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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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I've heard this rule suggested over and over again. I'm interested to hear what you all think. Should free drops be allowed from fairway divots? What about pick clean and place from a fairway divot? 


Is golf in need of a rules change? Paige Spiranac believes so after watching the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday. On the final hole of the tournament, Lee Westwood smoked his drive down the fairway...

 

 

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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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My answer is no. I agree that it sucks when it happens, but I like the "play the course as you find it" concept.

I don't have a lot of friends who play golf, but a few of them who play more frequently make up a rule for free drops from fairway divots. Their rationale is that they rarely hit in the fairway, so when the do, they shouldn't be penalized by a random bad lie. They don't keep handicaps, and only play skins matches amongst themselves, so as far as I am concerned, they can make up whatever rules they want.

 

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41 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I've heard this rule suggested over and over again. I'm interested to hear what you all think. Should free drops be allowed from fairway divots? What about pick clean and place from a fairway divot? 


Is golf in need of a rules change? Paige Spiranac believes so after watching the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday. On the final hole of the tournament, Lee Westwood smoked his drive down the fairway...

44 pages later, I’m still a hard no.

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45 minutes ago, iacas said:

44 pages later, I’m still a hard no.

Sorry, didn't realize there was 40 something pages on this.

I vote no also. 

I've always thought it was weird to even suggest that it should be. I mean where does it all end? What's next? If a ball takes an odd bounce are we going to move it to "where it would have been if not for the odd bounce?"

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 No. Lee managed to make the GIR and two putt. Others had no divot to deal with and had rock ricochets. It’s golf. Play the ball as you find it.

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I'll pile on, another no.  And writer apparently doesn't realize that the PGA Tour doesn't write its own Rules.

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What do you think – should the PGA Tour change the rule?

 

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13 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

And writer apparently doesn't realize that the PGA Tour doesn't write its own Rules.

The article seems like a click-baity justification to publish a photo of Paige Spiranac. I doubt the author even cares about getting details correct, and likely doesn't know the details anyways. I hate "articles" that just rehash a bunch of tweets.

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48 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

The article seems like a click-baity justification to publish a photo of Paige Spiranac. I doubt the author even cares about getting details correct, and likely doesn't know the details anyways. I hate "articles" that just rehash a bunch of tweets.

That's a bingo!

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

Just no.  It hasn't happened that often to me.  When it has, I look at the ball, and come to the conclusion that it just means I have to focus, and make sure I get the ball first, without much room for error.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  But that's normal for me anyway!  The most recent that I hit went well, and and a guy I was playing with even remarked on how good the shot was.  It's just another challenge.  Like the one tree that always gets in the way!

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11 hours ago, jlbos83 said:

  It's just another challenge.  Like the one tree that always gets in the way!

You are fortunate. Most trees seek to get in my way.

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I like the idea of play it as it lies.  Unfortunately I am not very good at hitting off funny lies, but it is better to be challenged and play these lies than always take a good lie.  In my home course we play 1, 1 and 2 picks on a par 3, 4 and 5 accordingly.  I try to avoid the picks as much as possible.  Two reasons for the picks.  The course grass is still not very good. And a huge chunk of the course is on an old paddy field and we have land crabs which dig up through the surface and of course you get these wonderful crab holes, some of which are occasionally big enough to swallow a ball🤫

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7 hours ago, Rulesman said:

You are fortunate. Most trees seek to get in my way.

There are not a lot of trees that should be a problem on some of the courses I play.  I think that there is one that follows me around!

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On 3/8/2021 at 11:36 AM, Darkfrog said:

My answer is no. I agree that it sucks when it happens, but I like the "play the course as you find it" concept.

I am truly sorry, but I have to disagree with you. JMO, but it could be said about any situation the ball happens upon, like a sprinkler head, excavation by maintenance, fairway markers, etc, play it as it lies? I don't know why, in a game with very strict rules that promote fairness, how some think an unrepaired fairway divot is a fair situation. Even a repaired divot. I understand the debate about 'what is a legit divot and what isn't, but I think that can be easily worked out. After all, we rely on honesty for all other rules of golf, why not this? I am a definite yes, there should be allowance.

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13 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

it could be said about any situation the ball happens upon, like a sprinkler head, excavation by maintenance, fairway markers, etc, play it as it lies?

I'm not a rules expert by any means, but I'm pretty sure the rules have categorizations that take these things into account. From "The Prinicples Behind the Rules of Golf", the first great principle of golf is "play the course as you find it". In this booklet it describes how rules for obstructions and abnormal ground conditions are applied to this concept.

Rules experts feel free to correct/elaborate.

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1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

I am truly sorry, but I have to disagree with you. JMO, but it could be said about any situation the ball happens upon, like a sprinkler head, excavation by maintenance, fairway markers, etc, play it as it lies? I don't know why, in a game with very strict rules that promote fairness, how some think an unrepaired fairway divot is a fair situation.

Two things @Billy Z:

  • You play the course as you find it, unless you're prevented from doing so. A sprinkler head is not remotely in the same category as a divot hole. The former could cause damage, injury, expenses, etc. The former is clearly defined. It's somewhat unexpected, too - we play golf from grass, not hard plastic or metal surfaces.
  • How is everyone playing under the same rules (no relief from divot holes) "unfair?" And if you hit your ball toward the trees, but it hits a tree and bounced into the fairway, should you have to put it in the rough? Why not? That's not "fair" using your definition of the word, is it?
1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

Even a repaired divot. I understand the debate about 'what is a legit divot and what isn't, but I think that can be easily worked out. After all, we rely on honesty for all other rules of golf, why not this? I am a definite yes, there should be allowance.

Please show us how you can "easily" work that out, to the point where something like 95/100 people would all agree pretty straightforwardly that the divot hole is a divot hole.

Because if you can define when a divot hole begins and ceases to be a divot hole, you'll be the first one to ever do it.

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53 minutes ago, iacas said:

Two things @Billy Z:

  • You play the course as you find it, unless you're prevented from doing so. A sprinkler head is not remotely in the same category as a divot hole. The former could cause damage, injury, expenses, etc. The former is clearly defined. It's somewhat unexpected, too - we play golf from grass, not hard plastic or metal surfaces.
  • How is everyone playing under the same rules (no relief from divot holes) "unfair?" And if you hit your ball toward the trees, but it hits a tree and bounced into the fairway, should you have to put it in the rough? Why not? That's not "fair" using your definition of the word, is it?

Please show us how you can "easily" work that out, to the point where something like 95/100 people would all agree pretty straightforwardly that the divot hole is a divot hole.

Because if you can define when a divot hole begins and ceases to be a divot hole, you'll be the first one to ever do it.

Mankind puts a man on the moon, warp-speed miraculously gets a vaccine out to the people in a time frame thought impossible, architectural feats beyond imagination, but mankind is stymied but defining what is and is not a divot? lol. Trust me, we can figure it out!

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4 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Mankind puts a man on the moon, warp-speed miraculously gets a vaccine out to the people in a time frame thought impossible, architectural feats beyond imagination, but mankind is stymied but defining what is and is not a divot? lol. Trust me, we can figure it out!

Then go for it. Smarter people than you or I have tried, and failed.

You're simply not going to come up with a definition that can be quick to apply and universally agreed upon.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Then go for it. Smarter people than you or I have tried, and failed.

You're simply not going to come up with a definition that can be quick to apply and universally agreed upon.

Well, part of the issue with change is the fear of the rule change itself, in this case, whether it can be accomplished or not. If I have a say, I would say this: 2021 is the year we test out a new rule of golf, a free drop from a fairway divot. This divot is defined as any irregularity that has been caused by a previous shot in the fairway that is detectable. If it is deemed your ball is in a fairway divot, proceed as if it is a lift, clean and place situation, setting the ball 6 inches from the divot.

Now this is a rough description of the rule, but something like this would be good for the game.

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