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Should Divots Be Considered Ground Under Repair?


Foursum Golf

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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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Disagree. The putting surface has always been treated differently than the rest of the course. 

The actual explanation from the USGA as to why it allowed the repair of golfer-induced damage to the green is because the green is the only portion of the course where the ball is intended to roll along the ground.

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2 hours ago, Ole Duffer said:

Folks can argue this until they're blue in the face, and I expect there's some blue faces around here, but when you google-search the topic, what you find is that the the major expected change that did not happen in 2018, when so many rules were changed, is relief from a divot in the fairway.

100%.  The following is from the Geoff Shackelford article in Golfweek cited earlier (format modified slightly😞"They unveiled, they listened, and the governing bodies did not budge on one of the most requested rule changes: relief from divots.  Chalk this up to a win for the all-important “play it as it lies” principle, the most vital tenet of golf’s rules. But do not expect this to be the last time divot-relief is scrutinized. There is good reason to believe the adoption of several changes will force the U.S. Golf Association and R&A to cave on the divot matter.  More than any other annoyance in the sport, seeing a ball finish in divots of differing recovery stages can be an aggravating though generally rare occurrence given the number of shots struck.  At courses with big maintenance budgets and carts armed with sand bottles, the issue gets trickier when an old divot blatantly becomes ground under repair, particularly when players can spot seeds in the mix. The divot issue is generally more acute for American golfers who play an aerial game, making the recovery shot more painful than on a links, where fewer forced carries mean golfers more easily can advance the ball to the hole via the ground.  According to the rules experts who put an incredible amount of time into this simplification effort and who deserve our gratitude for listening as never before, the divot issue was cited heavily during the feedback period."

This thread was started years ago to address whether the Rules of Golf should be changed and solicited opinions to support individual recommendations.  Despite the fact that this issue is "one of the most requested rule change" for the USGA/R&A, the top rule that LPGA Pro's would prefer to be changed by fiat, and an issue that "was cited heavily during the governing bodies feedback period", anyone who supports this rule change is somehow a heretic who should be burned at the stake.

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1 hour ago, Ole Duffer said:

If the rule changed, would you take relief?

IF the rule were changed I would play by the rules and take legal advantage when possible, so of course I would if I felt in that instance it would help me.  BUT that does not mean I think the rule should be changed.

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(edited)
10 minutes ago, HoganApexFan said:

100%.  The following is from the Geoff Shackelford article in Golfweek cited earlier (format modified slightly😞"They unveiled, they listened, and the governing bodies did not budge on one of the most requested rule changes: relief from divots.  Chalk this up to a win for the all-important “play it as it lies” principle, the most vital tenet of golf’s rules. But do not expect this to be the last time divot-relief is scrutinized. There is good reason to believe the adoption of several changes will force the U.S. Golf Association and R&A to cave on the divot matter.  More than any other annoyance in the sport, seeing a ball finish in divots of differing recovery stages can be an aggravating though generally rare occurrence given the number of shots struck.  At courses with big maintenance budgets and carts armed with sand bottles, the issue gets trickier when an old divot blatantly becomes ground under repair, particularly when players can spot seeds in the mix. The divot issue is generally more acute for American golfers who play an aerial game, making the recovery shot more painful than on a links, where fewer forced carries mean golfers more easily can advance the ball to the hole via the ground.  According to the rules experts who put an incredible amount of time into this simplification effort and who deserve our gratitude for listening as never before, the divot issue was cited heavily during the feedback period."

This thread was started years ago to address whether the Rules of Golf should be changed and solicited opinions to support individual recommendations.  Despite the fact that this issue is "one of the most requested rule change" for the USGA/R&A, the top rule that LPGA Pro's would prefer to be changed by fiat, and an issue that "was cited heavily during the governing bodies feedback period", anyone who supports this rule change is somehow a heretic who should be burned at the stake.

I read that during my research the last two days.

There is no question that not getting relief from divots in the fairway has been an issue for a long time, is an issue now, and will continue to be an issue as long as there is no rule to address it.

Not an issue worth losing sleep over, or getting upset with some stranger on the Internet about, but an issue.

😷

Sorta like Pace of Play, which, even though it has been addressed by the rules of golf, is still an issue, and will continue to be.  There, another golfer-induced issue.

2 minutes ago, StuM said:

IF the rule were changed I would play by the rules and take legal advantage when possible, so of course I would if I felt in that instance it would help me.  BUT that does not mean I think the rule should be changed.

same here . . . if my drives got to where the divots are . . . .

😁

 

12 minutes ago, HoganApexFan said:

 

This thread was started years ago to address whether the Rules of Golf should be changed and solicited opinions to support individual recommendations.  Despite the fact that this issue is "one of the most requested rule change" for the USGA/R&A, the top rule that LPGA Pro's would prefer to be changed by fiat, and an issue that "was cited heavily during the governing bodies feedback period", anyone who supports this rule change is somehow a heretic who should be burned at the stake.

As should anyone who professed the blasphemy that one should be allowed to hit the flagstick with a putt.

😁

Edited by Ole Duffer
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4 hours ago, Ole Duffer said:

Sorta like "playing it up", which normally means only in the fairway.  You don't get to "play it up" when you are not in the fairway because the fairway is considered to be a preferred lie.

 

4 hours ago, Shorty said:

Hitting golf balls off grass is a part of golf,

sorta the point some are trying to make.

😁

Absolutely love this!!!  Hitting golf balls off of the grass... How soon people forget that a closely mown area, such as a "Fairway" used to have special meaning in golf (the old embedded ball rule and LC&P conditions come to mind).  Too bad there's not some kind of statistic that could help us keep track of how consistently the Pro's hit their drives onto the short grass in the general area...

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35 minutes ago, Ole Duffer said:

There is no question that not getting relief from divots in the fairway has been an issue for a long time, is an issue now, and will continue to be an issue as long as there is no rule to address it.

 

There is a rule to address it.

There is no relief.

I get that people hate being in divots, even if it is once every five years.

What I don't get is why people think it is unfair, or think that they should get a good lie just because they don't like being in divots. At the end of the day it's a bad lie.

I don't like having a poorly repaired pitch mark that I can't fix between my ball and the hole on a three foot putt. Doesn't mean I deserve a drop. Same deal.

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3 minutes ago, Shorty said:

I don't like having a poorly repaired pitch mark that I can't fix between my ball and the hole on a three foot putt. Doesn't mean I deserve a drop. Same deal.

Pro's and amateurs have been fixing these poorly repaired pitch marks on the greens for years, and the new rules changes even allows the tamping down (repair) of spike marks which would have been sufficient grounds for claims of cheating just a few years ago.  

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(edited)

I can't see any possibility of a "rules discussion" if I wanted to take relief from a "divot" near this green. 🙄

Especially if in my judgement i "deem" my ball to be in one right next to a tuft of grass I'd prefer my ball to be sitting on.

Makes me think that the rule should stay as it is.......

bOA1bNdg.jpg

2 minutes ago, HoganApexFan said:

Pro's and amateurs have been fixing these poorly repaired pitch marks on the greens for years, and the new rules changes even allows the tamping down (repair) of spike marks which would have been sufficient grounds for claims of cheating just a few years ago.  

This is why I said one that I "can't fix", meaning one where there is a clump of mud spread out over a hole  on the green.

I deliberately said "can't", as opposed to "am not allowed to". :-)

 

Edited by Shorty
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3 minutes ago, Shorty said:

I can't see any possibility of a "rules discussion" if I wanted to take relief from a "divot" near this green. 

Maybe not a "rules discussion", but maybe a discussion with the course superintendent about designating a huge portion of this as GUR, giving you the option of relief no closer to the hole...

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(edited)
3 minutes ago, HoganApexFan said:

Maybe not a "rules discussion", but maybe a discussion with the course superintendent about designating a huge portion of this as GUR, giving you the option of relief no closer to the hole...

But my point is that in some cases the whole course looks like this. ;-)

People would basically think it was preferred lies on the fairway any time they didn't like their lie. It would never work.

 

Edited by Shorty
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Just now, Shorty said:

But my point is that in some cases the whole course looks like this. ;-)

You are responding too fast and much too cleverly for me to keep up!  I was tempted to say in the original picture that I would prefer that kind of lie and approach as I had a built in excuse!!!  I also thought it served as a classic example of abnormal ground conditions, but not if the whole course looked like that; kind of turns that definition up on its head!

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32 minutes ago, Shorty said:

I can't see any possibility of a "rules discussion" if I wanted to take relief from a "divot" near this green. 🙄

Especially if in my judgement i "deem" my ball to be in one right next to a tuft of grass I'd prefer my ball to be sitting on.

Makes me think that the rule should stay as it is.......

bOA1bNdg.jpg

This is why I said one that I "can't fix", meaning one where there is a clump of mud spread out over a hole  on the green.

I deliberately said "can't", as opposed to "am not allowed to". :-)

 

I see you in shorts so it must be in good weather. Do they have a maintenance crew at that course?

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I'm not buying the arguments about not being able to define what we need to to make a new rule work. Consider for example:

-In explaining 2019 local rule E-5 (alternative to stroke and distance), the USGA defines fairway as "any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less." I have trouble believing there would be much struggle to figure out where the fairway is based on that definition, which the USGA has already deemed good enough for local rule purposes.

- The Rules define an animal hole as including "any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground." Replace "the animal digging the hole underground" with "a golfer's club impacting the ground during a stroke or practice swing," and that's probably close enough for everyone to understand what a divot is. As the USGA seems to contemplate the fairway is "an area of grass" (see above), you could also probably just say non-grass area surrounded by fairway for the purposes of the rule being debated here (this would obviously capture conditions beyond just divots).

If the rule shouldn't be changed because play it as it lies, fair enough. But we don't need to pretend like the Rules of Golf or relevant governing bodies do (or can) define every situation such that there could be no debate.  

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2 minutes ago, m052310 said:

I'm not buying the arguments about not being able to define what we need to to make a new rule work. Consider for example:

-In explaining 2019 local rule E-5 (alternative to stroke and distance), the USGA defines fairway as "any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less." I have trouble believing there would be much struggle to figure out where the fairway is based on that definition, which the USGA has already deemed good enough for local rule purposes.

- The Rules define an animal hole as including "any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground." Replace "the animal digging the hole underground" with "a golfer's club impacting the ground during a stroke or practice swing," and that's probably close enough for everyone to understand what a divot is. As the USGA seems to contemplate the fairway is "an area of grass" (see above), you could also probably just say non-grass area surrounded by fairway for the purposes of the rule being debated here (this would obviously capture conditions beyond just divots).

If the rule shouldn't be changed because play it as it lies, fair enough. But we don't need to pretend like the Rules of Golf or relevant governing bodies do (or can) define every situation such that there could be no debate.  

Well that was my contention that too much uncertainty has been placed on whether humans were capable enough to figure out what a divot is and is not. I have more faith in humanity than some. What is a divot? sheeesh, come on!

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4 minutes ago, m052310 said:

I have trouble believing there would be much struggle to figure out where the fairway is based on that definition, which the USGA has already deemed good enough for local rule purposes.

First of all, welcome to the discussion and best of luck with the subsequent onslaught against your position.  Secondly, I have had several golf mates who would beg to differ with you with "figuring out where the fairway is", as during our competitions for most fairways hit we have always allowed for the "Mad/Drunk Mower" exception to where the fairway "Should" have been (majority rules!) :)

Full Disclaimer: *Not based on Rules of Golf, but based on rules of buying first round*

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4 minutes ago, HoganApexFan said:

First of all, welcome to the discussion and best of luck with the subsequent onslaught against your position.  Secondly, I have had several golf mates who would beg to differ with you with "figuring out where the fairway is", as during our competitions for most fairways hit we have always allowed for the "Mad/Drunk Mower" exception to where the fairway "Should" have been (majority rules!) 🙂

Full Disclaimer: *Not based on Rules of Golf, but based on rules of buying first round*

When the first round is in play, are there really any rules beyond it pays to be a winner?

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5 hours ago, Ole Duffer said:

Can we agree that landing in a divot in a perfectly manicured fairway is unfortunate?

Who has ever said anything different?

You’re erecting and then attempting to knock down an awful lot of straw men, @Ole Duffer.

4 hours ago, Billy Z said:

The anti's make good points, but I also think the pro-changers make solid points.

Name one. I haven’t seen the pro-changers make a solid point.

4 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I will say this, it's hard to respond to a previous comment I have made when it's broken up 5 ways expecting an answer to 5 different points. When this is done, it often takes the message out of context and makes it difficult to reply to.

I’m not going to apologize for your inabilities here. 😄

And nothing’s been taken out of context. You, on the other hand, have failed many times to answer questions posed to you, and have misrepresented the points made by others in an intellectually dishonest way.

4 hours ago, Ole Duffer said:

What do the Lady PGA Players have to say?

@Ole Duffer, most people given a vote would want no speed limits on highways, would love to pay less taxes, want free dessert at their favorite restaurants, and a whole bunch of other things.

That doesn’t mean it’s the “right” or “best” thing to do.

Tell you what: we’ll stipulate to the fact that most golfers (even though your one poll didn’t even reach that threshold) want relief from divot holes. So what? It’s not a popularity contest, and most golfers don’t understand the Rules of Golf..

3 hours ago, Ole Duffer said:

A pro-changer would argue that repairing spike marks is undoing golfer-induced damage to the course, and taking relief from a divot in the fairway is also undoing golfer-induced damage to the course.

What many of you are missing in trying to conflate repairing of spike marks is that the repair of spike marks (and any other damage - remember, before it was basically only ball marks that you could repair) is that this was a pace of play solution. Too many golfers were taking too long to see whether something was a ball mark and thus could be repaired, or a spike mark, or some other sort of thing…

Additionally, they didn’t want someone being able to say “that guy repaired something that wasn’t a ball mark” for repairing a ball mark on the putting green. You were already allowed to repair some things on the putting green.

You’re not allowed to repair things in the fairway. You get relief from some things, but you aren’t repairing anything. So the analogy fails on a few levels.

2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

As far as I remember, the divot non-change was the only non-change that was specifically addressed at the time the new rules were released.  Obviously the Ruling Bodies took a close look and made a conscious decision to keep the status quo.  I don't know if that means they're getting closer to making a change, or if the issue gets so much press that they felt the need to talk about it.  I suspect the latter is closer to the truth.

 

1 hour ago, HoganApexFan said:

But it hasn't always been that way.  Prior to the latest rules changes the USGA/R&A only allowed relief from embedded balls in closely mown areas through the green (meaning any area of the course, including the rough, cut to fairway height or less).  So there seems to be a distinction regarding balls hit into the fairways for some time.  Despite our governing bodies "Rules" on this matter, the PGA Tour and other Pro tours have had local rules for years allowing relief from embedded balls in what is now called that "general area".

They’re getting no closer at all. They just knew people will often vote to change it, so they wanted to take the chance to state AGAIN why that won’t work.

1 hour ago, Ole Duffer said:

The actual explanation from the USGA as to why it allowed the repair of golfer-induced damage to the green is because the green is the only portion of the course where the ball is intended to roll along the ground.

Among other things, yes. And repair was already allowed, and pace of play, and they didn’t want to penalize someone for repairing something that may or may not be a ball mark (same issue with not knowing when something is a ball mark or not a ball mark as when a divot hole ceases to be a divot hole).

1 hour ago, HoganApexFan said:

Absolutely love this!!!  Hitting golf balls off of the grass... How soon people forget that a closely mown area, such as a "Fairway" used to have special meaning in golf (the old embedded ball rule and LC&P conditions come to mind).  Too bad there's not some kind of statistic that could help us keep track of how consistently the Pro's hit their drives onto the short grass in the general area...

The Local Rule still exists, it’s simply flipped. The R&A wanted it only in the fairway, the USGA almost always enacted the Local Rule to extend it through the green (pre-2019). The Rule simply flipped the status for what is the Local Rule and what is not.

The point is that the fairway is not a special “area” of the course. Tees count, fringes count, even the walkways from tees to the fairway count as a “closely mown” area.

1 minute ago, m052310 said:

-In explaining 2019 local rule E-5 (alternative to stroke and distance), the USGA defines fairway as "any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less." I have trouble believing there would be much struggle to figure out where the fairway is based on that definition, which the USGA has already deemed good enough for local rule purposes.

That’s not a definition of “fairway.”

And the issue isn’t determining “where the fairway is.” It’s in writing a definition for what a divot hole is, when it ceases to be one, etc.

1 minute ago, m052310 said:

- The Rules define an animal hole as including "any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground." Replace "the animal digging the hole underground" with "a golfer's club impacting the ground during a stroke or practice swing," and that's probably close enough for everyone to understand what a divot is.

No. People take relief from animal holes far, far less often than they are in divot holes.

13 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Well that was my contention that too much uncertainty has been placed on whether humans were capable enough to figure out what a divot is and is not. I have more faith in humanity than some. What is a divot? sheeesh, come on!

Then, @Billy Z, write the definition.

Let’s have it.

Bored Still Waiting GIF

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(edited)
9 minutes ago, iacas said:

Who has ever said anything different?

You’re erecting and then attempting to knock down an awful lot of straw men, @Ole Duffer.

Name one. I haven’t seen the pro-changers make a solid point.

I’m not going to apologize for your inabilities here. 😄

And nothing’s been taken out of context. You, on the other hand, have failed many times to answer questions posed to you, and have misrepresented the points made by others in an intellectually dishonest way.

@Ole Duffer, most people given a vote would want no speed limits on highways, would love to pay less taxes, want free dessert at their favorite restaurants, and a whole bunch of other things.

That doesn’t mean it’s the “right” or “best” thing to do.

Tell you what: we’ll stipulate to the fact that most golfers (even though your one poll didn’t even reach that threshold) want relief from divot holes. So what? It’s not a popularity contest, and most golfers don’t understand the Rules of Golf..

What many of you are missing in trying to conflate repairing of spike marks is that the repair of spike marks (and any other damage - remember, before it was basically only ball marks that you could repair) is that this was a pace of play solution. Too many golfers were taking too long to see whether something was a ball mark and thus could be repaired, or a spike mark, or some other sort of thing…

Additionally, they didn’t want someone being able to say “that guy repaired something that wasn’t a ball mark” for repairing a ball mark on the putting green. You were already allowed to repair some things on the putting green.

You’re not allowed to repair things in the fairway. You get relief from some things, but you aren’t repairing anything. So the analogy fails on a few levels.

 

They’re getting no closer at all. They just knew people will often vote to change it, so they wanted to take the chance to state AGAIN why that won’t work.

Among other things, yes. And repair was already allowed, and pace of play, and they didn’t want to penalize someone for repairing something that may or may not be a ball mark (same issue with not knowing when something is a ball mark or not a ball mark as when a divot hole ceases to be a divot hole).

The Local Rule still exists, it’s simply flipped. The R&A wanted it only in the fairway, the USGA almost always enacted the Local Rule to extend it through the green (pre-2019). The Rule simply flipped the status for what is the Local Rule and what is not.

The point is that the fairway is not a special “area” of the course. Tees count, fringes count, even the walkways from tees to the fairway count as a “closely mown” area.

That’s not a definition of “fairway.”

And the issue isn’t determining “where the fairway is.” It’s in writing a definition for what a divot hole is, when it ceases to be one, etc.

No. People take relief from animal holes far, far less often than they are in divot holes.

Then, @Billy Z, write the definition.

Let’s have it.

Bored Still Waiting GIF

Your post may set an all time record for most quotes!

Also, if you can tell a fairway divot with your golf experience, I can't explain it to you!

Edited by Billy Z
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