from the path (ball or stance).  In theory you should mark the spot, then take relief from that spot as GUR relief, but many people choose to do it all at once

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10 hours ago, reidsou said:

Another example is giving unsolicited advice. Could be as simple as, "it plays long." Supposed to be a two stroke penalty.  

I see this often in casual golf.  Frequently if playing a new course with someone who "Knows" the course they inevitably tell you how to play each hole as if they are your caddie.

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12 hours ago, reidsou said:
  • Taking free relief for a lost ball that embedded. 

I'm confused by this. How would they know the ball is embedded if it's lost? Or are they just claiming that since it was lost it must have been embedded?

Isn't there a rule regarding casual water where if its known or virtually certain your ball is in the casual water you would get free relief even if you cant find your ball? Would the same thing apply to an embedded ball?

 

12 hours ago, reidsou said:
  • Backstopping. 

Good luck proving this one. I believe there has to be spoken/acknowledged intent by both players in order to make it backstopping. Do you actually see instances where players speak out loud that they are doing it to help out another player?

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(edited)
13 hours ago, reidsou said:

Backstopping. 

That one really shouldn't be an issue - if you see it happening, you can tell the player to mark the ball and they have to mark the ball. Rule 15.3a:

Quote

If a player reasonably believes that a ball on the putting green might help anyone’s play (such as by serving as a possible backstop near the hole), the player may:

  • Mark the spot of the ball and lift it under Rule 13.1b if it is his or her own ball, or if the ball belongs to another player, require the other player to mark the spot and lift the ball (see Rule 14.1).

 

Edited by DeadMan
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3 hours ago, pganapathy said:

If you do have a cart path right next to the hazard and your two club lengths drop comes into there, you are entitled to free relief from the path (ball or stance).  In theory you should mark the spot, then take relief from that spot as GUR relief, but many people choose to do it all at once

"Choose to do it all at once" is not in the rules. If you do that, you have played from a wrong place. The penalty is 2 strokes, or DQ if it was a serious breach.

Usually a cart path is not "right next to" a penalty area, so relief from the cart path after dropping on it could be between the cart path and the penalty area.  

It is a question of protecting the field because some players follow the correct procedure and even end up playing from the cart path when their cart path relief would have them closer to and maybe standing in the penalty area. 

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3 hours ago, klineka said:

I'm confused by this. How would they know the ball is embedded if it's lost? Or are they just claiming that since it was lost it must have been embedded?

Isn't there a rule regarding casual water where if its known or virtually certain your ball is in the casual water you would get free relief even if you cant find your ball? Would the same thing apply to an embedded ball?

They know it's embedded because they saw it land and then cannot find it and the ground is soft. See USGA Embedded Ball FAQ

Yes, if the ball is "known or virtually certain" lost in an abnormal course condition such as temporary water, then there is free relief referencing the point that the ball entered the abnormal course condition. However, soft ground is not temporary water. Water has to be visible.  

3 hours ago, klineka said:

I believe there has to be spoken/acknowledged intent by both players in order to make it backstopping. Do you actually see instances where players speak out loud that they are doing it to help out another player?

Yes, they say, "leave it there, it might help". Maybe this one is not as difficult to call as other examples though. 

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3 hours ago, StuM said:

I see this often in casual golf.  Frequently if playing a new course with someone who "Knows" the course they inevitably tell you how to play each hole as if they are your caddie.

The issue is when this happens in a formal competition. Hard to protect the field by calling it for a single brief phrase. 

I did call advice in a tournament a few weeks ago when one player helped the other make a 10 foot putt on the first hole. Afterwards the advice-giver checked with the committee and added two strokes to his score. The player who accepted the advice and made the putt did not.  

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29 minutes ago, reidsou said:

It is a question of protecting the field because some players follow the correct procedure and even end up playing from the cart path when their cart path relief would have them closer to and maybe standing in the penalty area. 

I'm not sure this is correct. I would recommend reviewing Rule 16.1b. Your relief area has to be in the general area.

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24 minutes ago, reidsou said:

I did call advice in a tournament a few weeks ago when one player helped the other make a 10 foot putt on the first hole. Afterwards the advice-giver checked with the committee and added two strokes to his score. The player who accepted the advice and made the putt did not.  

Good on you for protecting the field.  There was a misinterpretation of the rules in a recent round at my club and a player doing something similar to what you did ended up improving several players' standing by getting the misinterpretation corrected.

BTW, you might find it easier -- both for you and for anyone reading your comments -- to use the "multiquote" feature.  You can then reply to everyone in one post, saving you time and making the total discussion a bit more cohesive. 

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4 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

I'm not sure this is correct. I would recommend reviewing Rule 16.1b. Your relief area has to be in the general area.

See the definition of Nearest Point of Complete Relief. After relief the ball has to lie in the general area. And, "relates solely to the particular condition from which relief is being taken and may be in a location where there is interference by something else". 

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The examples are of seemingly "trivial" (or "unfair") rules that players break and may not politely accept penalties for breaking. Asking, "how to protect the field without losing serenity?" 

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1 hour ago, reidsou said:

It is a question of protecting the field because some players follow the correct procedure and even end up playing from the cart path when their cart path relief would have them closer to and maybe standing in the penalty area. 

34 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

I'm not sure this is correct. I would recommend reviewing Rule 16.1b. Your relief area has to be in the general area.

The Relief Area must be in the General Area, but that doesn't apply to the area of stance and swing.  As an example, consider a cart path down the left side, with 2 feet of grass between the path and the Penalty Area.  A ball is on the left edge of the path, the NPCR is a few inches off the path towards the PA (for a right-handed player), and his resulting stance might be in the PA.  His area of stance and swing is free of interference by the cart path, even though he'd be standing in the Penalty Area to hit the shot.

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(edited)
26 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

The Relief Area must be in the General Area, but that doesn't apply to the area of stance and swing.  As an example, consider a cart path down the left side, with 2 feet of grass between the path and the Penalty Area.  A ball is on the left edge of the path, the NPCR is a few inches off the path towards the PA (for a right-handed player), and his resulting stance might be in the PA.  His area of stance and swing is free of interference by the cart path, even though he'd be standing in the Penalty Area to hit the shot.

Yeah, it's definitely highly dependent on the situation. Based on my limited experience with how penalty areas are marked near cart paths, it's very rare to see the relief area be between the cart path and the penalty area. That's why I was skeptical but also hedged in my post.

In any event, this is really an easy situation in competition. Have them play 2 balls and take some pictures of the area. Let the committee sort it out afterwards. That's easier than arguing about it and have that hanging over your head.

Edited by DeadMan
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3 hours ago, reidsou said:

"Choose to do it all at once" is not in the rules. If you do that, you have played from a wrong place. The penalty is 2 strokes, or DQ if it was a serious breach.

 

It is in the Rules.

However, in such situations, the player may not, in a single procedure, concurrently take relief from two conditions by dropping a ball in a single relief area determined by a combined nearest point of complete relief from both conditions, except in the situation where the player has successively taken relief for interference from each condition and is essentially back where the player started.

 

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