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glfgryhwk

Convert Out of Bounds to Lateral Water Hazard

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On my home course there are several holes that are marked with out of bounds stakes and/or white lines.  Yet the O.B. on each of these holes is still part of the club's property.  Most of the areas marked as O.B. are wetlands.  As I understand the suggestions from the USGA on course setup, they do not like O.B unless absolutely necessary.  I would like to change these holes to be lateral water hazards in place of the O.B. markers.  I know the 'committee' can establish it's own local rules concerning hazards, free drops, etc.  Is there any reason why these O.B. holes should not be changed to lateral water hazards (red stakes and lines)?  I plan to propose this change to the club's board of directors.

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Originally Posted by glfgryhwk

On my home course there are several holes that are marked with out of bounds stakes and/or white lines.  Yet the O.B. on each of these holes is still part of the club's property.  Most of the areas marked as O.B. are wetlands.  As I understand the suggestions from the USGA on course setup, they do not like O.B unless absolutely necessary.  I would like to change these holes to be lateral water hazards in place of the O.B. markers.  I know the 'committee' can establish it's own local rules concerning hazards, free drops, etc.  Is there any reason why these O.B. holes should not be changed to lateral water hazards (red stakes and lines)?  I plan to propose this change to the club's board of directors.

Your homework will pay off. If you haven't already done so, read the USGA publication, How to Conduct a Competition , especially the chapter on course marking.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by glfgryhwk View Post

On my home course there are several holes that are marked with out of bounds stakes and/or white lines.  Yet the O.B. on each of these holes is still part of the club's property.  Most of the areas marked as O.B. are wetlands.  As I understand the suggestions from the USGA on course setup, they do not like O.B unless absolutely necessary.  I would like to change these holes to be lateral water hazards in place of the O.B. markers.  I know the 'committee' can establish it's own local rules concerning hazards, free drops, etc.  Is there any reason why these O.B. holes should not be changed to lateral water hazards (red stakes and lines)?  I plan to propose this change to the club's board of directors.

It is doable if those areas truly meet the definition of a water hazard.  If not, it is improper to mark the area as a lateral hazard.

From the definitions section of the Rules:

Quote:
A “ water hazard ’’ is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (whether or not containing water) and anything of a similar nature on the course . All ground and water within the margin of a water hazard are part of the water hazard .

So if your wetlands meets this definition you would be OK, otherwise not.

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Thank you very much.  The publication is very helpful.  It seems it is up to us to determine if the area is O.B. or a lateral water hazard.  On our course the areas meet both definitions.

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All the areas are designated wetlands by the Army Corp of Engineers and governed by our local Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

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Originally Posted by glfgryhwk

All the areas are designated wetlands by the Army Corp of Engineers and governed by our local Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

You might suggest to the Committee that the area be properly designated as a Lateral Water Hazard from which play is prohibited.

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Originally Posted by glfgryhwk

All the areas are designated wetlands by the Army Corp of Engineers and governed by our local Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

What would make the most sense would be to designate them as Lateral water hazards and as environmentally sensitive areas where play is prohibited (it's even allowable to prohibit entry to retrieve a ball).  That is, mark with a red stake with a green top.  That way they play as a lateral hazard so it's a mandatory one stroke penalty and a 2 clublength drop from the margin.  It's a much fairer way to designate such areas.  I've played a number of such courses.

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I plan to make the areas lateral water hazards (red stakes/red lines).  I can't declare the areas environmentally sensitive because they have not been designated as such by the Army Corp of Engineers or whichever governing body is responsible for the designation.  Being designated wetlands does not automatically mean environmentally sensitive in the strictest sense of the definition.

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You're gonna involve the US Army in golf course management?  Seems unwise to me. They can really f**k up the waterways in the name of progress, or in the name of boondoggle.

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You're gonna involve the US Army in golf course management?  Seems unwise to me. They can really f**k up the waterways in the name of progress, or in the name of boondoggle.

Get with the program. Your remarks are uncalled for.

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Originally Posted by joekelly

You're gonna involve the US Army in golf course management?  Seems unwise to me. They can really f**k up the waterways in the name of progress, or in the name of boondoggle.

I believe you misinterpreted my comments.  I stated it takes the Army Corp of Engineers or some other governing body to designated a wetlands area as 'environmentally sensitive'.  I have no intention of contacting any outside agency about our golf course.

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On my home course there are several holes that are marked with out of bounds stakes and/or white lines.  Yet the O.B. on each of these holes is still part of the club's property.  Most of the areas marked as O.B. are wetlands.  As I understand the suggestions from the USGA on course setup, they do not like O.B unless absolutely necessary.  I would like to change these holes to be lateral water hazards in place of the O.B. markers.  I know the 'committee' can establish it's own local rules concerning hazards, free drops, etc.  Is there any reason why these O.B. holes should not be changed to lateral water hazards (red stakes and lines)?  I plan to propose this change to the club's board of directors.

Would'nt changing the out of bounds areas to lateral hazards not affect the slope & course ratings?

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Would'nt changing the out of bounds areas to lateral hazards not affect the slope & course ratings?

Good question.  Though probably not because there still is a penalty involved and the playing of the course is not significantly changed.  A member of my committee is involved with the state golf association and he will most likely know the answer.  Thanks.

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Would'nt changing the out of bounds areas to lateral hazards not affect the slope & course ratings?

It depends. OB certainly counts more 'difficulty' points but maybe not enough to affect the total rating score.

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Would'nt changing the out of bounds areas to lateral hazards not affect the slope & course ratings?

If the lateral hazard designations are not in accordance with the Rules of Golf they should be ignored by the rating association.  In the OPs case there still is some question in my mind as to whether the area at issue meets the definition of a water hazard.  If it does then it can be marked as a lateral and that is how the course should be rated.  If it doesn't then the lateral hazard marking should be ignored by the rating association.

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Dear Mr. ****** –

When the authorized golf association rates a golf course to establish a USGA Course rating and Slope the rating is done as if the course was in mid-season playing conditions, and that the golf course was marked in accordance with the Rules of Golf.  If the course is using preferred lies or markings that are not in accordance with the Rules of Golf those would not be considered when performing the course rating.

Thank you, **************, USGA

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Dear Mr. ****** –

When the authorized golf association rates a golf course to establish a USGA Course rating and Slope the rating is done as if the course was in mid-season playing conditions, and that the golf course was marked in accordance with the Rules of Golf.  If the course is using preferred lies or markings that are not in accordance with the Rules of Golf those would not be considered when performing the course rating.

Thank you, **************, USGA

Yep. That's how we do it.

Rating a course tomorrow, and another next week. It's fun.

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In the UK we would advise the course management that the course must be marked correctly otherwise handicap qualifying rounds would not be authorised. Depending on circumstances, we may or may not revisit. I know of no course that has failed to conform but cannot be sure that some have not made changes over the years. We also check and advise on their local rules. I have never known the management not appreciate nor act on our comments re marking or LRs.

However, all courses are required to give up their course (for a generous fee) for national or county events if required. (We only actually select decent tracks of course). If they want the prestige of holding such an event they wouldn't use illegal markings in case we came to do an informal inspection when selecting courses for the next couple of years.

Generally, if an assessor plays a faulty course at any time, he will have a casual chat with the management.

We often see poorly marked courses but very rarely see illegally marked ones.

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