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mdl

Red Stakes Rule Question

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At a links style course I play, there's lots of brush to the sides of the fairways which is often marked with red stakes.  If I'm in the brush marked with red stakes, but have a lucky lie and can play a decent shot from there, am I allowed to play from there, or do I have to take a drop and a penalty stroke?

I ask because a buddy was telling me today that if it's marked with red stakes the drop and penalty is enforced, even if I have a playable lie.

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Originally Posted by mdl

At a links style course I play, there's lots of brush to the sides of the fairways which is often marked with red stakes.  If I'm in the brush marked with red stakes, but have a lucky lie and can play a decent shot from there, am I allowed to play from there, or do I have to take a drop and a penalty stroke?

I ask because a buddy was telling me today that if it's marked with red stakes the drop and penalty is enforced, even if I have a playable lie.


Unless it is an area marked to prohibit play because of environmental issues, then you are always allowed to play the ball as it lies if possible.  That is a fundamental premise of the game, and all of the rules are written to hold to that tenet as much as is possible.  There are some restrictions as to what you can do when your ball lies within the margin of a hazard.  You cannot ground your club, nor can you touch or move any loose impediments.  You also do not get relief from interference by an immovable obstruction.

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Originally Posted by mdl

At a links style course I play, there's lots of brush to the sides of the fairways which is often marked with red stakes.  If I'm in the brush marked with red stakes, but have a lucky lie and can play a decent shot from there, am I allowed to play from there, or do I have to take a drop and a penalty stroke?

I ask because a buddy was telling me today that if it's marked with red stakes the drop and penalty is enforced, even if I have a playable lie.


This kind of marking is in fact contrary to the Rules unless that area is really a water hazard. If it does not fulfil the requirements of the definition of a water hazard then it should not be marked as such.

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Red stakes signify a lateral hazard. You can play your ball from there but you can't ground your club.

The people you play with need to aquaint themselves with the rules of golf.

If it was an environmental issue, there would be signs.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Red stakes signify a lateral hazard. You can play your ball from there but you can't ground your club.

The people you play with need to aquaint themselves with the rules of golf.

If it was an environmental issue, there would be signs.

Not necessarily.  I've played a number of courses where the only indication that play was prohibited due to environmental issues was that the red stakes were topped with green.  Most places I've played that is an accepted standard for marking environmentally sensitive areas.   It's usually noted somewhere on the scorecard, but most golfers never bother to read the card.

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I used to work at a course that marked environmental areas as OB. It was a very penalizing target style course and the OB didn't make much sense except that it kept people from playing out from them. They have since removed the OB designation and made them hazards with the red stakes. This is a friendlier way to handle these areas as they are really part of the course. Even though many of these hazards don't have water, they are marked as lateral hazards which speeds up play when a golfer is certain that their ball is lost in the hazard especially if it consists of a palmetto thicket or a sawgrass stand.
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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Not necessarily.  I've played a number of courses where the only indication that play was prohibited due to environmental issues was that the red stakes were topped with green.  Most places I've played that is an accepted standard for marking environmentally sensitive areas.   It's usually noted somewhere on the scorecard, but most golfers never bother to read the card.


There are a few places around here that do that.  Others have the rule that desert areas are all environmentally sensitive, so they just tell you that.  There are a couple that have unusual exceptions to the rules --- e.g., providing relief as if it were a hazard but allowing grounding the club.  In all cases they have the rules on the scorecards, and on most if not all the starter (if present) and the clubhouse make a big deal to explain this to the players.  On one in particular, the rather colorful starter explained that "he doesn't give a damn about that environmental crap, but they have two families of coyotes and a whole lot of rattlesnakes living on the course, so it's really best to stay on the grass."

On a different course I actually encountered a coyote coming up the cart path...

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At the course I'm talking about some of the brush is marked both with environmental signs and with red stakes, some just with red stakes.  I'd been assuming you were allowed to play out of the areas marked just with red stakes.  I didn't know you weren't allowed to ground your club in any zone marked with red stakes though.  Good to know!

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Not necessarily.  I've played a number of courses where the only indication that play was prohibited due to environmental issues was that the red stakes were topped with green.  Most places I've played that is an accepted standard for marking environmentally sensitive areas.   It's usually noted somewhere on the scorecard, but most golfers never bother to read the card.



I've seen white or yellow stakes with yellow tape connecting them denote environmentally sensitive areas too. I kind of wish it were standardized.

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

I used to work at a course that marked environmental areas as OB. It was a very penalizing target style course and the OB didn't make much sense except that it kept people from playing out from them. They have since removed the OB designation and made them hazards with the red stakes. This is a friendlier way to handle these areas as they are really part of the course. Even though many of these hazards don't have water, they are marked as lateral hazards which speeds up play when a golfer is certain that their ball is lost in the hazard especially if it consists of a palmetto thicket or a sawgrass stand.


It is very hard to understand why they have chosen that path to go. The Rule Book Appendix I, Part B says:

An environmentally-sensitive area (ESA) is an area so declared by an appropriate authority, entry into and/or play from which is prohibited for environmental reasons. These areas may be defined as ground under repair, a water hazard , a lateral water hazard or out of bounds at the discretion of the Committee, provided that in the case of an ESA that has been defined as a water hazard or a lateral water hazard , the area is, by Definition, a water hazard .

This means that declaring an area not fulfilling the definition of a water hazard (or lateral water hazard) to be one is clearly against the Rules, even though the intentions are good. Sadly enough that shows that the Committee of that particular club does not have sufficient knowledge of Rules. Why on earth did they not define that area as GUR? That would give a player a free drop even though his ball had been lost on that area (see R25-1).

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

I used to work at a course that marked environmental areas as OB. It was a very penalizing target style course and the OB didn't make much sense except that it kept people from playing out from them. They have since removed the OB designation and made them hazards with the red stakes. This is a friendlier way to handle these areas as they are really part of the course. Even though many of these hazards don't have water, they are marked as lateral hazards which speeds up play when a golfer is certain that their ball is lost in the hazard especially if it consists of a palmetto thicket or a sawgrass stand.





Originally Posted by Ignorant

It is very hard to understand why they have chosen that path to go. The Rule Book Appendix I, Part B says:

An environmentally-sensitive area (ESA) is an area so declared by an appropriate authority, entry into and/or play from which is prohibited for environmental reasons. These areas may be defined as ground under repair, a water hazard, a lateral water hazard or out of bounds at the discretion of the Committee, provided that in the case of an ESA that has been defined as a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, the area is, by Definition, a water hazard.

This means that declaring an area not fulfilling the definition of a water hazard (or lateral water hazard) to be one is clearly against the Rules, even though the intentions are good. Sadly enough that shows that the Committee of that particular club does not have sufficient knowledge of Rules. Why on earth did they not define that area as GUR? That would give a player a free drop even though his ball had been lost on that area (see R25-1).


Well to be fair, the course just was rescued from being abandoned for a few years.  One thing that I should have said is that some of the areas have disappeared and the remaining ones are more like marshes, at least during the wet season.  Either way, the OB is gone in a place that was clearly part of the course IMO.

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my best advice would be talk to the greens keeper or to the head pro

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

Well to be fair, the course just was rescued from being abandoned for a few years.  One thing that I should have said is that some of the areas have disappeared and the remaining ones are more like marshes, at least during the wet season.  Either way, the OB is gone in a place that was clearly part of the course IMO.


OB within the course is not forbidden anywhere, it is just bad course design.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

Well to be fair, the course just was rescued from being abandoned for a few years. One thing that I should have said is that some of the areas have disappeared and the remaining ones are more like marshes, at least during the wet season. Either way, the OB is gone in a place that was clearly part of the course IMO.


OB within the course is not forbidden anywhere, it is just bad course design.

Yes, I know. Some courses use white stakes to separate fairways. It was a bad design that was thankfully changed.

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ignorant

Quote:

Originally Posted by TourSpoon

Well to be fair, the course just was rescued from being abandoned for a few years. One thing that I should have said is that some of the areas have disappeared and the remaining ones are more like marshes, at least during the wet season. Either way, the OB is gone in a place that was clearly part of the course IMO.

OB within the course is not forbidden anywhere, it is just bad course design.

Yes, I know. Some courses use white stakes to separate fairways. It was a bad design that was thankfully changed.



True, especially in the beginning when it is suposed to grow some trees or brush between the fairways. Those white stakes should be temporary, if by any means possible.

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A course I play a lot has a ton of red stakes with signs that say "Environmentally Sensative Area, Please Keep Out."  It pisses me off when they have these signs and then they go and burn it off in the late spring/early summer.  Yeah, it must be real sensative.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

Well to be fair, the course just was rescued from being abandoned for a few years. One thing that I should have said is that some of the areas have disappeared and the remaining ones are more like marshes, at least during the wet season. Either way, the OB is gone in a place that was clearly part of the course IMO.


OB within the course is not forbidden anywhere, it is just bad course design.




Yes, I know. Some courses use white stakes to separate fairways . It was a bad design that was thankfully changed.



True, especially in the beginning when it is suposed to grow some trees or brush between the fairways. Those white stakes should be temporary, if by any means possible.

I have seen it where you have a dogleg right that is outlined by rough and trees with an adjoining fairway "inside" the dogleg. The shortcut would be to play into the other fairway (not that it would give you much of an advantage in this particular case). The white stakes that separate the two holes assures that you don't play into oncoming traffic so to speak. There was no real way to actually carry the dogleg with the length and trees as it is more of a bail out area for slicers. I never liked the OB being used that way, but I can see how it would make more people pay attention to how the hole should be played according to the committee.

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Quote:

Why on earth did they not define that area as GUR? That would give a player a free drop even though his ball had been lost on that area (see R25-1).



Why should they be given a free drop for missing the fairway?

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