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Relief From Fairway Distance Marker


Zippo
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14 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

There is a Model Local Rule that can be used for such a situation. E10. But is is not intended for mature trees.

Back when I first discovered a certain Youtube golf personality from across the Atlantic, he played a course that had a ton of young trees with ribbons attached. He got free relief from them. I knew of this rule for a while, but never seen it implemented in the United States before. 

Yea, unless it is marked, I do not think you can just claim a tree is young or not. 

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Such trees should be identified by stakes, ribbons or in some other clear way.

Model Local Rule E-10

“The young trees identified by [identify markings] are no play zones:

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At my home course, they put Robellini Palms on both sides of the fairways at 150 out. Since these are ornamental and small, there is a local rule in place to protect them so that the golfer gets stance and swing relief. The trees aren't marked, but it is in print on the scorecard. 

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I asked yesterday, and again today (different person) at the course and was told that, indeed, those markers are considered as an artificial, man-made obstruction, part of the course. A local rule calls for relief if stance or swing would damage the marker.

Here's part of the scorecard:

 

Scorecard.png

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Trees and yardage bushes cannot, by definition, be "immovable obstructions."

An obstruction, by definition, is "artificial." A plant is not artificial.

The card is wrong. It also still says "hazard," which doesn't exist anymore.

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42 minutes ago, iacas said:

Trees and yardage bushes cannot, by definition, be "immovable obstructions."

An obstruction, by definition, is "artificial." A plant is not artificial.

The card is wrong. It also still says "hazard," which doesn't exist anymore.

I’ll show them your post and see what they say, next week. 

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It’s another case of people thinking you can just make up local rules. Mixed with incorrect wording.

I wouldn’t just show them my post. I’m only talking to you, not them. I’d use my post to form an argument that you present. Use my post as the basis for your education.

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10 hours ago, Zippo said:

I’ll show them your post and see what they say, next week. 

@iacas is clearly correct, growing things are not artificial, so cannot be obstructions.  However, the Committee has pretty wide latitude in defining Ground Under Repair.  Here's an excerpt from Committee Procedures:

"In general, when ground conditions are abnormal to the course or it is unreasonable to require a player to play from a specific area, it should be marked as ground under repair."

These bushes are generally not damaged, or under repair, but it might be considered "unreasonable to play from" a spot impacted by the bushes.  The Relief is essentially the same as from an Immoveable Obstruction.  I know that defining these as GUR is stretching it a bit, but to me its within the Committee's authority to do it.

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I get it, it sucks when your ball is like 5 yards off the fairway stuck behind a small tree or tall brush. It is really a terrible course design idea from the owners of the course for aesthetic purposes. In the end, the rules are the rules. You could talk with the course management about it to see if they could mark it. 

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

It’s another case of people thinking you can just make up local rules. Mixed with incorrect wording.

I wouldn’t just show them my post. I’m only talking to you, not them. I’d use my post to form an argument that you present. Use my post as the basis for your education.

Unfortunately, while I understand your position and the course's opinion, I don't know enough about it to make my own argument for either side.  So, I sent the question, your response and that of the course to the USGA rules folks and, if they have the time to reply, I'll post the response here for the edification of all those who may be like me.

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37 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I get it, it sucks when your ball is like 5 yards off the fairway stuck behind a small tree or tall brush. It is really a terrible course design idea from the owners of the course for aesthetic purposes. In the end, the rules are the rules. You could talk with the course management about it to see if they could mark it. 

These markers are not 5 yards off the fairway as shown here:

image.png

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18 minutes ago, Zippo said:

These markers are not 5 yards off the fairway as shown here:

Close enough to still be a very poor choice for yardage markers. If you showed it like 20 yards off the fairway, its very much less of an issue. To me, right off fairway and 5 yards off fairway is pretty much the same. 

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Consider this.  And going a wee bit off topic regarding yardage markers.  Aesthetically, artificial markers, poles, painted rocks, etc. are just not pleasing to the eye in an almost-natural environment.  And they, including the small shrubs, just don't need to be there anymore.

It is 2022 and we have free apps for GPS yardage to the front, center, back of the green.  We have rangefinders for exact yardage to the pin.  Now, I understand if someone doesn't carry/own a smart phone nor wants to invest in a rangefinder.  Courses rent push carts and clubs... why not rent yardage devices?  Or let the guy/gal who wants none of the above just suck yardage from his playing partner who carries a rangefinder.

And here's a shocker:  Regarding those yardage markers, is it 150 yards from the marker to the center of the green?  Or from the center of the fairway, equidistant between the markers?  Think about it... it can't be both.

As an example... take the driving range.  Teeing areas run straight across the range.  And at 250 yards there is a tall net (to keep long hitters from hitting the houses beyond) that runs parallel to the tee ground.  Say you set up one Saturday morning at the far right end of the range.  If you hit that net by hitting down the right side the question becomes "Will you also hit the net if you aim for the middle section, down the center of the range?  Will you even get close to it if you aim cross range to the left side?"  Of course not.

Therein lies the problem with yardage markers on the course.

Besides the aesthetics, of course.

 

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I received an answer to my query. Unfortunately, it says, "This response is for your personal information and may not be posted or disclosed by email or internet posting."

So, all I'll say is that I will take relief from the yardage marker, if needed, per the local rule. Thanks for all the help and advice.

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1 minute ago, Zippo said:

I received an answer to my query. Unfortunately, it says, "This response is for your personal information and may not be posted or disclosed by email or internet posting."

So, all I'll say is that I will take relief from the yardage marker, if needed, per the local rule. Thanks for all the help and advice.

So Zip, are you saying you also don't pull off the big white tags on the underside of a new chair you just bought?

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1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

So Zip, are you saying you also don't pull off the big white tags on the underside of a new chair you just bought?

There are tags there? And how did you know I just got a new chair?

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I'm definitely taking relief from something that only exists in that location to mark off yardage

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6 hours ago, Zippo said:

I received an answer to my query. Unfortunately, it says, "This response is for your personal information and may not be posted or disclosed by email or internet posting."

So, all I'll say is that I will take relief from the yardage marker, if needed, per the local rule. Thanks for all the help and advice.

Yea, you shouldn't follow their ruling unless they are willing to mark those trees. If you do follow their advice, do not post for USGA score. 

Here is the situation, it is unfair that you know that is a local rule is enforced when posting scores and other people do not. If the course is not going to obey USGA requirements of marking those trees, then they are not considered a No Play Zone. 

This is why golf courses use the scorecard to mark any local rules enforced, or have signs, or actually mark trees as NPZ or areas as GUR. So the information is there for everyone else. Their response to not disclose the information is just sketchy. 

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