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bkuehn1952

Sprinkler Heads Adjacent to Green

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I had an interesting situation come up recently.  My ball was just off the green and putting was the only real choice.  Directly in my line was a sprinkler head, also just off the green.  Our caddies, all of whom were St. Andrews University students, agreed that since the sprinkler head was within 2 club lengths of the green as was my ball, I should get relief.  First time this has ever happened to me and I just accepted their interpretation.

I was vaguely aware of a recent Rule change related to greens and sprinkler heads but had not ever had occasion to figure out how to proceed.  It was nice having the caddies walk me through the process.  Hope they were right!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

I had an interesting situation come up recently.  My ball was just off the green and putting was the only real choice.  Directly in my line was a sprinkler head, also just off the green.  Our caddies, all of whom were St. Andrews University students, agreed that since the sprinkler head was within 2 club lengths of the green as was my ball, I should get relief.  First time this has ever happened to me and I just accepted their interpretation.

I was vaguely aware of a recent Rule change related to greens and sprinkler heads but had not ever had occasion to figure out how to proceed.  It was nice having the caddies walk me through the process.  Hope they were right!


You only get free relief as you describe if there is a local rule allowing it.

From http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Appendix-I/:

Quote:

As provided in Rule 33-8a , the Committee may make and publish Local Rules for local abnormal conditions if they are consistent with the policy established in this Appendix...

...

5-d. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green

Providing relief from intervention by immovable obstructions on or within two club-lengths of the putting green when the ball lies within two club-lengths of the immovable obstruction.

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I've always been under the impression that you only get relief from sprinkler heads if your ball is on them or they interfere with your actual stance.

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At my course there is a local rule that states if the sprinkler is within 2 club lengths of the green and your ball is within 2 club lengths of the sprinkle and in the intended line of putt you are able to take relief without penalty.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

I've always been under the impression that you only get relief from sprinkler heads if your ball is on them or they interfere with your actual stance.

That's correct unless the course has a local rule. I've never seen a local rule for it, however.

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Originally Posted by bkuehn1952

I had an interesting situation come up recently.  My ball was just off the green and putting was the only real choice.  Directly in my line was a sprinkler head, also just off the green.  Our caddies, all of whom were St. Andrews University students, agreed that since the sprinkler head was within 2 club lengths of the green as was my ball, I should get relief.  First time this has ever happened to me and I just accepted their interpretation.

I was vaguely aware of a recent Rule change related to greens and sprinkler heads but had not ever had occasion to figure out how to proceed.  It was nice having the caddies walk me through the process.  Hope they were right!

This has been a long standing authorised Local Rule. The caddies were only right if the course has the local rule in force.

I assume you were playing in Scotland where it is commonly used on links courses. Less so in England on parkland courses where chipping from the fringe is easier than putting and putting off the fringe is easier on links courses

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For some reason I am unable to upload the photo that I took of the back of my course's scorecard, but here is what it says.

Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green

Rule 24-2. If a ball lies off the putting green but not in a hazard and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball intervenes with the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief without penalty.

Not sure why it says Rule 24-2 though?  Rule 24-2 is about immovable obstructions but only refers to stance and swing, not intended line of play.

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

For some reason I am unable to upload the photo that I took of the back of my course's scorecard, but here is what it says.

Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green

Rule 24-2. If a ball lies off the putting green but not in a hazard and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball intervenes with the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief without penalty.

Not sure why it says Rule 24-2 though?  Rule 24-2 is about immovable obstructions but only refers to stance and swing, not intended line of play.


Maybe because the local rule is an exception to 24-2, but yeah, that is a bit odd.

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

I assume you were playing in Scotland where it is commonly used on links courses.

Correct.  Kingsbarns was the course and since the caddies all regularly worked there, my thought was they likely knew the Local Rules in effect.

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

For some reason I am unable to upload the photo that I took of the back of my course's scorecard, but here is what it says.

Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green

Rule 24-2. If a ball lies off the putting green but not in a hazard and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball intervenes with the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief without penalty.

Not sure why it says Rule 24-2 though?  Rule 24-2 is about immovable obstructions but only refers to stance and swing, not intended line of play.

The preamble to the local rule refers to 24-2.

“Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be taken under Rule 24-2 .

In addition, if a ball lies through the green and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball intervenes on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief as follows: ..........

But I can't understand why they abbreviated the proper wording.

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