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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?  

128 members have voted

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



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Apologies to @rehmwa, I usually try to see the humor intended, but apparently I'm a little grumpy this morning.

8 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Slightly OT question if anybody would like to humor me. Why is relief allowed from 'play it as it lies' rule from a plugged lie but not unfilled divot if you can deem that the divot bottom is below the ground level?   Not questioning the rule but the logic behind the difference.

I kind of remember an explanation of the embedded ball rule from the "Principles...." book, but I don't have my copy handy, so I'll just wing this.  I'd say there are two factors.  First is the relatively unusual state of the ground surface, being so soft that a ball can embed itself, unusual enough to be called "abnormal".  The second is the impact, the real difficulty, sometimes the impossibility, of hitting the ball from its embedded location.  For a ball in a divot hole, the situation is reasonably common, and the impact is not nearly so severe.  Again, perhaps someone can refer to "The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf" and provide a better answer.

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1 hour ago, rehmwa said:

Nonsense - go to the unrepaired or partially repaired divot hole.  Fill it with sand - then move your ball  ;-)

 

Let me ask this - If it's NOT GUR.  then why do we have 'Divot Repair Tools"?  HMMM?  c'mon people it's obvious - :~(

 

 

MWSnap 2016-01-14, 08_50_17.jpg

They aren't divot repair tools, they are "pitch mark" repair tools.  Regardless of common usage, you can't use incorrect terminology to make a point.  They aren't used to repair divots or divot holes.

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5 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Regardless of common usage, you can't use incorrect terminology to make a point.

yes I can.  I just did.  Did you miss it?  The whole point is mockery of common usage, especially with golfers....who tend to take it all a bit too seriously.......

 

9 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Apologies to @rehmwa, I usually try to see the humor intended, but apparently I'm a little grumpy this morning.

No you're not, you're doing fine.  It appears my crapulence isn't as obvious as I thought it was and I should stand chastized.  :-D:-D:-D:-D

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I kind of remember an explanation of the embedded ball rule from the "Principles...." book, but I don't have my copy handy, so I'll just wing this.  I'd say there are two factors.  First is the relatively unusual state of the ground surface, being so soft that a ball can embed itself, unusual enough to be called "abnormal".  The second is the impact, the real difficulty, sometimes the impossibility, of hitting the ball from its embedded location.  For a ball in a divot hole, the situation is reasonably common, and the impact is not nearly so severe.  Again, perhaps someone can refer to "The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf" and provide a better answer.

Thanks. I didn't think of this until now, but I wonder the other difference which leads to the difference in treatment per rules is that the divot existed before the shot was played.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Apologies to @rehmwa, I usually try to see the humor intended, but apparently I'm a little grumpy this morning.

I kind of remember an explanation of the embedded ball rule from the "Principles...." book, but I don't have my copy handy, so I'll just wing this.  I'd say there are two factors.  First is the relatively unusual state of the ground surface, being so soft that a ball can embed itself, unusual enough to be called "abnormal".  The second is the impact, the real difficulty, sometimes the impossibility, of hitting the ball from its embedded location.  For a ball in a divot hole, the situation is reasonably common, and the impact is not nearly so severe.  Again, perhaps someone can refer to "The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf" and provide a better answer.

 

Hmmm????  What if your ball is "plugged" in the bottom of the divot hole?

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  • Moderator

If the ball is embedded, as defined in the rules, you get relief.  If its merely in a divot hole, play it as it lies. In case you don't know what "embedded" means, here's the decision from the rules:

Quote

EMBEDDED BALL

25-2/0.5

When Ball Embedded in Ground

A ball is deemed to be embedded in the ground only if:

  • the impact of the ball landing has created a pitch-mark in the ground,
  • the ball is in its own pitch-mark, and
  • part of the ball is below the level of the ground.

Before anyone asks, you can mark and lift the ball to determine if it is embedded.  If its not, you must replace the ball (without cleaning it) and play it as it lies

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I kind of remember an explanation of the embedded ball rule from the "Principles...." book, but I don't have my copy handy, so I'll just wing this.  I'd say there are two factors.  First is the relatively unusual state of the ground surface, being so soft that a ball can embed itself, unusual enough to be called "abnormal".  The second is the impact, the real difficulty, sometimes the impossibility, of hitting the ball from its embedded location.  For a ball in a divot hole, the situation is reasonably common, and the impact is not nearly so severe.  Again, perhaps someone can refer to "The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf" and provide a better answer.

It's the not the frequency (i.e. how unusual or common the situation is found) that determinates the abnormal condition: it's the severity of the ground changes compared to what is deemed a typical playable condition: hardpan is (very) playable, animal holes or casual water, not so much.  On a very wet day, you may have casual water on every hole, and so it is very common and on that day it's not abnormal to see it.

That is the point that I am making about divot holes: they are frequent, yes (in literally every fairway), but we are not in them to the point it affects our play very much overall (frequency), yet when we are in a deep one (severity of ground change), which happens several times a year for me, it affects the next shot almost as much as casual water would, perhaps even more, depending on the amount of water you'd compare it too... 

30 minutes ago, 14ledo81 said:

 

Hmmm????  What if your ball is "plugged" in the bottom of the divot hole?

Fill the hole with sand: it's no longer a divot hole and now you get relief. Simple, eh? :whistle::-P

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

If the ball is embedded, as defined in the rules, you get relief.  If its merely in a divot hole, play it as it lies. In case you don't know what "embedded" means, here's the decision from the rules:

Before anyone asks, you can mark and lift the ball to determine if it is embedded.  If its not, you must replace the ball (without cleaning it) and play it as it lies

It's worth mentioning that in taking relief for an embedded ball, you're required to drop "as near as possible" to the original spot, but not nearer the hole.  If you were embedded within a divot, it's not necessarily a free pass to drop outside of that divot.

Having said that, most of us aren't all that accurate with my drops, so as "near as possible" is a little subjective.

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The last time my ball was in a divot was several years ago, and I hit one of the best shots I've hit in years as a result of bearing down and focusing a bit more. The divot was even from a slicer - it was well left of the target line.

Play it as it lies. It's not like you're guaranteed to hit a horrible shot.

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23 minutes ago, iacas said:

The last time my ball was in a divot was several years ago, and I hit one of the best shots I've hit in years as a result of bearing down and focusing a bit more. The divot was even from a slicer - it was well left of the target line.

Play it as it lies. It's not like you're guaranteed to hit a horrible shot.

A good point, and one I think I've mentioned to those that prefer to roll it whether the rules allow or not...

...some of the greatest satisfaction I've ever had on the course has come from hitting good shots from difficult situations.  Don't deny yourself of that opportunity! 

:beer:

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On 1/14/2016 at 9:12 AM, GolfLug said:

Slightly OT question if anybody would like to humor me. Why is relief allowed from 'play it as it lies' rule from a plugged lie but not unfilled divot if you can deem that the divot bottom is below the ground level?   Not questioning the rule but the logic behind the difference.

IMO it is an issue of abnormality.  It is abnormal for the ground to be so soft as to allow a ball to plug.  It is not at all abnormal that there might be divot holes in a golf course.

 

16 hours ago, David in FL said:

A good point, and one I think I've mentioned to those that prefer to roll it whether the rules allow or not...

...some of the greatest satisfaction I've ever had on the course has come from hitting good shots from difficult situations.  Don't deny yourself of that opportunity! 

:beer:

Yup.  I think people who fail to understand this lose a lot of the enjoyment of golf, because IMO, the essence of golf is overcoming adversity.  Or maybe that is just because my game provides so much adversity to overcome.  LOL

Edited by turtleback
fat fingers
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You know this is an interesting conversation and I think we could inject some thought about pros on TV playing lift and clean, considering that a mud ball is kinda rub of the green. Whats a little mud got to do with playing by the rules.

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  • 2 years later...

Why do we have to play out of them?  Yes, I know those are the rules, but the rules also provide relief from other types of man made obstructions.  I mean we have "ground under repair" relief and a repositioned but loose chuck of sod or a patch of sand/seed fill are technically under repair :-\.  As tightly grouped as the touring pros hit landing areas, they must be peppered with these after the first couple rounds of a 4 day event.  Tough seeing a player hit a great shot in the fairway and be left with bad lie.  Time for a rule change?

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9 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

Why do we have to play out of them?  Yes, I know those are the rules, but the rules also provide relief from other types of man made obstructions.  I mean we have "ground under repair" relief and a repositioned but loose chuck of sod or a patch of sand/seed fill are technically under repair :-\.  As tightly grouped as the touring pros hit landing areas, they must be peppered with these after the first couple rounds of a 4 day event.  Tough seeing a player hit a great shot in the fairway and be left with bad lie.  Time for a rule change?

One reason I can see the rule staying as it currently stands is because it would get difficult to know for certain what is and what isnt a divot made from a golf swing. If I was walking or driving a cart in the fairway and suddenly changed directions with the cart or twisted my foot, that could create a mark, especially on a soft/wet fairway, that looks like a divot, but isnt actually a divot created by a golf swing.

I think its part of the good breaks/bad breaks thing. Sometimes you hit into the trees and it hits a branch and stays in bounds or even pops back out into the fairway. Sometimes you hit the fairway and you're in a divot. It's not like you have to take an unplayable or something just because your ball ended up in a divot. 

Edited by klineka
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  • Moderator

I don't find divot holes all that difficult to hit out of. How often does it happen, anyway? I can't think of the last time I had to do it.

There's nothing saying you're entitled to have a good lie just because you hit your ball in the fairway. I've played courses that built little bumps all over the fairways and you're likely to end up with a funky lie even if you split the fairway right down the middle.

Golf isn't about giving you perfect lies anyway, otherwise the rules would just let you tee the ball up in the fairway.

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30 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

  As tightly grouped as the touring pros hit landing areas, they must be peppered with these after the first couple rounds of a 4 day event.  Tough seeing a player hit a great shot in the fairway and be left with bad lie.  Time for a rule change?

I don't really worry about the pros, the divots they experienced are generally repaired pretty well, its just not that difficult a shot.  

As for a reason, divots were in existence long before we had man-made obstructions and other situations from which we are now granted free relief, almost certainly before the first rules were written.  They're a normal part of the game.

And I'd challenge you to write a rule that is appropriate, that defines exactly what a divot is, that addresses prior repair of a divot by replacing the turf or filling the hole with sand, and that defines when a divot is no longer a divot.  You'd end up with a free drop anywhere in the fairway, and that would be completely wrong, at least to me.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

No.

Mods will likely merge this topic soon. @fishgolf please use search.

Still getting familiar with the forum and topic areas... sorry about that.  I now see this question has been discussed quite a bit in the rules sub forum. 

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

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