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I just watched a putt by Phil Mickelson and they commented that there was a spike mark in the green that was directly in his line.

Why are you unable to fix imperfections in the surface when they are on your line while putting?  What is the thinking behind this?

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No kidding - agree 100%.  There are plenty of contradicting, and stupid, rules in golf.  Hit a shot OB or lose it?  Stoke AND distance penalty - you might as well call it a 2-stroke penalty.  Hit the SAME shot on the SAME hole to the lateral hazard on the other side of the fairway?  It's only a 1-stroke penalty.  You gain the 200 yds or so that it took to launch the ball just as errantly, and just as lost into the hazard as it did to launch it OB or into the trees.  Same with the infamous 'double' hit.  A 2 stroke penalty - seriously?  Puhleeze.  What a game!  That's why we .....

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There is no "thinking" behind it .You can't repair them. That's a rule of golf. If you could, some of the "repairs" might just help the ball have a better path to the hole, as most spike marks are near the hole. People would be bashing the sole of their putters into the green near the hole. These days, you don't see many of them anyway, unless they're made by idiots who drag their feet. In the days of metal spike marks it was different.

In any case, they'll knock your ball towards the hole as often as they knock it away from the hole.

And......how long do you think people like Jim Furyk would take to putt if you could fix spike marks?

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The logic is that a spike mark doesn't have a characteristic, recognizable shape, so you generally can't identify a spike mark as different from some other imperfection in the green.  Allowing them to be repaired would basically allow you to repair any imperfection, which is contrary to the spirit of playing it as it lies.  A pitch mark is recognizable, so the rule allowing you to repair only those can be implemented.

To the second post above, there are some unusual rules, and some decisions that I don't agree with, but I think it's grossly wrong to claim that the rules are ridiculous or unfair to any wide degree.  There are often, almost always, solid reasons for rules being what they are, and over the years they do tend to improve the consistency.  They do it slowly and conservatively, though, which while it occasionally leads to a frustrating result, does at least guarantee everyone an even playing field and cases where rules bounce back and forth rapidly are rare.  Usually a change is very carefully considered.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

There is no "thinking" behind it .You can't repair them. That's a rule of golf. If you could, some of the "repairs" might just help the ball have a better path to the hole, as most spike marks are near the hole. People would be bashing the sole of their putters into the green near the hole. These days, you don't see many of them anyway, unless they're made by idiots who drag their feet. In the days of metal spike marks it was different.

In any case, they'll knock your ball towards the hole as often as they knock it away from the hole.

And......how long do you think people like Jim Furyk would take to putt if you could fix spike marks?





Originally Posted by zeg

The logic is that a spike mark doesn't have a characteristic, recognizable shape, so you generally can't identify a spike mark as different from some other imperfection in the green.  Allowing them to be repaired would basically allow you to repair any imperfection, which is contrary to the spirit of playing it as it lies.  A pitch mark is recognizable, so the rule allowing you to repair only those can be implemented.

To the second post above, there are some unusual rules, and some decisions that I don't agree with, but I think it's grossly wrong to claim that the rules are ridiculous or unfair to any wide degree.  There are often, almost always, solid reasons for rules being what they are, and over the years they do tend to improve the consistency.  They do it slowly and conservatively, though, which while it occasionally leads to a frustrating result, does at least guarantee everyone an even playing field and cases where rules bounce back and forth rapidly are rare.  Usually a change is very carefully considered.


This is all I was looking for.

Yes, there is thought behind every rule whether it apply to golf or a parent's house rules.  Every word, written or spoken requires thought, therefore every rule requires thought.  It is poor management or instruction to profess to someone, "you just can't do it", without explanation..

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Poulter peeved over metal spikes

ORLANDO, Fla. — Calling it spike-gate might be a stretch, but Ian Poulter wasn’t exactly happy about the spike marks on the greens Thursday afternoon at Bay Hill.

Said Poulter via Twitter, “The greens got crusty out there this afternoon baked in the heat & wind & plenty of spike marks. why do people still use spikes.

“There is only probably 10-15 guys that wear spikes still, you could probably guess most of them its not hard to work out.

“I mean spikes yes the metal ones, spikes there is no spike on a soft spike. sorry but really.”

Of course Poulter played in the afternoon on Thursday so he was among those dealing with more difficult conditions and the wind was also more of a factor. Poulter shot 71, which included a couple of missed putts from inside 10 feet.

Naturally, that prompted Poulter’s good friend Rory McIlroy, who’s not in the field this week, to respond. McIlroy tweeted: “I wear spikes… Problem!?!? If you got your swing speed over 100mph, you might need spikes too.”

They should have banned metal spikes long ago.

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Originally Posted by Zeph

They should have banned metal spikes long ago.


Most courses have banned them for us regular guys, and that's a good thing.  The pros only get to use them because they're " special ".

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Originally Posted by Zeph

They should have banned metal spikes long ago.



I agree. it can make the greens very bumpy. and that's why a lot of cali courses don't allow spikes.

poulter.....this guy is not pleasant. JUST MY OPINION. always complains about everything if he is losing. but when he is winning, rubs it in your face. he is a great golfer though. lots of talent. just wish he was more humble. like tiger, now he is very humble. haha

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Quote:From story above
Naturally, that prompted Poulter’s good friend Rory McIlroy, who’s not in the field this week, to respond. McIlroy tweeted: “I wear spikes… Problem!?!? If you got your swing speed over 100mph, you might need spikes too.”

That's an awesome response, though I do agree that metal spikes should be gone for either everyone, or no one.  I'm old enough to remember the metal spike days of 'regular' guys and the greens are much better these days because they are gone, IMHO.

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Originally Posted by zeg

but I think it's grossly wrong to claim that the rules are ridiculous or unfair to any wide degree.

Don't take me too seriously.  I'm very much a tongue and cheek, sarcasm on/sarcasm off, sort of guy.

But I would like to hear the Rules Committee's explanation of why, logically, such a discrepancy of the OB/lost ball penalty versus losing it in a hazard penalty exists.  The ball is just as lost, and one could just as easily determine where the ball last went OB or where it's last discernible flight path was....to eliminate the distance portion of the penalty.  Or, simply call all balls that can't be found 'lost' and make the penalty consistent.  The 2-stroke penalty for the unintentional double hit really makes me scratch my head.  If it were an intentional thing - like running up to a putt and redirect it by striking it a second time while the ball is still moving, I could see the reasoning for a more punitive penalty (rules like that exist in baseball and basketball - intentional versus unintentional sins).  But the unintentional double hit seems to be a pretty innocuous transgression.  Another one I thought was weird was years ago, when a pro got dinged for using a towel to protect his clothing while kneeling down to play a shot.  IIRC, it was only because the ball was inside a hazard - he actually would've been ok doing the same thing had the ball been outside the hazard (again, if I'm recalling it correctly).  Daffy.  And wasn't there a time when Tiger had 3 or 4 bruiser-type fans move, legally, a freaking boulder from his shot path?  Some official determined it to be a 'loose impediment' IIRC.  Riiiight.

I officiate  HS baseball and basketball and, almost without exception, each rule has a logical explanation to it.  I'm not so sure that's always the case in golf.  JMHO

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Most courses have banned them for us regular guys, and that's a good thing.  The pros only get to use them because they're "special".

Sometimes it is strange how the game evolves.  I can remember when "plastic" spikes first came out some courses here wouldn't let you wear them as they believed they damaged the greens.  Now it is difficult to find a course around here when you can use metal spikes even if you wanted to (although I don't see why one would want to).

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Originally Posted by NEOHMark

But I would like to hear the Rules Committee's explanation of why, logically, such a discrepancy of the OB/lost ball penalty versus losing it in a hazard penalty exists.  The ball is just as lost, and one could just as easily determine where the ball last went OB or where it's last discernible flight path was....to eliminate the distance portion of the penalty......

.......I officiate  HS baseball and basketball and, almost without exception, each rule has a logical explanation to it.  I'm not so sure that's always the case in golf.  JMHO


You want the logic behind it?   It's really pretty simple.  First the water hazard. When your ball is in the hazard it is still in play until you take an action which changes that status. This is because the hazard is a part of the course.  Therefore you are given several procedural options (play it as it lies, drop according to Rule 26-1).  Regardless of whether you can actually play the ball where it lies, the ball is still in play under the rules of golf, so you are at least given the option of retaining some of the distance you achieved with your stroke.

When your ball is out of bounds it is not on the course and it is not in play.  When your ball is lost it may be somewhere on the course, but you don't know where, and you have used up the time allowed for searching, which means that the ball is now out of play.  Thus in both cases you have no option to play it as it lies because you don't have a ball in play when you begin the penalty procedure .  The rules require you put the ball in play by making a stroke at it, and to advance the ball only by making a stroke.  Since you have failed to keep the ball in play with your previous stroke, the only logical procedure is to return to the point where you last did have the ball in play and try again, or in the case of the tee, where you failed in your attempt to put the ball in play.

I hope this helps with your logic dilemma.

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Originally Posted by NEOHMark

Don't take me too seriously.  I'm very much a tongue and cheek, sarcasm on/sarcasm off, sort of guy.

But I would like to hear the Rules Committee's explanation of why, logically, such a discrepancy of the OB/lost ball penalty versus losing it in a hazard penalty exists.  The ball is just as lost, and one could just as easily determine where the ball last went OB or where it's last discernible flight path was....to eliminate the distance portion of the penalty.  Or, simply call all balls that can't be found 'lost' and make the penalty consistent.  The 2-stroke penalty for the unintentional double hit really makes me scratch my head.  If it were an intentional thing - like running up to a putt and redirect it by striking it a second time while the ball is still moving, I could see the reasoning for a more punitive penalty (rules like that exist in baseball and basketball - intentional versus unintentional sins).  But the unintentional double hit seems to be a pretty innocuous transgression.  Another one I thought was weird was years ago, when a pro got dinged for using a towel to protect his clothing while kneeling down to play a shot.  IIRC, it was only because the ball was inside a hazard - he actually would've been ok doing the same thing had the ball been outside the hazard (again, if I'm recalling it correctly).  Daffy.  And wasn't there a time when Tiger had 3 or 4 bruiser-type fans move, legally, a freaking boulder from his shot path?  Some official determined it to be a 'loose impediment' IIRC.  Riiiight.

I officiate  HS baseball and basketball and, almost without exception, each rule has a logical explanation to it.  I'm not so sure that's always the case in golf.  JMHO


Think of it like this... a hazard it still on the course... OB obviously is not... don't you think you should be penalized more if you hit it off of the course?  Makes sense to me.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

You want the logic behind it?   It's really pretty simple.  First the water hazard.  When your ball is in the hazard it is still in play until you take an action which changes that status.  This is because the hazard is a part of the course.  Therefore you are given several procedural options (play it as it lies, drop according to Rule 26-1).  Regardless of whether you can actually play the ball where it lies, the ball is still in play under the rules of golf, so you are at least given the option of retaining some of the distance you achieved with your stroke.

When your ball is out of bounds it is not on the course and it is not in play.  When your ball is lost it may be somewhere on the course, but you don't know where, and you have used up the time allowed for searching, which means that the ball is now out of play.  Thus in both cases you have no option to play it as it lies because you don't have a ball in play when you begin the penalty procedure.  The rules require you put the ball in play by making a stroke at it, and to advance the ball only by making a stroke.  Since you have failed to keep the ball in play with your previous stroke, the only logical procedure is to return to the point where you last did have the ball in play and try again, or in the case of the tee, where you failed in your attempt to put the ball in play.

I hope this helps with your logic dilemma.


Har!  Good points.  I have one for you though - what if you don't actually see your ball go into a hazard (such as a blind shot over a hill into a pond/creek on the other side)?  Lost ball?  Or is it perfectly legal to judge the ball to have gone in the drink - even if no one in your playing group actually saw it go in?

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Originally Posted by NEOHMark

Har!  Good points.  I have one for you though - what if you don't actually see your ball go into a hazard (such as a blind shot over a hill into a pond/creek on the other side)?  Lost ball?  Or is it perfectly legal to judge the ball to have gone in the drink - even if no one in your playing group actually saw it go in?



No it isn't.  The rules require that you have evidence that he ball is in the  hazard.  The phrase which must be applied is that it must "be known or virtually certain" that the ball is in the hazard.  If it is possible that the ball is lost outside of the hazard, then it is a lost ball.  If you don't see the ball enter and remain in the hazard, then it must be certain that there is no possibility that the ball is anywhere except in the hazard.

26-1. Relief for Ball in Water Hazard

It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In order to apply this Rule, it must be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the hazard. In the absence of such knowledge or certainty, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

No it isn't.  The rules require that you have evidence that he ball is in the  hazard.  The phrase which must be applied is that it must "be known or virtually certain" that the ball is in the hazard.  If it is possible that the ball is lost outside of the hazard, then it is a lost ball.  If you don't see the ball enter and remain in the hazard, then it must be certain that there is no possibility that the ball is anywhere except in the hazard.

Good find in the rules.  I thought that was probably the case, but I'd bet the vast majority of amateurs don't play it as a lost ball.  I'd bet most assume it went in, and drop it based on their 'guess' as to where the point of entry is.

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Originally Posted by Bigtank

I think maybe Tiger got Humbled!

I guess. the way he is playing. he realizes he has a lot of work. esp after today

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