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How many of you "fluff" your ball or play 6"/winter rules all the time?


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  1. 1. Do you fluff your ball or play 6"/winter rules all year around?

    • Yes, always or almost always
      4
    • Sometimes, depending on my mood...
      24
    • No, play the ball where it lies (unless it's REALLY bad like sunk in a fairway or GUR)
      94


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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

I play at a municipal course and the "fairway" and greens conditions are dubious at best....not to mention debris hither and yon....so we always play "lift, clean and place golf"  and have a steadfast rule that if you hit a fairway or green you have the right to hit/putt upon grass.    And I won't even begin to discuss sand in bunkers-...as in I have a sand wedge but not a concrete wedge....  : )

For example if you'er on the green but there's bare ground either under your ball or on the line of your putt you may move it -no closer to the hole but on a grass line...

fortunately this condition is not always the case but there are certain holes during certain times of year...and there's always some holes like this ...thus the year round lift clean and place rule...which I understand is normally used on the LPGA tour?

Colorado, and the Denver area, must be special in the world of golf.  My home course is a municipal course, and I play a half dozen other city or district operated courses, and I don't have to make excuses for any of them.  All are well maintained, properly marked and mowed, and generally all are a pleasure to play.  I'll even name some of them:

Foothills Golf Course (my home course) and The Meadows Golf Club - Foothills Recreation District

Fox Hollow Golf Course - 27 holes - City of Lakewood

Fossil Trace Golf Club - City of Golden

Riverdale Dunes - Adams County

Legacy Ridge - City of Westminster

Heritage at Westmoor - City of Westminster

And that isn't a comprehensive list, just what I thought of off the top of my head.  These are all great courses to play.  You won't play them for $20 for 18 holes, but you also won't have to find reasons to fudge your lies of any of these municipal courses.

And no, the LPGA doesn't play "preferred lies" unless the weather has made it necessary.  They don't have to since they play on  properly marked courses all of the time, and they have a tournament committee to respond to spur of the moment issues.

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I only move it when I play in tournaments that allow for Lift, Clean, and place. Otherwise I ALWAYS play it down. The good thing I have found about this is I now have the ability and knowledge to play from less than a perfect lie and it has come in handy many times. I know a lot of guys who bump it in the fairway and when it comes tournament time they cannot handle it when they have less than a perfect lie. They are the same guys who want lift, clean, and place year round in our club tournaments.

As far as I am concerned you are doing yourself a huge disservice by bumping the ball all the time. The time will come one day when you won't be able to move it and you will have a bad lie and your lack of preparedness will cost you.

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Originally Posted by Wisguy

The only time I will move my ball without penalty arguably outside the rules is when it lands in an inexcusable mess of a bare patch on a fairway that should be marked GUR but the course was no more industrious with marking the course than it was in seeing that it was groomed and prepared for play properly.   I figure that if I hit a good shot, I shouldn't be penalized because the course isn't maintained properly.

You can hit a good shot on a well maintained course and end up in a bad spot.  I've seen PGA touring pros stripe it down the middle and end up in a divot.

But my real question is, when you hit a bad shot that happens to end up in a good position do you throw it into a bad position to make it fair?

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If I'm playing a tournament, which is rare or playing for a true score, I play by the rules.

Otherwise, I will improve my lie if the ball sits on ground that would normally be GUR.  That said, I've got problems with my hands and wrists, attempting to play out of some lies risks not only my club but damage to my arms, wrists and hands,  I'll fluff in those instances.

Honestly, the average once a week golfer has a hard enough time mastering the game, if he's out for fun, why make it any harder than it needs to be by insisting the rules of golf be followed to the T?

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Honestly, the average once a week golfer has a hard enough time mastering the game, if he's out for fun, why make it any harder than it needs to be by insisting the rules of golf be followed to the T?

I agree! Basketball is another great example. I just play enjoyment, not competitively and certainly not for money. I have small hands, and that whole "having to dribble the ball while walking" thing makes it that much harder....... .....you won't believe the number of guys on the court that insist on following the rules though. Something about dribbling the ball being an integral part of the game. Bull! Bunch of primadonna basketball snobs who just don't want the rest of us to have any fun if you ask me!

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Originally Posted by David in FL

I agree! Basketball is another great example. I just play enjoyment, not competitively and certainly not for money. I have small hands, and that whole "having to dribble the ball while walking" thing makes it that much harder.......

.....you won't believe the number of guys on the court that insist on following the rules though. Something about dribbling the ball being an integral part of the game. Bull! Bunch of primadonna basketball snobs who just don't want the rest of us to have any fun if you ask me!

That's why I only play "HORSE"...  That's still basketball though, right?

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I really don't care if anyone wants to roll their ball during a round, makes no difference to me, of course I won't play them for money or anything like that.  I personally play the ball as it lies, no exceptions.  If I have a dicey lie, where I think there might be a rock or a root under the ball, I take an unplayable lie, take a stroke and drop the ball.  Honestly, I've made some of my most memorable shots from some of those dicey lies, hit an 8 iron to within inches of the hole when it was in an old divot.

My father is 80 years old, still plays close to 300 rounds in a year, he rolls his ball no matter where is sits, middle of the fairway and he will roll it, again, I could care less, he's 80 and playing golf.  However, it does give him an advantage around the greens, if he gets a ball sitting down, he'll fulff it up and have a good lie, I don't care that he does that, but I don't play that way.

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I always play as it lies, unless tournament rules say otherwise.

If I must move my ball (Resting on a rock is the only reason I have found, Im not out to ruin my clubs), i'll take an unplayable unless rules state otherwise (such as a cart path, which is free relief).

I hit out of roots, gravel, etc etc. The only reason I wont hit off a rock is because of previous experience where I did so and jarred both my elbow and shoulder badly. The ball flew further than any other 3h I have ever hit though. The compression off of a rock is amazing.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

I guess it makes sense if you guys are playing for money and the cheating is factored into the bets. It seems like a hassle though.

People do it all the time.  The daily "dog fights" is a format where you see all kinds of stuff, and rarely are the rules of golf followed with much precision.  You see guys with bags full of clubs (easily 20 or more), guys making better players use the back tees while they play the forward tees.  Then you see some guys getting one or more mulligans a side and a couple of do overs (that's where the better player can have any shot they just made have to be played over, it's a way to handicap the better player).  The game changes every time and how it's played is all figured out/negotiated prior to tee off.  I live in Augusta, Ga and Charles Howell used to play in these dog fights when he was younger before he turned pro.  He's always credited a lot of his experiences as a youth in helping to form his game.  And as if all this isn't bad enough the real money is made (or lost) on side bets.  The game can change mid-round and usually it's specified that whomever is down at the turn can press the bet or institute such changes.  I'm not a big gambler so I never played in any of these matches, but every club around here has some form of these daily matches and for the uninitiated you'd better be careful or else one of those old sharpies will end up walking away with all you cash and leave you wondering how it happened, and if you bring up the rules they'll probably just throw the book at you (literally).

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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

I play at a municipal course and the "fairway" and greens conditions are dubious at best....not to mention debris hither and yon....so we always play "lift, clean and place golf"  and have a steadfast rule that if you hit a fairway or green you have the right to hit/putt upon grass.    And I won't even begin to discuss sand in bunkers-...as in I have a sand wedge but not a concrete wedge....  : )

For example if you'er on the green but there's bare ground either under your ball or on the line of your putt you may move it -no closer to the hole but on a grass line...

fortunately this condition is not always the case but there are certain holes during certain times of year...and there's always some holes like this ...thus the year round lift clean and place rule...which I understand is normally used on the LPGA tour?


Year round specifically declared round by round, yes. Usually after heavy rain. PGA, too. Whether the LPGA does it more often I don't know but I didn't think so.

I think its more about mud on the ball than bad lies.

The LPGA Evian Masters last week played some rounds 'lift,clean and place one club length, through the green'  and I saw many moves rough-fairway or fringe-green, etc.

I even saw fairway to light rough once for a par-5 second shot.

I don't see why people shouldn't declare LCP for themselves on courses that aren't going to bother.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

You can hit a good shot on a well maintained course and end up in a bad spot.  I've seen PGA touring pros stripe it down the middle and end up in a divot.

But my real question is, when you hit a bad shot that happens to end up in a good position do you throw it into a bad position to make it fair?

These are kind of dumb points.  A divot is always going to be a posibility in the game no matter what the course because it is an inevitable part of golf and dealing with one's ball in a divot is a part of the game.  There is nothing inevitable about a rock-hard patch of dirt in the middle of the fairway - that's not part of the game, that's bad care and management of the playing area by the course superintendent.

Golf courses all have imperfections and there is a degree of randomness to any shot.  Sometimes when you hit a tree it will bounce out into the middle of the fairway, sometimes it will bounce 60 yards backwards and land unplayable under a bush.  Sometimes slicing into the next fairway gives you a better shot at the green, sometimes it adds 3 strokes to that hole.  Occasionally your tee shot hits something hard and the bounce gives you  an extra 50 yards to your drive, sometimes it hits a wet spot and plugs.  That's a natural part of golf.  I (and I suspect pretty much everyone here who's not simply trying to be a contrarian because he thinks it's clever) expect that a portion of every greens fee I pay goes to maintaining the course in reasonable playing shape, so that the factors we deal with are our own skill and luck, not the intervention of someone else's helpful or harmful activity or inactivity.  No one should have to be penalized because the course is not properly maintained.  That is the rationale behind the ground under repair rule.

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Originally Posted by Hairy Feet

If I'm out on my own, having a practice knock, I'll move it if its in a divot hole to protect the course. Other than that its play it as it lies. How can someone believe their score is genuine if they've moved the ball?

Originally Posted by David in FL

I'm curious. How does moving the ball out of a divot "protect the course"?

At worst you're only going to slightly deepen or enlarge a divot that's already there. By moving the ball you're actually likely to create a 2d divot. Sorry, I'm missing the benefit to the course here....

On a side note, the whole it's the rule thing notwithstanding, if someone moves the ball "only" during casual rounds, they'll find that they're much less comfortable with that shot when forced to play it in any kind of competitive round.

Originally Posted by David in FL

Gotta say, I've heard a lot of reasons/excuses over the years for not playing the ball as it lies, but to benefit the course is a new one.

I'll try an educate you a wee bit.

On a ye olde links course the depth of soil on the fairways before you hit sand isn't very deep. Some holes on the landward side you can dig down a fair bit but the closer you get to the beach the less soil there is. Quite often when you take a divot on a true links course it explodes to nothing. Break through to the sand base and you ain't going to get any grass growing without the Green's staff patching the fairway. Once that break through has happened you'll also get wind erosion, and left long enough especially in winter when there is little growth, you'll end up with a patch of sand dustbin lid size.

And that's why I'll "fluff" the ball in a divot hole, but as it says above, only in a practice round. And as for being uncomfortable in a competition with a tight lie, 45yrs of golf most of which has been at low single figure handicap on a tight, windy long links course... lol

Hope that wasn't too difficult for you.

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Originally Posted by Hairy Feet

I'll try an educate you a wee bit.

On a ye olde links course the depth of soil on the fairways before you hit sand isn't very deep. Some holes on the landward side you can dig down a fair bit but the closer you get to the beach the less soil there is. Quite often when you take a divot on a true links course it explodes to nothing. Break through to the sand base and you ain't going to get any grass growing without the Green's staff patching the fairway. Once that break through has happened you'll also get wind erosion, and left long enough especially in winter when there is little growth, you'll end up with a patch of sand dustbin lid size.

And that's why I'll "fluff" the ball in a divot hole, but as it says above, only in a practice round. And as for being uncomfortable in a competition with a tight lie, 45yrs of golf most of which has been at low single figure handicap on a tight, windy long links course... lol

Hope that wasn't too difficult for you.

It will be...I promise.

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[quote name="Hairy Feet" url="/t/60955/how-many-of-you-fluff-your-ball-or-play-6-winter-rules-all-the-time/90#post_ And that's why I'll "fluff" the ball in a divot hole, but as it says above, only in a practice round. And as for being uncomfortable in a competition with a tight lie, 45yrs of golf most of which has been at low single figure handicap on a tight, windy long links [/quote] Well, at least we now understand how you got down to that low handicap. ;-)
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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Hear! Hear!  It's nice to see that we do have a few real golfers in the crowd.

To those who only move the ball under your own defined circumstances (a most curious habit from my point of view) - do you take the penalty stroke?  Just wondering.  If not them it's time to stop justifying your action.  You fluff the ball.

If you hit a bad shot and it ends up on rocks or roots or whatever in the rough, why do you feel that you have free relief coming as your due?  There is a rule to account for that, Rule 28 - Ball Unplayable.  Drop 2 clublengths away from the problem, give yourself a stroke for the privilege, play on.

Agreed. I never have understood the just move it off the rocks, roots and don't worry about it thought process. If you don't want to scratch your precious clubs then take an unplayable. There seems to be too much worry about the score as if the person's self worth was tied to how well they shot on the day. I equate it to taking mulligans, who are you really fooling. Take score and add 2 for every mulligan. Trust me your kids and dog will love ya just the same. It is just a game.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

I've never played "winter rules" even as a beginner. If a ball plugs in it's own divot on a very wet fairway I'll take a drop, but I assumed that was in the rules. If a tournament uses "lift clean and place" then it probably has casual water and there are legal drops happening all over the course. That's not winter rules. "Winter rules" is not rules. It's cheating.

Around these parts winter rules come into effect well in the winter. We get rain, a lot of rain and no matter how much the course spends of drainage there will be some parts of the year where if the rules weren't modified you wouldn't be able to play. Don't get me wrong I would much prefer to play ball down for longer and Lift, Clean & Cheat less than we do but since money is on the line I will take advantage of whatever rules are posted. Call it winter golf or not real golf if you prefer but it is a necessity if you want a reason to walk around the course during the grey months.

Casual water is only one small part of the problem of playing through the winter here. Mud is probably the number one problem. Ever tried to hit a ball that is literally covered in mud while it sits on a bed of mud? Trust me it would not be worth getting out of bed for. Add to that saturated grass that isn't growing much and can not support the weight of the ball. As for mowing....

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i think the last time i moved my ball was when it was in a 10" puddle in the middle of the fairway.

a lot of people are concerned about how people they never play with or against play though. if i'm playing and the guy i play with says "5" when i know he moved his ball, so what?

if you're keeping handicap you're only hurting yourself and if not then at least you're not duffing every other shot trying to play out of the woods so you can be "honorable."

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Originally Posted by tiger187126 ....

if you're keeping handicap you're only hurting yourself and if not then at least you're not duffing every other shot trying to play out of the woods so you can be "honorable."

And there's already enough complaints about slow play on a typical course, especially on the weekends.  Can you imagine what it would be like if everybody played it as it lay?

Slow play amplified.

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