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Beachcomber

Out of Bounds Fencing Question

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I had this occur during a recent round and would like to hear input on what you believe the ruling should have been. Par 3 - OB down the right hand side of the hole. The hole is 175 up hill - and plays more like 200. The white OB stakes run down the right side of the hole for about 30 to 40 yards. Then there is a chain link fence which starts and protects an area where the course stores equipment. Like a small barn. The fence that runs along this barn is OB if you fall on the right side of the fence. But if your shot comes to rest on the left side of the fence - you are in bounds. I hit a 5 iron and blocked it hard right of the green... My ball kicks hard off the side of the hill, which throws my ball down towards the chain link fence which protects the barn. From the tees, I couldn't tell if my ball was in bounds or not, so I hit a provisional ball from the tees onto the green. I found my first ball - literally a few inches away from the fence - but on the left side which is inbounds. I was green side, but couldn't take a swing due to the fence. The guy I was playing with said that due that the fence was an OB fencing... I had to: 1. Take an unplayable lie, and a penalty stroke with a drop to the nearest relief point, or 2. Play it as it lies Literally there was no way to play it as it lies because I couldn't make a swing. I told the guy since the OB fencing was man made, that I felt I shuld get a free drop, no closer to the hole. He and I went back and forth, and he finally told me to play it how I believed the rule to play. I took a free drop - two clubs lengths from the fencing, but no closer to the hole. I hit a great flop shot up the hill and onto the green, one putted for par. Did I play this hole correctly?
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Most OB fencing, stakes and other markers are man made.

Unless there is a local rule regarding the fence, your playing partner gets my vote,,ie unplayable lie with a stroke penalty.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Did I play this hole correctly?


No you didn't.

An out of bounds fence is not an obstruction.

You are not entitled to a free drop.

You either play it as it lies or you declare the ball unplayable and take a penalty and drop the ball appropriately.

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As others have correctly stated, there is no relief from an OB fence. However I'll also point out:

Originally Posted by Beachcomber

...I took a free drop - two clubs lengths from the fencing, but no closer to the hole.

...that in cases where you do get relief from an immovable obstruction, it's *one* club length.  (In general, you get one club length for free drops, and two lengths when it consists of taking a penalty stroke.)

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

I had this occur during a recent round and would like to hear input on what you believe the ruling should have been.

Par 3 - OB down the right hand side of the hole. The hole is 175 up hill - and plays more like 200.

The white OB stakes run down the right side of the hole for about 30 to 40 yards. Then there is a chain link fence which starts and protects an area where the course stores equipment. Like a small barn.

The fence that runs along this barn is OB if you fall on the right side of the fence. But if your shot comes to rest on the left side of the fence - you are in bounds.

I hit a 5 iron and blocked it hard right of the green... My ball kicks hard off the side of the hill, which throws my ball down towards the chain link fence which protects the barn. From the tees, I couldn't tell if my ball was in bounds or not, so I hit a provisional ball from the tees onto the green.

I found my first ball - literally a few inches away from the fence - but on the left side which is inbounds. I was green side, but couldn't take a swing due to the fence. The guy I was playing with said that due that the fence was an OB fencing... I had to:

1. Take an unplayable lie, and a penalty stroke with a drop to the nearest relief point, or

2. Play it as it lies

Literally there was no way to play it as it lies because I couldn't make a swing.

I told the guy since the OB fencing was man made, that I felt I shuld get a free drop, no closer to the hole. He and I went back and forth, and he finally told me to play it how I believed the rule to play.

I took a free drop - two clubs lengths from the fencing, but no closer to the hole. I hit a great flop shot up the hill and onto the green, one putted for par.

Did I play this hole correctly?


No you didn't.  Any object marking out of bounds, whether stakes, fence, wall is not an obstruction and no relief is given.  You play the ball as it lies or you declare it unplayable and take the penalty under Rule 28.

24/3  Concrete Bases of Boundary Fence Posts

Q. Posts of a boundary fence have been set in concrete bases 14 inches in diameter. Are the parts of the bases within the boundary of the course obstructions?

A. No. Such a base is part of the fence and thus no part of it is an obstruction — see Definition of "Obstructions." If such bases are at or below ground level, the boundary line is the inside points of the fence posts at ground level. If they are above ground level, the Committee should clarify the location of the boundary line.

24/4  Part of Boundary Fence Within Boundary Line

Q. Part of a boundary fence is bowed towards the course so that it is inside the boundary line formed by the fence posts. A player's ball comes to rest against this part of the fence. Is the player entitled to relief under Rule 24-2b?

A. No. A fence defining out of bounds is not an obstruction even if part of it is inside the boundary line formed by the fence posts — see Definitions of "Obstructions" and "Out of Bounds."

Also note the definition of "obstruction":

Obstructions

An "obstruction" is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured

ice, except:

a. Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;

b. Any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds; and

c. Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course.

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Just to beat this dead horse... if the thing interfering with your swing was an OB stake instead of the fence, and the stake was removable, you still cannot take free relief or move the stake. If the stake was marking a hazard, you can move it but not anything marking or defining OB. Fought this fight many times in an extended group that did a buddy trip every year.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Just to beat this dead horse... if the thing interfering with your swing was an OB stake instead of the fence, and the stake was removable, you still cannot take free relief or move the stake. If the stake was marking a hazard, you can move it but not anything marking or defining OB. Fought this fight many times in an extended group that did a buddy trip every year.


Isn't it peculiar? Even though these things are very clearly described in the Definitions ('Obstruction' and 'Out of Bounds') and even supported by some Decisions.

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Thanks for the responses guys. I obviously miss played the shot and screwed up.
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usually the club will have a rule specific to that type of OB issue.  If its a natural hazard such as young trees and plants which need to be protected then often there is a free drop.  If its gone OB though, then often ive found you are forced to take a drop, and count it too.

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Originally Posted by awj888

If its gone OB though, then often ive found you are forced to take a drop, and count it too.



Stating "forced to take a drop" is too vague when talking about OB. You have to take a hike back also.

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Originally Posted by awj888

usually the club will have a rule specific to that type of OB issue.  If its a natural hazard such as young trees and plants which need to be protected then often there is a free drop.  If its gone OB though, then often ive found you are forced to take a drop, and count it too.

Dear me.

You have confused the issue completely.

The original question was asked and immediately answered correctly.

Now, 2 weeks later........

There is only one kind of "OB issue". And that is OB. It has nothing to do with young trees and free drops.

There is ONE RESPONSE TO OB:

Re-play from where you played it (distance penalty) adding a stroke penalty. Stroke and distance.

Please don't chime in and sprout things that are not true!

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Shorty rolls out the welcome mat once again. Hey Shorty... if someone has incorrect info, but they believe it to be true, how do you expect them to know it's not true when typing up their post? Does the editor now have the feature of adding red squiggly lines under any information that is false?

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Originally Posted by awj888

usually the club will have a rule specific to that type of OB issue.  If its a natural hazard such as young trees and plants which need to be protected then often there is a free drop.  If its gone OB though, then often ive found you are forced to take a drop, and count it too.



I think you are confusing hazards with out of bounds.  There are allowances for young trees on the course - that's called ground under repair.  No such allowance is given for out of bounds markers, because by definition they are not on the course - they are out of bounds.  As such, they can't be given the same protection as objects on the course.  You can still take a drop for an unplayable lie if your ball is not out of bounds and you can't play a shot because of interference from such an object, but you must still add the penalty stroke and follow one of the procedures shown  in rule 28 .

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Originally Posted by Grumpter

Shorty rolls out the welcome mat once again. Hey Shorty... if someone has incorrect info, but they believe it to be true, how do you expect them to know it's not true when typing up their post? Does the editor now have the feature of adding red squiggly lines under any information that is false?


Shorty's reply was spot on, and perfectly reasonable. The post he responded to was confusing, and the question at hand had already been answered. Shorty merely pointed this out in a civil way.

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Not sure how all this OB talk got atarted, the original post stated he was in bounds but did not have a playable shot due to the fence. He does not have to take a stroke and distance just a one stroke penalty as stated correctly in earlier posts.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

1. Take an unplayable lie, and a penalty stroke with a drop to the nearest relief point, or

2. Play it as it lies

Literally there was no way to play it as it lies because I couldn't make a swing.

I told the guy since the OB fencing was man made, that I felt I shuld get a free drop, no closer to the hole. He and I went back and forth, and he finally told me to play it how I believed the rule to play.

I took a free drop - two clubs lengths from the fencing, but no closer to the hole. I hit a great flop shot up the hill and onto the green, one putted for par.

Did I play this hole correctly?


Just to keep beating this one:

There are several misconceptions here.  The first one has been addressed about taking relief from any out of bound marker. but......

Let's assume that it had been an obstruction from which relief was allowed - he still proceeded incorrectly by taking a drop TWO clublengths from the point where the ball lay.  He was actually proceeding correctly under Rule 28 for an unplayable lie, only he didn't add the penalty stroke, but it was not the right procedure for taking relief without penalty from an obstruction.  He might have accidentally ended up dropping in a correct manner, but by not first determining the nearest point of complete relief and then measuring ONE clublength from that spot (not nearer to the hole), he may well have missed the correct drop area.  Since the rule only requires the player to drop in the correct spot, he doesn't have to follow the entire measuring process as long as he knows that he is in the right area.  In this case he may or he may not have found the right spot by his method - there is always some risk involved when taking a shortcut.

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