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Should Divots Be Considered Ground Under Repair?


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

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



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38 minutes ago, iacas said:

Golfers should not be tasked with measuring divot holes.

Fine, but it's ok that they are asked to determine that a hole was made by a burrowing animal as opposed to say by a dog simply digging? I recall a thread that was having some fun with this, pretty much equating a golfer with a zoologist. :-P

Edited by sjduffers
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5 minutes ago, Dormie1360 said:

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

I should have stayed out of it....

I look at it as something that should have relief in certain circumstances.  Until the rule changes (never) it's a moot topic I guess.

 

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10 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Fine, but it's ok that they are asked to determine that hole was made by a burrowing animal as opposed to say by a dog simply digging? I recall a thread that was having some fun with this, pretty much equating a golfer with a zoologist. :-P

Bubba Watson was calling ants a burrowing animal, but it was technically a colony of animals that collectively burrow. I don't communicate well enough to appreciate the difference. :-D:-P

 

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4 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Bubba Watson was calling ants a burrowing animal, but it was technically a colony of animals that collectively burrow. I don't communicate well enough to appreciate the difference. :-D:-P

Yup.  And we had a thread here where people from the UK who don't know about ground squirrels argued very strongly that a squirrel is not a burrowing animal, even though those we were talking about make their home underground... Funny as heck.

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1 hour ago, sjduffers said:

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?

As I said in the other part of that post, I believe that divot holes are a common and expected occurrence on the golf course. Consequently, they do not fit any reasonable definition of "abnormal".  I also said that the consequences of landing on most divot holes  was relatively minor, certainly much less severe than trying to play from a puddle of water or a mole-hole.  BTW, the earliest rules make no mention of free relief from casual water or animal burrows.

http://www.scottishgolfhistory.org/origin-of-golf-terms/rules-of-golf/

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13 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

As I said in the other part of that post, I believe that divot holes are a common and expected occurrence on the golf course. Consequently, they do not fit any reasonable definition of "abnormal".  I also said that the consequences of landing on most divot holes  was relatively minor, certainly much less severe than trying to play from a puddle of water or a mole-hole

As I said earlier, abnormal in "abnormal ground" is not there because of the frequency of the situation. It is because of the abnormal "quality" of the ground.  It could happen on every hole and still be considered abnormal terrain.

15 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

BTW, the earliest rules make no mention of free relief from casual water or animal burrows.

http://www.scottishgolfhistory.org/origin-of-golf-terms/rules-of-golf/

Ok, but Rule #13 comes awfully close to that. And I am pretty sure that the borrowing animal hole rules came from the rabbit holes they had in that field, called the Old Course.

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5 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Ok, but Rule #13 comes awfully close to that. And I am pretty sure that the borrowing animal hole rules came from the rabbit holes they had in that field, called the Old Course.

A trench, ditch or dyke is not casual water. They are man made or naturally made areas to hold water. 

 

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(edited)
27 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Ok, but Rule #13 comes awfully close to that. And I am pretty sure that the borrowing animal hole rules came from the rabbit holes they had in that field, called the Old Course.

In those rules, you played from water or animal burrows, or you allowed your opponent a stroke.  Free relief from casual water was first allowed in 1899.  Relief from rabbit burrows was allowed in 1812, and burrowing animals appeared in the USGA rules in 1947.  All this based on:

http://www.ruleshistory.com/abnormal.html

In looking at the old versions of the rules, two things strike me.  First, those guys were incredible, playing with severely inferior equipment under much less forgiving rules.  Second, the rules do change, gradually, and with lots of debate and consideration.  I remain unconvinced that divot holes qualify as "abnormal", certainly no more than a bare patch, or the spot of longer grass the mowers missed, or any other turf inconsistency.  I also don't believe that the difficulty of hitting from a divot hole is anywhere near that of playing a ball that's halfway under water.  Best thing to do is to learn to hit that shot from the old divot hole.

Edited by DaveP043
fact-checking myself
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48 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

A trench, ditch or dyke is not casual water. They are man made or naturally made areas to hold water. 

Not necessarily to hold water, but water could certainly accumulate there.  What's interesting is that they were waived from the definition of a water hazard. See rule #5.  :beer:

@DaveP043, I agree with you that it was a somewhat different game and these guys were pretty incredible.  I don't have much a problem hitting from the middle of a somewhat shallow divot hole. But there are the deep ones, when naturally the ball tends to go towards the front and stops against the lip. No-one gets out of there with a shot that resembles what they could do from anywhere else in the vicinity. In terms of strokes gained (lost), it's probably a 0.7 loss guaranteed or worse. There are also the narrow ones, much narrower than the face of a club, with the ball sitting well below the surface. Probably a similar outcome with at least at 0.5 stroke lost.  In contrast, there isn't much if anything lost from a bare patch: in fact, good players can spin the ball better from those lies, including concrete cart paths. :whistle:

Look, I don't think that anything real is coming out of this, but I am having fun discussing it just the same and pointing along the way that some of the things you all take for granted in the rules, for their equity, precision, etc.. are only so when you don't look too closely. Yes, there is a lot of inertia in the rules and the rules body and you need a darn good reason to change anything and that's why we end up with the circular reasoning that I pointed out. But, intellectually (if not in practice), we can do better. :beer:

Edited by sjduffers
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5 hours ago, saevel25 said:

..."In the end the rules are fair because they are applied equally."

I disagree.  Just because rules are applied equally doesn't mean that the rules themselves are fair.  I believe that there are unfair rules.  For example, suppose you are in a bunker and address the ball.  Then a leaf from a nearby tree falls into the bunker behind your golf club.  On your normal backswing you happen to brush the leaf.  That's a penalty under the rule for loose impediments.

Is that fair?.

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1 hour ago, Golf Grouch said:

I disagree.  Just because rules are applied equally doesn't mean that the rules themselves are fair.  I believe that there are unfair rules.  For example, suppose you are in a bunker and address the ball.  Then a leaf from a nearby tree falls into the bunker behind your golf club.  On your normal backswing you happen to brush the leaf.  That's a penalty under the rule for loose impediments.

Is that fair?.

From what I understand about the loose impediment rule.... The obstacle can be moved as long as it doesn't cause the ball to change positions. So if you hit the leave with your club on the backswing, I wouldn't think that would cause a penalty, but I just started studying the rule book. Maybe others can clarify this ruling.

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13 minutes ago, Dave325 said:

From what I understand about the loose impediment rule.... The obstacle can be moved as long as it doesn't cause the ball to change positions. So if you hit the leave with your club on the backswing, I wouldn't think that would cause a penalty, but I just started studying the rule book. Maybe others can clarify this ruling.

Some fine print here:

Rule 13-4 says, among other things, that before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard the player must not touch or move a loose impediment lying in the hazard.

Edited by Asheville
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12 minutes ago, Dave325 said:

From what I understand about the loose impediment rule.... The obstacle can be moved as long as it doesn't cause the ball to change positions. So if you hit the leave with your club on the backswing, I wouldn't think that would cause a penalty, but I just started studying the rule book. Maybe others can clarify this ruling.

If you move a loose impediment in a bunker when your ball lies in that bunker, it's a 2 stroke penalty unless you are making a stroke.  The stroke is the forward movement of the club with the intent to move the ball.

Quote

13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether a bunker or awater hazard) or that, having been lifted from a hazard, may be dropped or placed in the hazard, the player must not:

a.

Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard;

b.

Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club; or

c.

Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard.

More clarification:

Quote

13-4/13

 

Accidentally Moving Loose Impediment in Hazard

Q.A player accidentally moves a loose impediment in a hazard. Does the player incur a penalty?

A.No, provided the loose impediment was not moved in making the backswing and the lie of the ball or area of the intended stance or swing was not improved.

This shows that moving a LI during the backswing is not an exception to the penalty.  By accidental movement, I think that they are absolving the player of any wrongdoing by moving a LI when walking into the bunker or when laying the rake or extra clubs in the bunker.  If he improves his lie, stance, or the area of his intended swing by anything other than fairly taking his stance, then he would be subject to the penalty.

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52 minutes ago, Asheville said:

Some fine print here:

Rule 13-4 says, among other things, that before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard the player must not touch or move a loose impediment lying in the hazard.

Ah! Great to know. Thanks for the clarification on that rule.

52 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

If you move a loose impediment in a bunker when your ball lies in that bunker, it's a 2 stroke penalty unless you are making a stroke.  The stroke is the forward movement of the club with the intent to move the ball.

More clarification:

This shows that moving a LI during the backswing is not an exception to the penalty.  By accidental movement, I think that they are absolving the player of any wrongdoing by moving a LI when walking into the bunker or when laying the rake or extra clubs in the bunker.  If he improves his lie, stance, or the area of his intended swing by anything other than fairly taking his stance, then he would be subject to the penalty.

It seems rules 13-4 seems like it applies to bunkers and water. Can I assume that this different than if you are hitting your off the fairway, in the rough or woods? In which case that they CAN be moved.

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5 minutes ago, Dave325 said:

Ah! Great to know. Thanks for the clarification on that rule.

It seems rules 13-4 seems like it applies to bunkers and water. Can I assume that this different than if you are hitting your off the fairway, in the rough or woods? In which case that they CAN be moved.

:offtopic: 

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16 hours ago, David in FL said:

True....  25-2 specifies "closely mown area".  It does mention that a closely mown area is one that's cut to "fairway height or less", but that's the only mention of the term and the fairway itself is never defined, nor to my knowledge, used in any other manner.

The one question that none of the rule change proponents can ever answer is simply, at what exact moment in time dies a divot no longer become a divot?  Even if the basic premise were accepted, until that can be precisely defined so as to apply to every golfer, in every situation, any proposal is nothing more than a desire to roll the ball whenever they like, in violation of the very first Principle of the game.

 

 

To make it clear im not for this change.

What i would like more courses to do and which i have seen done in tournaments is to mark obvious collection points as GUR on day 3 or 4 in tournaments or when needed on club level when there is a lot of divot holes in one area.

 

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10 hours ago, klund said:

 

To make it clear im not for this change.

What i would like more courses to do and which i have seen done in tournaments is to mark obvious collection points as GUR on day 3 or 4 in tournaments or when needed on club level when there is a lot of divot holes in one area.

 

That isn't a bad idea, but maybe another way to do it while still adhering to the principle of not touching one's ball unnecessarily would be to set the tees on a different tee box so that most players aren't landing in the damaged area as readily.  A change of 10-15 yards could make that work.

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

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