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Striking a Tree in Forward Swing


march11934
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Hello all.

I searched this topic and found a 1900 day old post that was not quite on topic. The post more discussed about backswing and not fore swing. I was at a Pro event a few years back and a player tried getting a free drop by switching lefty and then claiming he would be striking the tree on his fore swing creating a dangerous condition. Rule official denied his claim and he had to pitch out right handed. 

Similar issue came up with me the other day. I am right handed and tried cutting a corner on 18. Ended up along side a tree growing horizontally and had I taken a full swing at it would have wrapped the club across the tree base. The first half of the swing was unobstructed. Hitting the ball would be clean. But the fore swing was taking on a tree trunk. 

Was there an option similar to what the pro was requesting for free relief? This was to keep a round in the 70's after a year and a half of not playing. So sort of a key shot in the round. Hated ending up there but it was what it was.

I can't find anything concerning "hazardous swing" or "hazardous conditions". Anyone have input on this?

Thanks

G- 

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3) No Relief When Clearly Unreasonable to Play Ball. There is no relief under Rule 16.1:
    •    When playing the ball as it lies would be clearly unreasonable because of something other than an abnormal course condition (such as when a player is standing in temporary water or on an immovable obstruction but would be unable to make a stroke because of where the ball lies in a bush), or 
    •    When interference exists only because a player chooses a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable for the circumstance.

 

 

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  • iacas changed the title to Striking a Tree in Forward Swing
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You don't get relief if you might strike a tree.

The pro didn't get relief, nor would you have. A tree is not a "dangerous condition" at all in this case. Maybe if you were being asked to play a shot from under a tree that appeared to be minutes from collapsing/falling down, you might get relief. But for striking a tree purely by choice? You hit it there. No relief.

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14 minutes ago, iacas said:

You don't get relief if you might strike a tree.

The pro didn't get relief, nor would you have. A tree is not a "dangerous condition" at all in this case. Maybe if you were being asked to play a shot from under a tree that appeared to be minutes from collapsing/falling down, you might get relief. But for striking a tree purely by choice? You hit it there. No relief.

Thanks. I chose not to take relief and at least I know I didn't miss an opportunity I could have used.

G-

35 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

3) No Relief When Clearly Unreasonable to Play Ball. There is no relief under Rule 16.1:
    •    When playing the ball as it lies would be clearly unreasonable because of something other than an abnormal course condition (such as when a player is standing in temporary water or on an immovable obstruction but would be unable to make a stroke because of where the ball lies in a bush), or 
    •    When interference exists only because a player chooses a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable for the circumstance.

 

 

Thanks for the reference.

I would have been a bit confused by the "clearly unreasonable" statement for my situation. The pro, I get it. trying to swing lefty creates an unreasonable swing situation. But for me it was a right handed swing, I am right handed, was aiming in the direction of getting back into the fairway, and the tree was in the fore swing, so how does the unreasonable part come into it? Would it be that knowing you are going to hit the tree be what makes it an unreasonable situation?
G-

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27 minutes ago, march11934 said:

I would have been a bit confused by the "clearly unreasonable" statement for my situation.

That doesn't apply to your situation.

That's when someone tries to take relief by playing in a direction that's unreasonable, or adopting a stance they don't need to adopt, etc. in order to get relief for a situation from which you get relief (like a cart path or another obstruction or something else).

You don't get relief from a tree. It's not a "dangerous situation," unless like I said it's about to fall over and crush you or something.

And now that I think about it, I don't even know if you'd get relief from a tree about to fall over, because it's not a dangerous animal condition:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=16&subrulenum=2

The rules don't allow relief for "dangerous conditions." They allow relief for a dangerous animal condition.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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36 minutes ago, iacas said:

That doesn't apply to your situation.

That's when someone tries to take relief by playing in a direction that's unreasonable, or adopting a stance they don't need to adopt, etc. in order to get relief for a situation from which you get relief (like a cart path or another obstruction or something else).

You don't get relief from a tree. It's not a "dangerous situation," unless like I said it's about to fall over and crush you or something.

And now that I think about it, I don't even know if you'd get relief from a tree about to fall over, because it's not a dangerous animal condition:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=16&subrulenum=2

The rules don't allow relief for "dangerous conditions." They allow relief for a dangerous animal condition.

Thanks for the clarification. 

G-

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On 11/29/2021 at 4:53 PM, iacas said:

That doesn't apply to your situation.

That's when someone tries to take relief by playing in a direction that's unreasonable, or adopting a stance they don't need to adopt, etc. in order to get relief for a situation from which you get relief (like a cart path or another obstruction or something else).

You don't get relief from a tree. It's not a "dangerous situation," unless like I said it's about to fall over and crush you or something.

And now that I think about it, I don't even know if you'd get relief from a tree about to fall over, because it's not a dangerous animal condition:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=16&subrulenum=2

The rules don't allow relief for "dangerous conditions." They allow relief for a dangerous animal condition.

Last year some serious wind took down a tree and it was laying horizontally. Played that course a lot, for golf reasons, that day was the first time I ever hit one anywhere near that tree. Because of course it was.  It was under the fallen trunk/branches so much that even after taking an unplayable and relief I had no swing. It felt really dirty but the guy I was playing with said the fallen tree didn't have any option for free relief and since I had not realized it was under the tree from the box, and did not want to do the walk of shame on the first tee with multiple groups waiting...ugh. Sometimes the rules feel penal, but then I remember I am the one who made the sub-optimal swing in the first place. 

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13 minutes ago, darthweasel said:

Last year some serious wind took down a tree and it was laying horizontally. Played that course a lot, for golf reasons, that day was the first time I ever hit one anywhere near that tree. Because of course it was.  It was under the fallen trunk/branches so much that even after taking an unplayable and relief I had no swing. It felt really dirty but the guy I was playing with said the fallen tree didn't have any option for free relief and since I had not realized it was under the tree from the box, and did not want to do the walk of shame on the first tee with multiple groups waiting...ugh. Sometimes the rules feel penal, but then I remember I am the one who made the sub-optimal swing in the first place. 

This is a situation in which the Committee could have (should have?) defined the downed tree as GUR, in which case you would have been able to take free relief.  In my group of friends, we'd probably play it as GUR in a casual game.  Otherwise, a completely detached fallen tree is a loose impediment, you could have moved it (if possible) or even broken off part of it in order to make a swing.  If its still attached to the roots, you simply cannot do anything about it.

But a question, in taking Unplayable Ball relief, couldn't you have gone back on the line and found a place where you could swing?  You don't have to take Lateral Relief and stay within 2 clublengths.

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6 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

This is a situation in which the Committee could have (should have?) defined the downed tree as GUR, in which case you would have been able to take free relief.  In my group of friends, we'd probably play it as GUR in a casual game.  Otherwise, a completely detached fallen tree is a loose impediment, you could have moved it (if possible) or even broken off part of it in order to make a swing.  If its still attached to the roots, you simply cannot do anything about it.

But a question, in taking Unplayable Ball relief, couldn't you have gone back on the line and found a place where you could swing?  You don't have to take Lateral Relief and stay within 2 clublengths.

roots were indeed still attached.  So many trees fell in that windstorm across the state that tree removal services were...not fast. And I likely could have  gone back on a line but have not studied the rules nearly well enough so did not know I had that option. Been trying to frequent the rules section on these forums to learn them better as I actually have been playing in a lot of Golfs Guys tournaments so stuff like that matters. Main problem I run into is I will see some weird edge case people talk about, and not encounter it myself for months and then try to remember what was said about it (and this is likely not an edge case, just me being ignorant. I had asked if it counted as GUR but should have asked about options other than unplayable which if I recall is what he said was my option).

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On 12/1/2021 at 1:15 PM, darthweasel said:

... I had asked if it counted as GUR but should have asked about options other than unplayable which if I recall is what he said was my option).

Back on line is one of the relief options for unplayable. See rule 19. 

It was not GUR, so unplayable was your only option. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

so the gur would be no stroke penalty if there was a clearly defined area around the tree marked by the course super??....Asking for a friend.

Bill

only time I hit the fairway is when I cross it.

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