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MEfree

Following the Rules= A Good Way to Piss People Off

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While an unsolicited explanation to the average golfer of all the rules that they are breaking might be a more sure-fire way to piss people off, following ALL the RULES ALL THE TIME is sure to create some awkward situations when you are playing with less rules conscious players (the majority of the golfing public IMO).

On Sunday, I was grouped with a threesome playing only the front nine and joined another threesome on the 16th tee.  I stood +3 at the time and proceeded to birdie 16 and par 17.  A birdie on the reachable par 5 18 would give me a 72, bettering my previous course best (the two 73s I shot at the Keystone River course last season).  Unfortunately, I pull hook my drive and it hits the cart path and takes a big bounce into the trees.  I then hit a provisional on the fairway close to the 150 marker.

Thinking that I could punch out and still make birdie if I find my first one, I look for and find it.  Unfortunately, I have no shot with thick trees in front of me and low hanging branches interfering with even a simple chip out.  There are no good drops within two club lengths and going straight back doesn't make it much easier as the open area about 20 yards back has nothing straight ahead and a less than clear chip out going sideways/backwards.  While in hindsight I would have been better off not looking for my original ball, my best option under the rules is to go back to the tee hitting 3.

The rest of the group has already hit their second shots and going back to the tee will put me about 400 yards behind them, so I try to chip out sideways but catch the low hanging branches and whiff.  I then announce that I am going to go back to the tee and hit another at which point one of the guys says that I already did that (with my provisional).  I explain that the provisional was no longer an option once I found my original, go back to the tee and make a par 5 on that ball for a triple bogey to card a legit 76.

All in all, the guys didn't show their frustration too much but made a couple comments about me travelling two miles to play the hole and not following all the rules themselves.

I have said this before, but will say it again- I think the rules of golf could be greatly simplified without changing the basic nature/challenge of the game.  The current rules are followed by so few golfers that following the rules makes you an oddball.

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Well i would say this, i would inform anybody who doesn't know you that you follow strict rules of golf, meaning you will take stroke and distance. In a time were that is becoming the slim minority, i think its a very good idea to do so, this way they know what to expect. No sense in getting into an arguement over it later one. At least this way you can say you warned them ahead of time.

I agree, following strict rules of golf is becoming such a minority you do get strange looks from people who have no clue what your talking about. As a person who's played competative golf at some point in my life, i understand why you had to go back. But there is probably a ton of people who wouldn't get that concept because they are ignorant to the rules of golf.

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If I read your sequence of events right you weren't allowed to go back to the tee and hit another one after you had the whiff for your second shot. Once you did that you had to play from the spot in the trees.

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Originally Posted by k14

If I read your sequence of events right you weren't allowed to go back to the tee and hit another one after you had the whiff for your second shot. Once you did that you had to play from the spot in the trees.

Trying to play by the rules can sometimes be harder than we think. You were right except that you decided to ignore the whiff. And, you'd have been better off not finding your first ball but alas, you do need to look for it. You can not simply ignore it and play your provisional.

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Originally Posted by MEfree

The rest of the group has already hit their second shots and going back to the tee will put me about 400 yards behind them, so I try to chip out sideways but catch the low hanging branches and whiff.  I then announce that I am going to go back to the tee and hit another at which point one of the guys says that I already did that (with my provisional).  I explain that the provisional was no longer an option once I found my original, go back to the tee and make a par 5 on that ball for a triple bogey to card a legit 76.

I have been thinking about this as well. Once you whiff, what are your new relief options or are they the same? I am thinking your option to go back to the tee is now void. Does anyone know for sure?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

While an unsolicited explanation to the average golfer of all the rules that they are breaking might be a more sure-fire way to piss people off, following ALL the RULES ALL THE TIME is sure to create some awkward situations when you are playing with less rules conscious players (the majority of the golfing public IMO).

On Sunday, I was grouped with a threesome playing only the front nine and joined another threesome on the 16th tee.  I stood +3 at the time and proceeded to birdie 16 and par 17.  A birdie on the reachable par 5 18 would give me a 72, bettering my previous course best (the two 73s I shot at the Keystone River course last season).  Unfortunately, I pull hook my drive and it hits the cart path and takes a big bounce into the trees.  I then hit a provisional on the fairway close to the 150 marker.

Thinking that I could punch out and still make birdie if I find my first one, I look for and find it.  Unfortunately, I have no shot with thick trees in front of me and low hanging branches interfering with even a simple chip out.  There are no good drops within two club lengths and going straight back doesn't make it much easier as the open area about 20 yards back has nothing straight ahead and a less than clear chip out going sideways/backwards.  While in hindsight I would have been better off not looking for my original ball, my best option under the rules is to go back to the tee hitting 3.

The rest of the group has already hit their second shots and going back to the tee will put me about 400 yards behind them, so I try to chip out sideways but catch the low hanging branches and whiff.  I then announce that I am going to go back to the tee and hit another at which point one of the guys says that I already did that (with my provisional).  I explain that the provisional was no longer an option once I found my original, go back to the tee and make a par 5 on that ball for a triple bogey to card a legit 76.

All in all, the guys didn't show their frustration too much but made a couple comments about me travelling two miles to play the hole and not following all the rules themselves.

I have said this before, but will say it again- I think the rules of golf could be greatly simplified without changing the basic nature/challenge of the game.  The current rules are followed by so few golfers that following the rules makes you an oddball.

Once you whiffed in making a stroke at the original ball, returning to the tee was no longer an option.  If it was a water hazard, then you would still have the option of returning to the spot where you last played a stroke from outside of the hazard, but that option does not exist under Rule 28 because the ball lies through the green.  In this case I'd have simply picked up and marked my ESC score for handicap.  That appears to be where you were headed anyway.  That may not be as satisfying for you, but it's realistically the score you would have most likely have ended up with, and that's how you correctly score for handicap on an unfinished hole.  Also, your playing companions would have had no reason to be disgruntled.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Trying to play by the rules can sometimes be harder than we think. You were right except that you decided to ignore the whiff. And, you'd have been better off not finding your first ball but alas, you do need to look for it. You can not simply ignore it and play your provisional.

Actually its more technical then that,

"Q. At a par-3 hole, a player hits his tee shot into dense woods. He then hits a provisional ball which comes to rest near the hole. In view of the position of the provisional ball, the player does not wish to find his original ball. He does not search for it and walks directly towards his provisional ball to continue play with it. His opponent (or fellow-competitor) believes it would be beneficial to him if the original ball were found. May the opponent (or fellow-competitor) search for the player's ball?

A. Yes. In equity (Rule 1-4), he may search for five minutes provided that in the meantime the player does not play a stroke with the provisional ball, it being nearer the hole than the place where the original ball is likely to be. The player is entitled to play such a stroke. If he does, the original ball is then lost under Rule 27-2b and further search for it would serve no purpose. In match play, if the player so proceeds and his provisional ball is closer to the hole than his opponent's ball, his opponent may recall the stroke (Rule 10-1c). However, recalling the stroke would not change the status of the original ball, which was lost when the provisional ball was played out of turn. See also Decision 27-2c/2 ."

So yes, a player doesn't have to search for a ball. But an opponent can. He is then given 5 minutes to complete this task, or before the other player plays his ball. Though if the player plays out of turn, lets say he hits in the tap in. He has still played that ball and the first ball is out of play. Though the opponent then can go by Rule 10 and have him replace that tap-in, negating the stroke, and wait for his turn. But it doesn't stop the fact that the provisional was played and the 1st ball deemed lost.

This happened to Phil a few years ago, he jacked a tee shot left. He told people not to go find it. He was going to go play his provisional. Well a spectator found his ball before 5 minutes and before he played his provisional. Phil had to go back to the tee box and play a new ball.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

Once you whiffed in making a stroke at the original ball, returning to the tee was no longer an option.  If it was a water hazard, then you would still have the option of returning to the spot where you last played a stroke from outside of the hazard, but that option does not exist under Rule 28 because the ball lies through the green.  In this case I'd have simply picked up and marked my ESC score for handicap.  That appears to be where you were headed anyway.  That may not be as satisfying for you, but it's realistically the score you would have most likely have ended up with, and that's how you correctly score for handicap on an unfinished hole.

Right.  While I commend Mefree for wanting to play by all of the rules, all of the time, it seems like in this case there was nothing left to gain.  He wasn't going to shoot a personal best.  Nothing he did after that whiff was going to result in anything under an ESC score anyway, so I would have just gone to the ball in the fairway to finish the hole, then mark my 7, and go home.  I would have actually taken it one step further and just counted my provisional as a second tee shot.  As soon as I decided that my best option was to go re-tee, I would have, in the interest of time and out of courtesy to others, just played the one that was already in the fairway.  I understand that that would not fly in a tournament, but in a casual round I'm playing by myself where nothing is on the line, the fact that I've already hit a shot from the correct location would be good enough.

To the OP and in regards to the title of the thread ... I think it was probably mostly due to the fact that you only joined up two holes prior.  It frequently happens that I hit a very poor drive on an early hole, and when playing with strangers it's also not uncommon for them to urge me to take a mulligan.  Once they realize that I'm one of "those guys" who doesn't take mulligans and preferred lies, they stop bothering.

Quote:

This happened to Phil a few years ago, he jacked a tee shot left. He told people not to go find it. He was going to go play his provisional. Well a spectator found his ball before 5 minutes and before he played his provisional. Phil had to go back to the tee box and play a new ball.

Boy, sometimes I remember the randomest things.  This was at Torrey Pines, and it was on the 17th hole, I believe during a playoff, with Frank Lickliter.  I don't remember the year, but I'll guess somewhere in the 05-06-07 range.  And it wasn't actually a spectator, because the canyon to the left of the fairway isn't outside the ropes, but rather, a good samaritan marshal - or some other 'helpful' person with a badge.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Once you whiffed in making a stroke at the original ball, returning to the tee was no longer an option.  If it was a water hazard, then you would still have the option of returning to the spot where you last played a stroke from outside of the hazard, but that option does not exist under Rule 28 because the ball lies through the green.  In this case I'd have simply picked up and marked my ESC score for handicap.  That appears to be where you were headed anyway.  That may not be as satisfying for you, but it's realistically the score you would have most likely have ended up with, and that's how you correctly score for handicap on an unfinished hole.  Also, your playing companions would have had no reason to be disgruntled.

Rick,

If this were to be played out according to the rules, he could of declared unplayable before the stroke attempt and returned to tee for relief (Provisional is not a factor). Once he whiffed he was in the Kevin Na zone and really limited the options available since the relief from the unplayable may be just as bad. Is this correct?

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Once you whiffed in making a stroke at the original ball, returning to the tee was no longer an option.  If it was a water hazard, then you would still have the option of returning to the spot where you last played a stroke from outside of the hazard, but that option does not exist under Rule 28 because the ball lies through the green.  In this case I'd have simply picked up and marked my ESC score for handicap.  That appears to be where you were headed anyway.  That may not be as satisfying for you, but it's realistically the score you would have most likely have ended up with, and that's how you correctly score for handicap on an unfinished hole.  Also, your playing companions would have had no reason to be disgruntled.

Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Right.  While I commend Mefree for wanting to play by all of the rules, all of the time, it seems like in this case there was nothing left to gain.  He wasn't going to shoot a personal best.  Nothing he did after that whiff was going to result in anything under an ESC score anyway, so I would have just gone to the ball in the fairway to finish the hole, then mark my 7, and go home.  I would have actually taken it one step further and just counted my provisional as a second tee shot.  As soon as I decided that my best option was to go re-tee, I would have, in the interest of time and out of courtesy to others, just played the one that was already in the fairway.

I'm with these two guys.  I don't really understand the point of playing strict rules of golf under these specific circumstances. This was not a tournament where the actual gross/net score counts for something, and when you are assured of no longer posting a score better than allowable under ESC, pace of play takes precedence in my opinion.  Considering the guy already hit a provisional, there is no doubt that I would have played that ball and posted my "7" regardless of what happened with the 2nd ball.

It cannot be stressed enough, this round/score mattered for nothing other than handicap purposes.  Therefore when ESC comes into play, wasting another 5 minutes trying to adhere strictly to the rules of golf is unnecessary, IMO.  If he still had a chance of a personal best, my opinion would change.

I respect guys who play by the rules though.  I get tired of hearing people I'm partnered with tell me about how they sometimes score in the 70s when they clearly don't have the game for it, but then notice they use foot wedges and take mulligans or gimmes.  I just prefer that in casual rounds, guys who strictly adhere to rules do so while paying mind to pace of play as well.  In other words, if you're the kinda guy who will go back to the tee from the fairway during a saturday morning round with buddies, then always hit a provisional when there's any uncertainty.

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

I'm with these two guys.  I don't really understand the point of playing strict rules of golf under these specific circumstances.  This was not a tournament where the actual gross/net score counts for something, and when you are assured of no longer posting a score better than allowable under ESC, pace of play takes precedence in my opinion.  Considering the guy already hit a provisional, there is no doubt that I would have played that ball and posted my "7" regardless of what happened with the 2nd ball.

It cannot be stressed enough, this round/score mattered for nothing other than handicap purposes.  Therefore when ESC comes into play, wasting another 5 minutes trying to adhere strictly to the rules of golf is unnecessary, IMO.  If he still had a chance of a personal best, my opinion would change.

I respect guys who play by the rules though.  I get tired of hearing people I'm partnered with tell me about how they sometimes score in the 70s when they clearly don't have the game for it, but then notice they use foot wedges and take mulligans or gimmes.  I just prefer that in casual rounds, guys who strictly adhere to rules do so while paying mind to pace of play as well.  In other words, if you're the kinda guy who will go back to the tee from the fairway during a saturday morning round with buddies, then always hit a provisional when there's any uncertainty.

bolded is called common logic...it is why people get po'ed at guys playing "the rules of golf" if you are in a tournament fine, if you are in a big money game and that is the way you all play fine, if you meet up with a couple of singles or join a randome group use your head.

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

I'm with these two guys.  I don't really understand the point of playing strict rules of golf under these specific circumstances.  This was not a tournament where the actual gross/net score counts for something, and when you are assured of no longer posting a score better than allowable under ESC, pace of play takes precedence in my opinion.  Considering the guy already hit a provisional, there is no doubt that I would have played that ball and posted my "7" regardless of what happened with the 2nd ball.

It cannot be stressed enough, this round/score mattered for nothing other than handicap purposes.  Therefore when ESC comes into play, wasting another 5 minutes trying to adhere strictly to the rules of golf is unnecessary, IMO.  If he still had a chance of a personal best, my opinion would change.

I respect guys who play by the rules though.  I get tired of hearing people I'm partnered with tell me about how they sometimes score in the 70s when they clearly don't have the game for it, but then notice they use foot wedges and take mulligans or gimmes.  I just prefer that in casual rounds, guys who strictly adhere to rules do so while paying mind to pace of play as well.  In other words, if you're the kinda guy who will go back to the tee from the fairway during a saturday morning round with buddies, then always hit a provisional when there's any uncertainty.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

bolded is called common logic...it is why people get po'ed at guys playing "the rules of golf" if you are in a tournament fine, if you are in a big money game and that is the way you all play fine, if you meet up with a couple of singles or join a randome group use your head.


Well, I haven't read anywhere yet where he said going back to the tee caused some type of inconvenience to other players on the course. I don't think anyone can just assume that he went back to the tee and held up a group, or groups, resulting in negatively impacting the pace of play for others.

I agree with bplewis in that I would tend to be more lenient on myself with rules if I group up with others, or play a casual round. If we are playing for $10+ a hole though, you're damn right we're playing by the USGA bible. A typical Saturday outing with my boys in this situation would have simply resulted in a 7, even if a few drinks are on the line.

I guess I am just adaptable and flexible to the rules though. I've had strict USGA thumpers tell me I am not playing golf when I don't follow the commandments to a "T" while playing an unofficial round, to which I can only reply with a tip of my beer and a laugh. I won't get on anyone who does decide to do so though, so long as they are not being overly dramatic about it and repeatedly holding my game up - again, when it is an unofficial round.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Actually its more technical then that,

"Q.At a par-3 hole, a player hits his tee shot into dense woods. He then hits a provisional ball which comes to rest near the hole. In view of the position of the provisional ball, the player does not wish to find his original ball. He does not search for it and walks directly towards his provisional ball to continue play with it. His opponent (or fellow-competitor) believes it would be beneficial to him if the original ball were found. May the opponent (or fellow-competitor) search for the player's ball?

A.Yes. In equity (Rule 1-4), he may search for five minutes provided that in the meantime the player does not play a stroke with the provisional ball, it being nearer the hole than the place where the original ball is likely to be. The player is entitled to play such a stroke. If he does, the original ball is then lost under Rule 27-2b and further search for it would serve no purpose. In match play, if the player so proceeds and his provisional ball is closer to the hole than his opponent's ball, his opponent may recall the stroke (Rule 10-1c). However, recalling the stroke would not change the status of the original ball, which was lost when the provisional ball was played out of turn. See also Decision 27-2c/2."

So yes, a player doesn't have to search for a ball. But an opponent can. He is then given 5 minutes to complete this task, or before the other player plays his ball. Though if the player plays out of turn, lets say he hits in the tap in. He has still played that ball and the first ball is out of play. Though the opponent then can go by Rule 10 and have him replace that tap-in, negating the stroke, and wait for his turn. But it doesn't stop the fact that the provisional was played and the 1st ball deemed lost.

This happened to Phil a few years ago, he jacked a tee shot left. He told people not to go find it. He was going to go play his provisional. Well a spectator found his ball before 5 minutes and before he played his provisional. Phil had to go back to the tee box and play a new ball.

Thanks. I was "sure" you had to a least fain an attempt at looking. Seems like another odd rule since it sort of gives you the choice to use your provisional instead of a clear objective situation.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Quote:

Originally Posted by saevel25

Actually its more technical then that,

"Q.At a par-3 hole, a player hits his tee shot into dense woods. He then hits a provisional ball which comes to rest near the hole. In view of the position of the provisional ball, the player does not wish to find his original ball. He does not search for it and walks directly towards his provisional ball to continue play with it. His opponent (or fellow-competitor) believes it would be beneficial to him if the original ball were found. May the opponent (or fellow-competitor) search for the player's ball?

A.Yes. In equity (Rule 1-4), he may search for five minutes provided that in the meantime the player does not play a stroke with the provisional ball, it being nearer the hole than the place where the original ball is likely to be. The player is entitled to play such a stroke. If he does, the original ball is then lost under Rule 27-2b and further search for it would serve no purpose. In match play, if the player so proceeds and his provisional ball is closer to the hole than his opponent's ball, his opponent may recall the stroke (Rule 10-1c). However, recalling the stroke would not change the status of the original ball, which was lost when the provisional ball was played out of turn. See also Decision 27-2c/2."

So yes, a player doesn't have to search for a ball. But an opponent can. He is then given 5 minutes to complete this task, or before the other player plays his ball. Though if the player plays out of turn, lets say he hits in the tap in. He has still played that ball and the first ball is out of play. Though the opponent then can go by Rule 10 and have him replace that tap-in, negating the stroke, and wait for his turn. But it doesn't stop the fact that the provisional was played and the 1st ball deemed lost.

This happened to Phil a few years ago, he jacked a tee shot left. He told people not to go find it. He was going to go play his provisional. Well a spectator found his ball before 5 minutes and before he played his provisional. Phil had to go back to the tee box and play a new ball.

Thanks. I was "sure" you had to a least fain an attempt at looking. Seems like another odd rule since it sort of gives you the choice to use your provisional instead of a clear objective situation.

It really isn't making a choice between two balls though and that's all the rules care about.   Since you don't know the precise situation of the original ball, you are simply choosing to not find out.  Once the original ball is found, then you lose the option of playing with the provisional ball because rules do not allow you to choose between two balls in play.  The rules don't allow a player to have more than one ball in play at a time.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

It really isn't making a choice between two balls though and that's all the rules care about.   Since you don't know the precise situation of the original ball, you are simply choosing to not find out.  Once the original ball is found, then you lose the option of playing with the provisional ball because rules do not allow you to choose between two balls in play.  The rules don't allow a player to have more than one ball in play at a time.

I understand you and the rule. However, as you outlined, if your provisional is awesome, you can choose not to look for the first ball and play the provisional before anyone else finds it. If your provisional stinks, you are likely to spend the five minutes searching. Sounds sort of like a choice to me. Wouldn't be the only rule I think is a bad rule.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

It really isn't making a choice between two balls though and that's all the rules care about.   Since you don't know the precise situation of the original ball, you are simply choosing to not find out.  Once the original ball is found, then you lose the option of playing with the provisional ball because rules do not allow you to choose between two balls in play.  The rules don't allow a player to have more than one ball in play at a time.

I understand you and the rule. However, as you outlined, if your provisional is awesome, you can choose not to look for the first ball and play the provisional before anyone else finds it. If your provisional stinks, you are likely to spend the five minutes searching. Sounds sort of like a choice to me. Wouldn't be the only rule I think is a bad rule.

It's only a choice of procedures, not of balls.  There are lots of places in the rules which allow a choice of procedure.  You may not have any way of knowing that your original ball has found the perfect lie with a clear opening and choose to continue play with the provisional ball.  That is the choice you make.   If I believe that there is any reasonable possibility that my original ball may be playable, I will at least make a perfunctory search before playing on with the provisional.  At other times, there is no reason to even make the effort.  That is the only choice you are making.

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after your second shot (wifff) I beleive you may use the unplayable rule and drop where you played the shot. then from there use the unplayable again to go back to your tee shot. there you will play your 5th shot.

I'll have to check this but It reminds a bell.

actually no, unplayable rule and decision 28/5 shows that your only option after the second shot (for example) is to use the unplayable rule on a lateral basis as many times as necessary to get releif and continu the hole.

you could have probably finished your round over 100 lol

28/5
Régression selon la Règle de la balle injouable
Q.
Un joueur joue un coup du point A vers le point B. Le point B
est dans une zone de
laquelle il est très difficile de sortir la balle. Le joueur envisage de
considérer
la balle
injouable mais ceci impliquerait une pénalité de coup et distance (Règle 28a).
Dropper derrière selon la Règle 28b est en effet impossible à
cause d'une clôture
de hors limites et dropper à
l'intérieur
de deux longueurs de club selon la Règle 28c
n'est pas faisable parce que cela exigerait un nombre considérable de drops pour
se dégager de la zone. Le joueur joue du point B
; la balle avance de
quelques
mètres et s'immobilise au point C, où elle est manifestement injouable. Selon la
Règle 28a, le joueur peut
-
il
:
(a)
considérer
la balle injouable au point C et dropper une balle avec une pénalité
d'un coup au point B, et ensuite
(b)
considérer
la balle i
njouable au point B et dropper une balle, avec une pénalité
supplémentaire d'un coup, au point A
?
R.
Non. Selon la Règle 28a, le joueur est autorisé à dropper une balle seulement à
l'emplacement d'où il a joué son dernier coup (point B).
Dans les circonstances mentionnées, la seule alternative du joueur est d'invoquer la
Règle 28c un nombre de fois suffisant (en commençant au point C et en droppant la
balle latéralement à
l'intérieur
de deux longueurs de club chaque fois) pour amener la balle dans une position jouable.

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    • I think I'd rather sweat my butt off rather than have a cramp in my back! I got cramps in my lower back many, many years ago. I couldn't sit down, lay down, stand up, or do anything! It was pure agony! Give me sweating anytime! At least I can move when I sweat.
    • My review/write up of the round at Pinehurst #2. Overall, Pinehurst #2 is a fantastic experience and one that I would recommend for any serious golfer. The course is incredible. The atmosphere is great, too, with people watching you tee off on 1 and finishing on 18. We got to Pinehurst about an hour and a half before our tee time. Found the pro shop after wandering down the memorabilia hallway, including the Payne Stewart stuff from 1999. The pro shop could put a Golf Galaxy to shame with the selection of merchandise it had. You name it, the shop had the Pinehurst logo on it. It took a herculean effort to avoid buying everything in the damn store, because it was impressive. Ended up with a ball mark, a hat, and a yardage book. Bullet dodged. (You're going to be a great dad!) (1999 US Open winning putt) (Trophy Case) We go out to the driving range, and fog is rolling in. We were hoping it would lift before our round started, but it gave the place a cool, eerie vibe to it. After playing around with the FlightScope Mevo at the range a bit, we headed out to the tee. (Looking out from the pro shop, driving range is behind that building) (Looking back at the clubhouse from the practice green) We played in a cart. It was cart path only. Your options are to either take a cart or take a caddy and walk. You cannot walk the course carrying your own bag. We took the cart because we didn’t want to spend the extra $60 plus tip on the caddy. In hindsight, I would recommend taking a caddy. I ended up walking down the fairway on quite a few holes just to soak in the experience more. Having a caddy isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but I would put up with it next time. Plus, the extra $60 isn’t much when considering the greens fee. We started on the 10th hole, which is a 580 yard par 5. And the fog hadn’t lifted yet, so we weren’t sure where exactly to hit to. But it lifted when we got to the tee box on 11, so it didn’t matter much. Teeing off on 10 was fine, but it was a little anti-climactic to end on 9 instead of 18. On the other hand, I thought the front 9 was better than the back 9. (Number 10 tee, with fog) I don’t really want to go through the course hole by hole, or bore you with how many bunkers I was in and how much my short game sucked. I’ll give general thoughts and highlight a hole or two that I liked. Before getting to that, let’s get this out here: I played like crap. But I want to come back and play that course again, and if I’m ever near Pinehurst again, I will go out of my way to play it. It was awesome. The only other US Open course I’ve played is Torrey Pines, and Pinehurst #2 blows Torrey out of the water. Anyways, I ended up shooting a 95 and only hitting 5 GIR. I also had 34 putts. I had one lost ball. That doesn’t make add up, you say. Well, read on… The course is amazing. It is wide off the tee, and there’s not really much danger off the tee, except finding your ball in a tuft of wispy grass. I hit 11 of 14 fairways. Ask anybody who played with me at the Newport Cup – I’m not that consistent off the tee. It was a slightly better day that usual for me on that, but the fairways were still very generous. If you missed the fairway, you were in a sandy waste area that I’m sure you all remember from the US Open. Generally, you would catch a good lie in these areas. Unless you found the wispy long grass there, which I did once. I was almost completely stymied by it and ended up just having to whack at it and hope I got a better lie with my next shot. (In the wispy grass. The green direction is the top of the photo. Not really many options here.) The greens themselves aren’t actually too hard. They are domed/turtlebacked and are quite intimidating from the fairway. They look really small, although I didn’t think they were all that small when you get up there. When you get on the green, putting isn’t that bad. We estimated they were running about a 12. Mid-South supposedly ran at an 11 when played there in the Newport Cup, and these greens were noticeably faster. They aren’t tiered or anything like that. Just sloped. Like ski slopes.   That said, these greens make the course difficult. If you miss the green in the wrong spot, bogey is the best you can do, and you’ll make a lot of double bogeys. If you are in the wrong bunker, you are completely screwed. I ended up in 8 bunkers – without hitting a single fairway bunker. Twice I went from one bunker to another around the green. I easily lost 10 strokes because of bunkers. The mistake I made was in attacking too many flags from the bunkers instead of playing to the center of the green. If you’re not a superb sand player, ignore the flag. I want to go back and make myself play just onto the center of the green from the greenside sand, because I would easily be in the 80s if I did that. If you’re not in a greenside bunker but you miss the green, you have options. There’s no rough on the course, so you can putt almost everything. Which I did, but my putting sucks, so it didn’t work as well as it should have. But you can generally putt, pitch, or chip from almost anywhere around the greens. Getting the speed right is the difficult part. I never flew a green, but it looked like beyond the greens is dead. I came up short several times, which was where your miss needed to be on most holes. I generally hit the ball like crap on approaches, with some exceptions. I was mentally and physically spent from the Newport Cup, I think. My irons were 20 yards shorter than the day before. My decision making was, well, non-existent. And this is a course that demands precision when approaching the greens. Not the greatest formula. With that out of the way, onto the holes. I want to highlight a few cool ones. 18 was my favorite. The setting was so cool, with the clubhouse in the background and people watching you play around the green. Selecting a good line off the tee was key – right side of the fairway yields a shorter approach and more fairway to work with. I managed to find the right side of the fairway off the tee. I then got one of our playing partners to take some pictures of me hitting my approach, and the pictures are so cool. 18 was the Payne Stewart pin position when we played it, and I roped a 7 iron to about 25 feet. There was a crowd, and they would applaud good shots around the green. With the clubhouse there, it was astonishing. (Addressing the ball on 18) (Backswing complete on 18) (Follow through on 18. This photo gives me goosebumps, and that shot was pure.) 4 and 5 were visually stunning as well. 4 is a long par 4 that winds around and into a little low spot on the course. It’s the most remote part of the course, surrounded by some trees and multimillion-dollar homes. 5 plays back up the hill as a par 5, and it’s visually tricky. It looks like your line from the tee is the left side, but that brings a fairway bunker and the waste area into play. You cannot see the extent of the waste area from the tee. You want to favor the left side to get a shorter shot into the green, because it’s a reachable par 5. That brings the waste area and the lottery of getting a good lie in it into play. (Looking back on the 5th green. You can sort of see how domed the greens are.) Finally, the par 3s are monsters. They all played over 160, and those menacing greens make the tee shots a lot more difficult than they should be. Phil and I both hit the longest one in regulation, which was awesome. My tee shot hit the front of the green and was about 2 feet from rolling off the back because of the slope. That gives you an idea of how firm and severe the greens are. (My birdie putt on 6, which was playing at 205)   (Video of @phillyk's birdie putt on 6; he made par)   (Video of my birdie putt on 6 ... three putted) Some course pictures: (View up the first fairway, from the second tee box) (View up the 8th fairway) (View back down the fairway on hole 8 from the green) (Looking up the 13th hole from the tee) I will swallow my pride and admit that I played the wrong tees. We played the tips, which were 6900 yards. While I never had an issue of reaching the greens in regulation, I didn’t have a single wedge into a par 4 green. Like I said, I was mentally and physically spent from the Newport Cup, so I think playing a box up would have been more enjoyable. If I go back, I will play from the middle tees, which are about 6300 yards. I’ll have a lot more fun with the occasional wedge rather than the constant 6 irons I was hitting. By the way, I cannot fathom shooting a 65 from nearly 7600 like Martin Kaymer did at the US Open. This course is demanding, and it’s hard to believe that 65 could be had out there. I’m not an excellent golfer, but I’m an okay stick. The gap between me and him is a chasm that’s 50 miles wide and 10 miles deep. Do I have complaints? Two minor ones. First, it was less penal to go further offline off the tee. The long wispy grass came into play if you were still close to the fairway, but if you went way off line and ended up under a tree, you were going to get a better lie because there was only pinestraw there. I don’t like really bad misses getting penalized less than average misses. Also, the greenside sand was inconsistent. Some bunkers were like playing out of concrete. I hit a couple of sand shots expecting there to be sand and there was none (in full disclosure, there was a “local rule” that said the bunkers weren’t actually bunkers, but I played them like bunkers). Ultimately, hit the generous fairways and avoid the bunkers, and it isn’t an issue. These are minor quibbles.  We ended the round and went into the pro shop again. We then walked around outside for a little bit, taking some pictures in front of the Payne Stewart statue. We then had to leave pretty quickly to get to the airport. It would have been nice to stay a bit and have a beer while watching golfers come in. But that’s just a reason to come back… (Me at the Payne Stewart statue)
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