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Should Divots Be Considered Ground Under Repair?


Foursum Golf

Should divot holes be considered GUR under the Rules of Golf?  

128 members have voted

  1. 1. Should divot holes be considered GUR under the Rules of Golf?



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3 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

No, you got what I said wrong. You can define and identify what is commonly defined as a divot hole, by its physical properties (general shape, depth minimum, etc...).

So we need rulers now to define a divot? 

3 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

In the same vein, not 100% of water-logged areas are called casual water:

No, but again casual water is an either/or situation. You either have visual water before or during taking your stance, or you do not. 

7 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Incidentally, as far as GUR, as you say, not all areas that aren't smooth are GUR, but 100% of those areas which are GUR (by whatever means they came out to be) provide relief opportunity.  The equity here is provided by the definition, be it physical (casual water or bunker completely filled with water) or manually defined (i.e. decided by the committee).

There is no equity relating GUR to divots. There is no equity equating bunkers filled with water to divots. 

If a course wants to take a collection area and mark it GUR because to many people played their and there are too many divots then fine. That is up to the course, not the golfer. 

In the case with the bunker full of water, the player either has to drop in the bunker or drop out of the bunker with a stroke penalty. 

In the end the most equal ruling would be an unplayable lie. If your ball is in a monster sized divot, and you don't want to play it than take an unplayable lie.

 

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I don't equate it to the fact that a good shot should result in a good result.   IMO the ground has been damaged and should be treated as such.  To say it's unfair isn't actually the point, at least to me.   Luck evens out in the end and you'll get a good bounce somewhere else if that's a concern.  

it an analysis of whether relief should be granted for a certain condition.   I think there are valid cases to consider.   Looks like the polling is 70%-30%, so I'm in the minority.  

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9 minutes ago, imsys0042 said:

I don't equate it to the fact that a good shot should result in a good result.   IMO the ground has been damaged and should be treated as such.  To say it's unfair isn't actually the point, at least to me.   Luck evens out in the end and you'll get a good bounce somewhere else if that's a concern.  

it an analysis of whether relief should be granted for a certain condition.   I think there are valid cases to consider.   Looks like the polling is 70%-30%, so I'm in the minority.  

Maybe the 70% reflects a desire to keep the game simpler, and not the fact that you are in the actual minority?

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1 minute ago, Lihu said:

Maybe the 70% reflects a desire to keep the game simpler, and not the fact that you are in the actual minority?

Simple doesn't always mean better.   ;-)

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1 minute ago, imsys0042 said:

Simple doesn't always mean better.   ;-)

I suppose I meant simpler in the sense that if you are playing for stakes, there no extra rule to interpret or agree to. I can imagine there being a pretty messy argument on the fairway if they allow divots as implicit GUR.

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31 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

So we need rulers now to define a divot? 

Or some other object commonly available during play, such as say a golf ball (which has a known size). Things are typically measured with implements of the game, such as club length, inside the leather (I know, not an official rule), length of scorecard for relief in LCP (also not an official rule), etc... 

35 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

No, but again casual water is an either/or situation. You either have visual water before or during taking your stance, or you do not. 

Except, the amount of weight necessary for that pooling of water to appear at one's feet is fixed and different players obviously have different weights, so you can argue that some players will see casual waters and others will not. I am not sure what the margin is exactly, but there is one. In practicality it makes no difference and the rule is fine as it is, but in theory, it is "unfair" (no equity in the weight needed for the pooling to appear).  See? If you split hairs, it can get a bit tricky.  Golf is largely ruled with some imprecision (eg point of entry in a hazard), except where it's not (eg a ball touching the green or a hazard line) to allow for practical implementation in an outdoors activity.

41 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

There is no equity relating GUR to divots. There is no equity equating bunkers filled with water to divots. 

Equity does not mean treating a GUR or a bunker filled water the same as a divot. It means that equal situations must be treated equitably (or equally) for all players, whether a benefit (relief) or a penalty, even for players who are not currently involved in this situation but may be later at that same spot, or at some other similar spot: protect the field.  It has nothing to do with equating things that re not the same, eg a casual water and a borrowing animal hole.  Those two conditions happen to have the same treatment, but that is NOT equity.

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2 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Except, the amount of weight necessary for that pooling of water to appear at one's feet is fixed and different players obviously have different weights, so you can argue that some players will see casual waters and others will not. 

Then eat some more Twinkies :) 
I doubt it's much. It doesn't take much to deform soggy ground. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Lihu said:

I suppose I meant simpler in the sense that if you are playing for stakes, there no extra rule to interpret or agree to. I can imagine there being a pretty messy argument on the fairway if they allow divots as implicit GUR.

Yes, I understand that.   And I don't think the rules will change on this.   I've seen enough arguments over other things though.   I don't consider it something that changes things much, IMO.

It might very well making the wrong decision (or no decision) for the right reason.

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57 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

In reading this, there seem to be a sizable minority (for all I know it could be a majority) of people who believe that a good shot should always have a good result, and this simply isn't the way I view golf. I don't believe this concept of "fair" was a part of the origins of the game, nor is it one of the principles behind the rules of golf. 

I don't believe that in general a good shot should always have a good result. But the concept of playable ground (meaning significantly different from the ground around it) was indeed included at the very beginning of the game with water puddles and animal holes. After all, the game in Scotland was played in soggy fields in inclement climes (by California standard) in uneven fields where water could accumulate quickly and then disappear, with plenty of rabbit holes, yet they recognized that trying to hit out of that water or out of those holes was impossible and you didn't have to give a stroke to your opponent to buy the right to get out of them!  Isn't that that the definition (in the English sense) of fair?

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7 minutes ago, imsys0042 said:

Yes, I understand that.   And I don't think the rules will change on this.   I've seen enough arguments over other things though.   I don't consider it something that changes things much, IMO.

It might very well making the wrong decision (or no decision) for the right reason.

I've been behind people playing for $$ per hole arguing over ball marks and cleat marks on the greens, and stuck on fairways waiting for them to pay off each hole on every single hole while other golfers joined my group on the fairway after letting them hit up. . .If such a rule were invoked I could imagine needing to wait a lot longer on the tee box as well?

I'm just thinking that the day an 8-some is faster than a 4-some is the day I wish there were even less exceptions and everyone needed to play as it lies or just lose the hole straight out in the vein of playing faster golf.

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7 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Then eat some more Twinkies :) 
I doubt it's much. It doesn't take much to deform soggy ground. 

Yes, but It depends on how soggy the ground is: that's the point. Between a 145lbs Justin Thomas and a Kevin Stadler or Tim Heron, pushing 300lbs, there is a difference. Under the right conditions (which I grant you is probably a small window), they will see things differently as it relates to casual water. But this being the PGA Tour, they will probably not play in these conditions or the drainage on those courses will be such that 10 minutes later it won't be an issue... ;)

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Wow, some of y'all had fun while I was away for the day… :-)

3 hours ago, Gunther said:

If you feel like it impedes your shot and are certain it's from a divot, take your relief.  If your playing partner does not agree, call for an official.  But, if it's a year old, I doubt you would actually try to take relief from it. 

Officials are not always available, and ultimately, golf remains a game that people should be able to govern themselves.

Hint: if your proposed rule very early on requires the statement "call for an official," that's a bad bad sign.

3 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

Defining as an unfilled hole or that it has to be touching sand in a sand-filled divot restricts that.

How big is a hole? How much sand is required? What if there's a depression that appears to be fully grassed in, but someone spilled some of the sand there too? Is that a divot?

What you don't seem to understand, or what you can't seem to get past, is that you can't define these things. How shallow can a hole be before it's not a hole? How do we know that a hole was made by a golf club and not, say, something else? How much sand? What kind of sand? Does sandy soil as found in many southern courses, or links type course, qualify? Why should the carelessness of someone to not fill a divot hole with sand penalize another player, while his opponent a few yards away gets relief from a divot hole because the guy who took that divot put sand in it? 

3 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

But there is certainly a way to define it, if golf's governing bodies wanted to address it, to restrict it to actual, valid occurrences.

Then let's hear the definition! Nobody's been able to post one (nor do I think it's possible) that passes even the most briefest scrutiny.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

What else is there? Burrowing animals are covered. If the course equipment damages the course then they are supposed to draw a white circle around it. I fail to see how it is more subjective than calling someone out for extending his arms so his feet touch the cart path and therefore takes a drop from a bad lie, or tries to claim that casual water is really there, when in fact it does not meet the definition.

It's way more subjective. You've seen how people swing, but every divot hole is going to range from being completely healed to fresh, with the vast majority right there in the middle. That's ONLY a shade of grey.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

The main push back on this seems to be "too many people are going to try and pull something and no one wants to put up with that".

I'll shut that down right now, because for me, the main push-back from me is that it violates one of the core principles of the rules of golf: play the course as you find it. That means occasionally - rarely - you're going to have to play out of a divot hole.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

If it's a problem too big to police and too in-frequent to address, then by all means chalk it up to "rub of the green" or "part of the game".

Rub of the green does not mean "bad luck." It, too, has a very specific definition in the Rules of Golf.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

However the point I am trying to make, and why I generally avoid the Rules forum like the plague (I clicked originally on the main page not knowing it was here) is that any deviation from the current rules gets the holier than thou folks riled up and it's sacrosanct that the rules are they are, are completely correct and discussion to the contrary is some input on the game and you are somehow lesser than others (your response is not like this saevel25).

I think that's a gross mischaracterization of the reaction you've gotten. I've proposed rules changes. They're not sacrosanct. You seem to be taking reasonable objections and asking you to overcome the various problems your proposed change would introduce as "holier than thou."

No, again, I feel that whole thing there is a gross mischaracterization of the reaction you've gotten here. If anything, your "I generally avoid the Rules forum [because of the type of people that hang out there]" sounds haughty.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

But the fact that the situation is wrong, and that people would like to see it changed is completely decoupled from whether Jack Nicklaus thinks it's right or not, or whether it is absolutely right that you land in one and lose a match by a stroke. It's part of the game, but that doesn't make it _right_. And that is what a lot of people are saying here.

It sucks. Agree.

But I don't see anyone responding just saying "it's right because it's part of the game." In fact, most of the responses are detailing what's wrong with changing it.

It's right, though, because it's based on the Principles by which we play this game.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

But that is exactly as subjective as the casual water rule. People will try and claim it to get an advantage that they shouldn't.

It isn't. There's water there or there's not. There's some subjectivity there, but nowhere near the extent of trying to determine whether something is a divot hole. I've never seen a discussion about casual water take more than five seconds. This thread is on page… 36.

1 hour ago, sjduffers said:

It's like pornography: you know what it is when you see it! :whistle:

I know you were making a bit of a joke there, but people disagree what's porn and what's art all the time.

1 hour ago, sjduffers said:

Joke aside, if it's not noticeable, then don't worry about it and play it down. You know the kind of divot hole we are talking about, when a chunk of the planet goes flying and leaves a hole.

You can't define a Rule of Golf based on "you know the kind of divot hole we are talking about." Yeah, those suck. But you can't draw the line there.

1 hour ago, sjduffers said:

Come up with a physical definition if you must (eg more than 3mm or 1/8h of an inch indentation below the surface level of the areas surrounding it, or some such), I don't care. But don't tell me it can't be done.

Golfers should not be tasked with measuring divot holes.

How about they just abide by the Principles and play the ball as it lies, and the course as they find it?

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An apocryphal story, no doubt, but it's said that when Greg Norman found his ball in a divot hole in the fairway he cursed the greenskeeper, the Rules and the golf gods. Tom Watson, having found his golf ball in a similar lie, said to Bruce Edwards, "Watch this!"

Edited by Asheville
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4 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

There is plenty to prevent that based on how you define it.   Defining as an unfilled hole or that it has to be touching sand in a sand-filled divot restricts that.   And to restrict to the fairway, 25-2 pretty much describes the fairway since there must be higher than what it states.

From 25-2:  Note 2: "Closely-mown area" means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.

So I really think that this ultimately comes down to some people want it and defend it vigorously, and other people don't want it and defend it just as vigorously.   But there is certainly a way to define it, if golf's governing bodies wanted to address it, to restrict it to actual, valid occurrences.   People who try to game it are the same people that won't follow many of the rules anyway.

If the USGA ever gets its way, that mention of "closely mowed area"  will vanish from the book.  They have always lobbied for relief from an embedded ball "through the green".  It's the R&A that has dug its heels in to block it.  I wouldn't be inclined to base any argument too heavily on that.

 

3 hours ago, David in FL said:

Completely subjective, and as such it cannot be applied equally and consistently to every golfer/situation.   You're simply saying that if you want to move your ball, you can do so.  Again, back to the first Principle of the game.  

We don't need any subjectivity in the rules of golf.  There is already enough of that in the NFL- what's a catch?  What is pass interference?  Keep it out of our game.

2 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

But that is exactly as subjective as the casual water rule.   People will try and claim it to get an advantage that they shouldn't.

While traversing the USGA rules section I came across a diagram of what is acceptable and not for an embedded ball.   There are plenty of ways to diagram and define what is acceptable or not, that are as subjective as other rules.  You can certainly define as top dressing as not acceptable.  You can certainly define a ball that is partially beneath the ground as something that is not subjective.   

Reading thru the website for the rules actually swung me more towards believing this is something that should be, at least discussed.

Again, there is nothing subjective about casual water.  It is or it isn't.  Casual water is clearly defined in the rules.  Just because some players try to fudge it (translate to cheat) doesn't change the reality.  It certainly isn't a basis for giving more relief from an entirely different situation.

Point:  A fundamental principle of the game is that you play your ball from the tee and you don't touch it again until you lift it from the hole.  The rules do all that is possible to adhere to that most fundamental principle of golf.  To that end, they only allow the player to take relief in situations where play could potentially be impossible without relief.  Some cases the relief is with penalty, some it is without penalty.  The point that is covered in all such cases is that under those rules it is possible that the ball could be unplayable without relief, thus not allowing the player to finish the hole without being granted some sort of relief.  Such is not, and has never been true of play from a divot hole.  No matter how poor the lie, I've never seen a divot hole from which I couldn't play some sort of shot.  In the almost unheard of, one in a million case where that might actually happen, there is always Rule 28 to cover it.  

Since there is virtually always a playable shot, and since the rules abhor any unnecessary allowance for the player to touch the ball, any rule allowing such relief from a divot hole would go directly against the most basic principle of the game.

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7 minutes ago, Asheville said:

Don't forget, this thread was started by a guy who presumably wanted us to visit his website where he had something to sell. :-P

I don't think that he was trying to sell a divot measuring tool though. :-D

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I usually stay out of this stuff.......

I've listened to the USGA talk about this topic more than once.   Those that don't like how divot holes are currently treated, you do know the odds of this rule ever changing are close to zero, right?  (at least in my lifetime)  :-)

 

Edited by Dormie1360
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  • iacas changed the title to Should Divots Be Considered Ground Under Repair?

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