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Out-of-Bounds Rule Change Discussion


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Originally Posted by limoric

I couldn't read every post...too damn long; if it has not already been mentioned, the penalty for out of bounds is not more severe, it's stroke and distance just like a lateral hazard.

No, lateral hazard is stroke only, not distance. So the penalty for OB *is* more severe. (As it should be, IMO).

Originally Posted by limoric

Ever say to a playing partner, "that's one" when they nick there ball off the tee during a practice swing? Even in a tournament, that would not be a penalty, as the ball is not in play, it did not leave the tee box and there was no attempt to put the ball in play.

Whether it left the tee box is not relevant. The only thing that's relevant is whether the player made an intentional stroke at the ball.

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I disagree. It flies in the face of the particular logic that has been adopted. If you really wanted to carry the self-consistent logic out fully, the rules would require or strongly encourage course

At the same time, I've seen guys take 3 or 4 balls to get one in play.  In that case you have given the player a bonus for hitting out of bounds if you just let him drop.  The point of the penalties a

This is a key reason for not changing any rules for such an ambiguous reason as pace of play.  Most casual players only have the most tenuous grip on the rules anyway, and don't care to know any more.

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You are wrong for 2 reasons:

1.  A ball is never really lost, it is simply not found within 5 minutes or before a stroke is made on the provisional.  i.e. I hit it left of the green side bunker into some thick 1-2 foot grass on Keystone Ranch #11 a few weeks ago and then hit my provisional 3.5 feet from the hole leaving me a par putt that I ended up making.  I looked for my original drive. but may not have looked quite as hard for it as I would have if I had not hit such a good provisional. I noticed that Snedeker did a similar thing in the Open after yanking one left then hitting (what I think was declared) a provisional down the middle, he did not even bother looking for the original.  Had he hit the provisional poorly, he might have tried to find the original.

If you're going to tell me I'm wrong, at least be right yourself. You are not. A ball is really "lost" under the Rules, and it's right there in the definitions. A ball is deemed "lost" when one of five things occurs.

The Rules of Golf are not metaphysical. They do not ask if a golf ball that's never searched for is truly lost. They clearly define things, and "lost ball" is one of them. In both of your cases, you made the ball "lost" by way of part b of the definition.

Again, the Rules of Golf tend not to let you have two balls in play at any given moment.

Originally Posted by MEfree

2.  A "provisional" WH ball could be played EXACTLY the same was as a provisional OOB/LB- if you find your original outside the hazard, you MUST abandon the provisional and play your original.  If find your original in the hazard or don`t find the original and are virtually certain it is in the hazard, then you MUST play the provisional.

I've played several shots from within the boundaries of a water hazard. You're suggesting the Rules of Golf should be amended so that players who believe the ball is in a hazard - but aren't virtually certain - be allowed to hit a provisional but in doing so deprive themselves of the option to play the ball from a good lie they may get inside the boundaries of the hazard OR within two clublengths (laterals) or on a line back from the last crossed point and the flag OR from a drop zone if one is available to them?

I don't know of anyone that would do that. Even if your ball is in a lousy lie near the edge of the hazard all you have to do is pop it out a yard and hit your third and you'd still be well ahead of the place your provisional would have gone in 99% of cases. So why would anyone forego the options for a ball they didn't see splash down or something? Your solution would almost never be used.

Originally Posted by David in FL

No. The difference is that a ball that is OB is, by rule, not in play for the remainder of the hole.

A ball in a WH is still in play and you have the right to play it.....something that happens a LOT. Just because the ball is in a WH does not mean that it's either lost or unplayable.

As Erik said, the rules cannot allow for a player to have 2 balls in play and then decide for himself, which benefits him the most.

Yup.

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Originally Posted by iacas

If you're going to tell me I'm wrong, at least be right yourself. You are not. A ball is really "lost" under the Rules, and it's right there in the definitions. A ball is deemed "lost" when one of five things occurs.

The Rules of Golf are not metaphysical. They do not ask if a golf ball that's never searched for is truly lost. They clearly define things, and "lost ball" is one of them. In both of your cases, you made the ball "lost" by way of part b of the definition.

Again, the Rules of Golf tend not to let you have two balls in play at any given moment.

I've played several shots from within the boundaries of a water hazard. You're suggesting the Rules of Golf should be amended so that players who believe the ball is in a hazard - but aren't virtually certain - be allowed to hit a provisional but in doing so deprive themselves of the option to play the ball from a good lie they may get inside the boundaries of the hazard OR within two clublengths (laterals) or on a line back from the last crossed point and the flag OR from a drop zone if one is available to them?

I don't know of anyone that would do that. Even if your ball is in a lousy lie near the edge of the hazard all you have to do is pop it out a yard and hit your third and you'd still be well ahead of the place your provisional would have gone in 99% of cases. So why would anyone forego the options for a ball they didn't see splash down or something? Your solution would almost never be used.

Yup.

For the first part, you seem to be really splitting hairs and I don`t really see your point.

As far as players never or rarely using a provisional drop (and forfeiting other options), I think this would be done a lot more than you think at some golf course but rarely used at others.  Like I said, a guy I played with did this 2 or 3 times last week when I played with him.  To be clear, my idea of a provisional WH drop would allow a player to not only re-hit from the original spot, but more commonly drop behind (or within 2 club lengths) of their entry point of the hazard (when this is behind where their ball may have carried out of the hazard).

Yes, the player would be voluntarily giving up the option of playing out of the hazard should they later find their ball within the hazard but this is really a non-issue for ESAs (which the courses I play in Summit County, CO have a lot of, so maybe I am biased) or for lakes with no/little dry land/shallow water to play from (but which are partially blind so you can`t see your ball splash).  If it is likely that you could play from the hazard, then yes, I would suspect that most serious players would NOT take advantage of the provisional drop option and will proceed under the current rules and walk to the green side of the hazard and look for their ball before returning to their entry point and taking a drop if they don`t find/play their original.

The benefit of allowing a provisional drop is the same as allowing a provisional ball to be played with potential OOBs/LBs- it helps to speed up play.  Just like with OOB/LB provisionals, the player can`t choose which ball to play- if the original is found outside the hazard/in bounds, then it MUST be played and if the original is in the hazard/OOB, then the provisional MUST be played.

Assuming that a WH provisional was only utilized 10% of the time, what would be the harm in allowing it?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

For the first part, you seem to be really splitting hairs and I don`t really see your point.

I think I made the point pretty clearly. You said "a ball is never really lost." I responded to point out that that's incorrect and there are several ways in which a ball is "lost." That's not splitting hairs - it's the Rules of Golf.

Originally Posted by MEfree

As far as players never or rarely using a provisional drop (and forfeiting other options), I think this would be done a lot more than you think at some golf course but rarely used at others.

I disagree. And if you're just going to base everything you want to complain about on your one example of a course I think it's high time I move on to more productive things. I also think you drastically overstate the times players are not virtually certain. By all means, carry on though.

Originally Posted by MEfree

Assuming that a WH provisional was only utilized 10% of the time, what would be the harm in allowing it?

Among plenty of other reasons, confusion. Didn't you want to simplify the Rules? Now you're adding to them? Okey dokey.

People keep giving you good reasons why your proposals are flawed and you keep powering on using one course as your primary example. Respond if you'd like, but I'm done. I think the rules regarding hazards are fine and you've not presented a case which sways me one bit.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I disagree. And if you're just going to base everything you want to complain about on your one example of a course I think it's high time I move on to more productive things. I also think you drastically overstate the times players are not virtually certain. By all means, carry on though.

Among plenty of other reasons, confusion. Didn't you want to simplify the Rules? Now you're adding to them? Okey dokey.

People keep giving you good reasons why your proposals are flawed and you keep powering on using one course as your primary example. Respond if you'd like, but I'm done. I think the rules regarding hazards are fine and you've not presented a case which sways me one bit.

Yes, I would like to simplify the rules of golf, but nobody posting here seems to like that idea either.  I view this as a separate discussion, but in both cases, my suggestions are based in large part on what I see a lot of everyday golfers do in real life play.  While some may feel the 95% of golfers who don`t follow the current rules are flawed, I look at it from the other way around.  If the rules are so perfect, why do only 5% of golfers actually follow them?

If the idea of a WH provisional is so flawed, why does the USGA allow it as a local rule?  You are correct that it wouldn`t be applicable on all golf courses- no big WH, no need for it (and no need for it when you have good visibility/eyesight and can clearly see the entire hazard and surrounding area).

Maybe I am overly influenced by the current courses I play which I think should have a version of this USGA OKed local rule but instead put lame drop areas on the green side of the hazards

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Yes, I would like to simplify the rules of golf, but nobody posting here seems to like that idea either.  I view this as a separate discussion, but in both cases, my suggestions are based in large part on what I see a lot of everyday golfers do in real life play.  While some may feel the 95% of golfers who don`t follow the current rules are flawed, I look at it from the other way around.  If the rules are so perfect, why do only 5% of golfers actually follow them?

False syllogism.

Just because people don't follow rules doesn't make the rules flawed. It simply makes them complex, as you would expect a game played over such varied terrain and with so many possibilities to be. Again, have you looked at the rules for other sports? They're equally complex.

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Lawn Tennis has some 30 rules for a standard sized and marked course with no hazards and one obstruction.

Croquet has 60 plus 'laws' and appendices plus 45 pages of 'official rulings'.

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  • 2 months later...

In golf there should only be 1 stroke penalties it's a simple game hit the ball and play it if you hit into the water drop it and play your next shot that's it. If you can find it hit it otherwise 1 stroke incuding all lost balls hazards etc.. Ob is a joke.

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It's quite simple if your ball goes out by one foot and is off the property then the player should get a free drop if you will adding the 1 stroke penalty. It's still more penal which is good.Hazards give you the option to play it as it lies and maybe make a birdie. Nothing worse than crushing a drive that hits the cart path and goes ob,Or a great second shot that flys the green and goes ob by five feet. It doesn't make any sense right?

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Originally Posted by Mike Boatright

It's quite simple if your ball goes out by one foot and is off the property then the player should get a free drop if you will adding the 1 stroke penalty. It's still more penal which is good.Hazards give you the option to play it as it lies and maybe make a birdie. Nothing worse than crushing a drive that hits the cart path and goes ob,Or a great second shot that flys the green and goes ob by five feet. It doesn't make any sense right?

Great second shot which flies the green, oxymoron?

I have many times putted to two inches, should I also count that one in?

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Originally Posted by Mike Boatright

It's quite simple if your ball goes out by one foot and is off the property then the player should get a free drop if you will adding the 1 stroke penalty. It's still more penal which is good.Hazards give you the option to play it as it lies and maybe make a birdie. Nothing worse than crushing a drive that hits the cart path and goes ob,Or a great second shot that flys the green and goes ob by five feet. It doesn't make any sense right?

Makes sense to me, actually. Why shouldn't the penalty for losing your ball or hitting it off the property be stiffer? It's just the gradation of penalty from poorer angle to the green to rough to thick rough to trees to water hazards to OB/lost ball (with bunkers in the appropriate spot too).

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Originally Posted by Mike Boatright

In golf there should only be 1 stroke penalties it's a simple game hit the ball and play it if you hit into the water drop it and play your next shot that's it. If you can find it hit it otherwise 1 stroke incuding all lost balls hazards etc.. Ob is a joke.

This post is a joke..... Right?  If not then you haven't got a clue as to the reason for the penalty structure - and yes, there is a logical reason for the severity of of penalties.  They are assessed in direct proportion to negate the potential advantage gained by your error.

But anyone with your philosophy toward the game isn't going to care about any of that anyway.  You just want what you want for no real reason aside from a desire to dumb down the game because it's apparently too hard for you.

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Originally Posted by Mike Boatright

It's quite simple if your ball goes out by one foot and is off the property then the player should get a free drop if you will adding the 1 stroke penalty.

Would you get a free drop if it is out by two feet?

Or 3 or 10 or 30 or ?

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Originally Posted by luu5

Great second shot which flies the green, oxymoron?

Maybe he should have said a great swing instead of a great shot.  Playing in the mountains, I have seen the wind do a complete 180 while I was over my ball hitting including days when it is a 15 yard wind meaning a 30 yard difference because of the shift.  There are a number of holes that I have played where 30 yards past the pin will put you OB.

Originally Posted by Rulesman

Would you get a free drop if it is out by two feet?

Or 3 or 10 or 30 or ?

He wrote it a bit ambiguously, but I think he meant either stroke OR distance, not both...so yes, I assume that you would have the same option regardless of how far out your ball was.  I think this makes some sense, but know others here disagree.  If he meant a free drop without a stroke penalty, then I agree with you.

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  • 1 month later...

Golf should have 5 rules: number one play the ball as it lies,two only hazards on the golf course hit if you can otherwise drop it one stroke penalty,three free drops from cart paths ground under repair etc.. four lift clean and place in wet conditions and finally if and where your ball goes ob you must drop within bounds 1 stroke penalty just like a hazard,but with the ob you must drop and don't get the option of hitting it because it's ob.

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Wrong i'm talking a pured 5 iron that goes 5 feet over the green and rolls into ob the ball is still playable on grass but past the white stakes. Water is ok makes it hard enough but still worth the risk. Why not have super ob 5 shot penalties just short of the green on certain holes just to make sure you get the ball to the hole...

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Originally Posted by Mike Boatright

Golf should have 5 rules: number one play the ball as it lies,two only hazards on the golf course hit if you can otherwise drop it one stroke penalty,three free drops from cart paths ground under repair etc.. four lift clean and place in wet conditions and finally if and where your ball goes ob you must drop within bounds 1 stroke penalty just like a hazard,but with the ob you must drop and don't get the option of hitting it because it's ob.

Just where do you drop under your 'dropping' rules?

What do you do if you can't find your ball?

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

Just where do you drop under your 'dropping' rules?

What do you do if you can't find your ball?


If teeing off, I thought you hit a provisional at a 2 shot penalty.

The dropping rules regarding hazards and OBs always somewhat eluded me. I thought point of entry is where you perform the drop unless otherwise specified by the course rules.

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