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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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1 hour ago, Shorty said:

MY experience is that I could probably count the number of times I've been severely disadvantaged by being in a divot on one hand in decades of golf.

 

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Particularly given how infrequently this occurs.

 

17 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

The odds of ending up in a divot is very low.

Same here.  Decades of mediocre golf and I think I've made more eagles in my career than I've been screwed over by landing in a divot hole.

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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

I would highly recommend purchasing and reading this booklet. It's super cheap (shipping will cost more than the booklet), and sheds light on why certain rules/penalties exist. Pr

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3 hours ago, GolfLug said:

Off topic but honest question - why are there so many deep unfilled divots left behind?

Is it an agronomy thing? logistics of not having enough volunteers? Not all divots come out clean enough for caddies to hunt them down and replace them? Or is it just that some of the player/caddies don't bother with the etiquette? I mean, they would be run up the flag pole if they left a sand trap unraked after a shot.

Mowers just throw 'em around, too. So even if you replace your divot in the divot hole, the next day when they mow it might just be chucked aside by the mower.

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11 hours ago, Shorty said:

Please explain why it would be better if changed. 

No, I am done in this particular thread, it feels like about 10 to 1 against me, and some of the language I haven't been real fond of so I'm not going to partake in this particular topic anymore.

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5 hours ago, Billy Z said:

No, I am done in this particular thread, it feels like about 10 to 1 against me, and some of the language I haven't been real fond of so I'm not going to partake in this particular threat anymore.

And there’s where you do what I had warned against. Sorry to see that.

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12 hours ago, iacas said:

Mowers just throw 'em around, too. So even if you replace your divot in the divot hole, the next day when they mow it might just be chucked aside by the mower.

I would assume the mower would clear out the sand/seed mix too, correct?

5 hours ago, Billy Z said:

No, I am done in this particular thread, it feels like about 10 to 1 against me, and some of the language I haven't been real fond of so I'm not going to partake in this particular threat anymore.

You’ve stated your position clearly and others have countered clearly. I think it has been a good discussion. The hardest part appears to be defining GUR as it would apply to divots made by strokes. I feel this would be very difficult to draw the line so to speak. Fresh divots are fairly obvious, but as the grass grows back, it gets more difficult to differentiate. Even replaced or filled divots may be gone the next day.

The governing bodies have then drawn the line that divots or depressions that may have been divots are not GUR because it is the only clear point in the continuum between fairway and new to regrowing divot. 

It’s a tough break at times, but even normal fairway in munis can be tough.

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6 hours ago, Billy Z said:

No, I am done in this particular thread, it feels like about 10 to 1 against me, and some of the language I haven't been real fond of so I'm not going to partake in this particular threat anymore.

Geez man....I’ve taken much more of a beating than this...it’s all good, and it’s just golf. Relax. Look...even if you disagree consider the big picture; does this rule really affect your game to a degree that you want it changed? If you hit a tree and your ball ricochets onto the green do you go back and place it in the trees? You got a good break. You take it. You get a bad one, you take it. 

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On 3/10/2021 at 2:26 PM, Golfingdad said:

 

 

Same here.  Decades of mediocre golf and I think I've made more eagles in my career than I've been screwed over by landing in a divot hole.

Perhaps it's because I am playing on sub-standard courses when it comes to maintenance, i.e. munis, but in the decade or so that I recall (i.e. when I got more serious about golf than just knocking the ball around), I have been impacted negatively, to varying degrees, by playing from a divot hole in the fairway more than a handful (or maybe even two?) every year. I am not complaining about the rule, but I am saying that it's not really a one-off thing... at least for everyone. :beer:

Of course that situation arises even much more when taking unfilled holes in the rough and around the greens into account [which I know is :offtopic:]

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Challenge question:

Explain to me why an embedded ball gets relief and not a fairway divot???

  • Rule 16.3 allows relief for a ball embedded anywhere in the “general area” (that is, the area previously known as “through the green”), except when embedded in sand.
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2 hours ago, Billy Z said:

Challenge question:

Explain to me why an embedded ball gets relief and not a fairway divot???

  • Rule 16.3 allows relief for a ball embedded anywhere in the “general area” (that is, the area previously known as “through the green”), except when embedded in sand.

Two reasons.

  1. 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 accommodations have to be made to play from those conditions. Divot holes are not abnormal, in fact, they’re quite normal to be expected on a golf course.
  2. “Embedded” has a pretty clear definition that can be applied pretty uniformly. “Divot holes” do not.

Challenge won.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Two reasons.

  1. 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 accommodations have to be made to play from those conditions. Divot holes are not abnormal, in fact, they’re quite normal to be expected on a golf course.
  2. “Embedded” has a pretty clear definition that can be applied pretty uniformly. “Divot holes” do not.

Challenge won.

That depends who you ask. To prevent getting an embedded ball is actually a skillset, keeping the ball flight lower and a slight draw helps prevent it. So slicers would be penalized, as they should, because slicing is a lack of skill set. Slicing elevates the ball and usually parachutes somewhat to the ground, and plugs!

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6 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

That depends who you ask. To prevent getting an embedded ball is actually a skillset, keeping the ball flight lower and a slight draw helps prevent it. So slicers would be penalized, as they should, because slicing is a lack of skill set. Slicing elevates the ball and usually parachutes somewhat to the ground, and plugs!

Are you suggesting that a ball might plug in conditions that are "normal", due to a specific ball flight?  And if it does, the player should have to play it as it lies?  I'm not sure how your comments are germane to the question you initially asked:

2 hours ago, Billy Z said:

Explain to me why an embedded ball gets relief and not a fairway divot???

 

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(edited)
10 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

That depends who you ask. 

I can be pretty damn sure no-one would be asking you, given your cyclical logic where you disregard cogent answers and revert to your original flawed position.

Do you think that if a tee shot on the 17th at TPC Sawgrass hits the flag and goes in the water it should be replayed?

Do you think a ball hit in the middle of the fairway that lands behind a tree in the fairway is unlucky? Or a ball in the bunker on the middle of the  green is bad luck?

Apart from the fact that you aren't guaranteed a good lie on the fairway, no-one can define a divot that would suit everyone, so how about we just leave the rule as it is? 

As for the term "skill set", It's bad enough but worse when you really mean "skill". 

And.....I'm pretty sure I've seen lots of drawn or hooked balls plugged in mud.

Don't be petty just for the sake of it - as I did three lines up.

Edited by Shorty
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3 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

To prevent getting an embedded ball is actually a skillset, keeping the ball flight lower and a slight draw helps prevent it.

I'm not sure I'm following this argument. Maybe certain ball flights are less likely to embed, but I have hit thin draws into an upslope that ended up almost entirely plugged. I think ground conditions are better predictor of a ball embedding than ball flight.

Using skill, players could also avoid divot holes by hitting to parts of the course that no one usually plays from. Instead of driver off the tee, hit a short iron to a part of the fairway that doesn't get much play, and then approach the green with a 3W or something.

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4 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

 

Using skill, players could also avoid divot holes by hitting to parts of the course that no one usually plays from. Instead of driver off the tee, hit a short iron to a part of the fairway that doesn't get much play, and then approach the green with a 3W or something.

Exactly. 👍

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21 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

That depends who you ask. To prevent getting an embedded ball is actually a skillset, keeping the ball flight lower and a slight draw helps prevent it.

I’m going to assume that you’re just being hyperbolic in an attempt to be funny at this point, or something. 🙂 Because, no, that’s not a skill set. It’s a course condition issue.

You asked a question, I answered it.

It’s about this time that you should, if you’re being serious, basically concede that you’ve changed your mind as you now understand why the rules are as they are, and why relief is not granted when your ball finds its way into a divot hole.

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(edited)

No, I don't think I have changed my mind, I would like to see a rules changed. In a forum, you have a unique selection of golfers, not necessarily a good sample of all who play the game. In a forum you have folks who change their putter on a weekly basis as opposed to golfers who use one putter for many years. In other words, people in here get very picky about varying aspects and rules of the game. I wouldn't be surprised if a poll were taken that would reflect 'all golfers' opinions, that showed more of an interest to change the rule then not. The reference to embedded was just a bit of tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, I will go out on a limb and say the majority of golfers think the rule should be changed. Just for further conversation, I do think some flight paths are more conducive to plugging.

Edited by Billy Z
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