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Should Divots Be Considered Ground Under Repair?


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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Just an FYI, mate.... I have been around this forum for quite a few years and have been involved in my fair share of debates. I have (or had) the habit of looking for controversial subjects to po

See below for an excerpt from a joint USGA and R&A report on topics not addressed in the 2019 modernization of the Rules. Apparently, the discussion on divot holes was very short, about the length

Two reasons. An embedded ball is in the same rule (16 IIRC) as “abnormal course conditions.” An embedded ball is not a “normal” course condition - it’s conditions that are softer than normal, so

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If the divot isn't attached to the ground anymore, you can move it away from your ball, like a leaf or a dead possum.

I think you're stuck if it's a flap though.

 

(This is a wry comment.  I know what you mean......I also like the misuse of the term when a ball mark repair tool is called a divot repair too.  I've yet to use one of those the fix a divot - not even sure how one fixes a divot other than collect it and throw it away, or try to replace it in the skid it came from and hope it's wet enough to somehow regrow....I'm a bigger fan of trash and seed over replace and hope)

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I sometimes practice hitting balls out of divots. I have found that my ball flights out of divots, are pretty much the same. I just adjust my set up for them. 

Thing is, when properly repaired/replaced, they are not much of a problem. It's the ones that golfers leave not repaired/replaced that cause problems. 

Think of it this way. If hitting out of a divot bothers a golfer, perhaps that golfer will think twice before leaving one not repaired, or replaced for others to be annoyed by. Yeah, I know. Good luck with that idea. :-P 

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On 11/9/2013 at 4:42 AM, Fourputt said:

 

The point is that there is nothing "abnormal" about divots (or divot holes, which is what you are actually referring to) on a golf course, sand filled or otherwise - in fact, quite the opposite.  They are a normal and expected part of the game.  As such, I see no reason to think that I should be given relief from them.

Well I’m sure many read the phrase ‘ground under repair’ and assume a sand filled divot is just that. Is it ground? Yes. Is it being repaired? Yes. 

Sprinkler heads are also a ‘normal’ feature of a golf course. 

I don’t expect relief from a divot, I’m just suggesting what some may be thinking.

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Divots are man-made.

Ground under repair is usually caused by Ma Nature, an accident, or a mechanical break down of some sort.

Pretty sure the golf gods and their rule book might look at these differences. 

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11 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Well I’m sure many read the phrase ‘ground under repair’ and assume a sand filled divot is just that. Is it ground? Yes. Is it being repaired? Yes. 

Sprinkler heads are also a ‘normal’ feature of a golf course. 

I don’t expect relief from a divot, I’m just suggesting what some may be thinking.

"Ground under repair" comes under the heading of "abnormal ground".  Divot holes (yes that is the proper way to discuss them - the "divot" is the flap of turf that has been removed) are not the least bit abnormal on a golf course, so they don't really qualify.  There is nothing in the rules which says that a player is entitled to a pristine lie, whether in the fairway or in the rough.  He is entitled to take relief if certain circumstances exist, but that isn't an all encompassing right. 

Sprinklers may be normal now, but, unlike divots which have been a part of the golf course since its inception, they haven't always been.  Also, they are a man made object, and as such fit the definition of "obstruction", and that's covered under a different rule.

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Last year I played a round of at some course in NoCal. I don't remember the name of the course. I do remember it was a nice 18 hole, Mom, and Pop course. 

They had a pretty neat local rule. Each golfer was given a jug of sand/seed mix for divots. Nothing new about that idea. What was unique was the local rule that stated the golfer could move their ball out of the divot to a spot behind the divot, as long as the golfer filled the divot their ball was in with the mix. It was the same for a repaired divot that needed more help.

The mix was also used when the golfer made their own divot. It was also up to golfer to decide if they wanted to hit out of the divot their ball was in, and then fill it. 

Yes, this probably breaks a couple of USGA/R&A rules, but the owner of the course was using his own judgement to keep his property looking good. He was giving the golfer a reason to fix a divot, or even sprucing up a previously repaired divot. 

Now it would seem to me this would make a good addition to the rule book. That being a golfer could lift their ball out of a unrepaired divot, or a repaired divot that needed a little more attention. Repair it. Then replace their ball on the repair. That way the golfer is not playing out of someone else's lack of integrity. Kind of like spike marks on the green. 

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12 minutes ago, Patch said:

Now it would seem to me this would make a good addition to the rule book. That being a golfer could lift their ball out of a unrepaired divot, or a repaired divot that needed a little more attention. Repair it. Then replace their ball on the repair. That way the golfer is not playing out of someone else's lack of integrity. Kind of like spike marks on the green. 

This runs into at least a couple of issues that others have raised.  First, you're not absolutely entitled to a perfect lie anywhere on the golf course.  This rule would allow the golfer to make it perfect, maybe even better than a good fairway lie.  Second, when is an old divot hole healed to the point where you don't get relief?  Essentially, you end up allowing improved lies in every fairway.  No thanks, that's not the way I believe golf should be.

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33 minutes ago, Patch said:

They had a pretty neat local rule. Each golfer was given a jug of sand/seed mix for divots. Nothing new about that idea. What was unique was the local rule that stated the golfer could move their ball out of the divot to a spot behind the divot, as long as the golfer filled the divot their ball was in with the mix. It was the same for a repaired divot that needed more help.

As you later posted you suspected, that's not an allowed "local rule."

33 minutes ago, Patch said:

Now it would seem to me this would make a good addition to the rule book.

No thank you.

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58 minutes ago, The Hook Meister said:

It kinda is ground under repair.

It isn’t.

Look up the definition.

This is the Rules of Golf forum. Common sense English definitions don’t matter. Not when we have our own definition.

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On 4/15/2018 at 3:20 AM, Papa Steve 55 said:

Sooner or later, grass will start to regrow in the hole. At what point is it no longer considered GUR?

And there is the problem.  If a divot hole is ground under repair, we might as well play lift clean and place, because someone could claim almost anywhere was a former divot hole.

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To me the main rule in golf is Play It As It Lies. If you start giving relief out of divot holes then whats next? When does it stop? Pretty soon you are like the old guys at my course that literally bump it everywhere. If that's what you want to do then so be it, but IMHO that's not how golf is supposed to be played. 

I look at it this way, there have been many times I have hit poor shots and have lucked out when they ended up in good lies. I just had one in my round yesterday, hit my ball left of the #15 fairway and when I got to it out in the middle of the dirt it was sitting up perfectly on a little patch of grass. So if I happen to hit my drive into a divot on the fairway then that's just the way it goes. I mean, I am to believe I am only supposed to receive good breaks while playing golf? That's ridiculous. You have to take the good with the bad.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 8:40 PM, NM Golf said:

I look at it this way, there have been many times I have hit poor shots and have lucked out when they ended up in good lies.

You have to take the good with the bad.

I agree with this.

Although there are few things more frustrating than flushing a drive down the middle to find it in a divot (which can be a common occurrence on courses that are very heavily played, or have narrow landing areas (e.g. the 7th hole of the Old Course, where I vividly recall Monty almost combusting when he found his ball in a divot...)) that's golf.  The "good" and the "bad" bounces will even themselves out over the course of a round.

That being said, I am all for practices that increase the number of players who repair divots.  The number of them, especially towards the end of the summer, is an absolute disgrace...

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I find divots annoying and a pita. For selfish reasons I voted yes. That said I’ve rarely found my ball in a divot. Maybe a handful of times in the past 5 years so the effect on my game is less than minimal

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

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