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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?  

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



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24 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

This really is the question as far as writing an effective rule.  We can agree that it was once a divot hole, something of a disadvantage to the player.  Now its NOT a disadvantage, at least not enough to be considered for relief.  On which specific morning was it no longer a divot hole?  Its really impossible to answer in a consistently  enforceable way.

I seem to be of a different mindset then you, and probably many in here, but I think it can be defined. You ask me to define it, but I am not a rules expert, and those experts could do a better job than I could. I could even go as far as to say any hole in the fairway that is deemed to be made by a golfers stroke that goes unrepaired is available for a free drop. Now I know the what ifs are coming, I guess that's why forums exist, but that is my definition and I believe it could work. Glass half full!

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50 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

This really is the question as far as writing an effective rule.  We can agree that it was once a divot hole, something of a disadvantage to the player.  Now its NOT a disadvantage, at least not enough to be considered for relief.  On which specific morning was it no longer a divot hole?  Its really impossible to answer in a consistently  enforceable way.

Yes, that is GR (ground repaired).  With the first sprout of fresh green grass, with the old divot replaced, it is GR.  Rules Official on his radio: "Hey Rules Committee, can you send an agronomist out to #16 for a rules decision?"

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4 hours ago, Billy Z said:

As an advocate of a free drop from a fairway divot, I would definitely not allow relief from you situation. If a divot has been repaired and has grass growing back I would not allow relief.

You're arguing against yourself at this point.

3 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I seem to be of a different mindset then you, and probably many in here, but I think it can be defined.

Then define it.

We're still waiting.

3 hours ago, Billy Z said:

You ask me to define it, but I am not a rules expert, and those experts could do a better job than I could.

That's a cop-out, because the rules experts are the ones telling you that they can't define it.

And there are multiple levels of "rules experts," and I'm on a level. The USGA/R&A rules authors are several levels above me, of course, but all of those levels will tell you the same thing.

3 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I could even go as far as to say any hole in the fairway that is deemed to be made by a golfers stroke that goes unrepaired is available for a free drop. Now I know the what ifs are coming, I guess that's why forums exist, but that is my definition and I believe it could work. Glass half full!

So now you'd have to define what "repaired" means, and how is a golfer playing a day later to know if the divot hole was repaired or even if the divot hole was made by a golfer's stroke - after all, "stroke" has a very clear definition, and it doesn't include practice swings.


Look, at this point, you're insistent on something that rules experts of various levels will all tell you is not possible. But you keep insisting.

It's not about being "optimistic" (glass half full), it's about understanding the Rules of Golf, understanding that they apply to ALL situations across the world, at every level of the game, etc.

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I'm not going to read 60 pages of replies, but my stance is simple - there is no way to clearly determine what constitutes a "divot" so there is no way this can become a rule. 

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Please tell me how many divot holes you see here and how you’d differentiate between them in such a way that almost everyone could apply the same standard as you.

E3A7E9A6-DE17-44F8-AF54-E9D7A626E1EF.jpeg

The only answer that can work? None get relief. Play your ball.

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One of them is a deer footprint.

The bottom-most one is a continuation of the one beside it. It's irregularly shaped. The actual divot holes date to 2020.

Thank you for proving the point yet again.

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(edited)
8 minutes ago, iacas said:

One of them is a deer footprint.

The bottom-most one is a continuation of the one beside it. It's irregularly shaped. The actual divot holes date to 2020.

Thank you for proving the point yet again.

First off, that is a photo, and I am not there in real time. One could confuse another with marks on a green, with a photo. 

Secondly, I never said that a golfer should get relief from any of those abnormalities, I just tried to identify the holes.

I'm not sure what point this could prove other than they were abnormalities on the green.

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35 minutes ago, iacas said:

One of them is a deer footprint.

The bottom-most one is a continuation of the one beside it. It's irregularly shaped. The actual divot holes date to 2020.

Thank you for proving the point yet again.

I have never read a Golf Digest article on how to hit out of a deer hoofprint.  That's gotta be brutal.

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41 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

First off, that is a photo, and I am not there in real time. One could confuse another with marks on a green, with a photo.

You should be able to define a "divot hole" in such a way that a photo is fine.

41 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Secondly, I never said that a golfer should get relief from any of those abnormalities, I just tried to identify the holes.

Why not? Two of them are old divot holes, and the third looks like one. You even found a fourth.

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41 minutes ago, iacas said:

You should be able to define a "divot hole" in such a way that a photo is fine.

Why not? Two of them are old divot holes, and the third looks like one. You even found a fourth.

I would rather pass judgement in real life/time, not a photo. Although, again, I wouldn't expect relief from any of them, because they have been repaired and/or grown back. 

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28 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Although, again, I wouldn't expect relief from any of them, because they have been repaired and/or grown back.

A ball in any of those is going to be just as bad of a lie as a ball in a fresh divot, so what exactly would be the point of your proposed relief from divots rule?

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28 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I would rather pass judgement in real life/time, not a photo. Although, again, I wouldn't expect relief from any of them, because they have been repaired and/or grown back. 

You've been told what they are, not asked to interpret what they may be.

Can you not see that this example proves that there is no definition of a divot that will satisfy all people all of the time, let alone some people some of the time?

The fact that you want to see them in real life and can't use a photo shows that you want to make a judgement based on your OPINION.

The point of rules is to remove ambiguity, not promote it.

 

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19 minutes ago, billchao said:

A ball in any of those is going to be just as bad of a lie as a ball in a fresh divot, 

Absolutely not, period. Would any of those holes submerge a ball 3/4 of the ball underground? No.

 Do any of those have an abrupt vertical front edge where the ball could lean up against? No.

Do those holes give an opportunity for a decent shot? Yes

Now I am not trying to be funny, rude, or anything negative, but I made a very brief photo of a situation I was in. Number 1 hc hole, extremely critical to have good drive into the fw to have any chance at the green. This was a tournament, and my 3 partners hit errant drives into trouble, and I piped one down the middle only to end up in an unrepaired divot, the ball buried up against the front face, 3/4 of ball underground. I got it up the rear! All this to make the statement regarding the post I quoted that those holes look like child's play to hit out of compared to the unrepaired divot hole I ended up in. If it is unrepaired, a free drop should be awarded. I am not really interested in explaining what an unrepaired divot is, because that is self-explanatory imo. Sorry for the child-like drawing, but I searched the net any couldn't fine one that matched mine. So with my artistic skills I drew this one up.

divot.png

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2 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Absolutely not, period. Would any of those holes submerge a ball 3/4 of the ball underground? No.

Do any of those have an abrupt vertical front edge where the ball could lean up against? No.

Few divot holes have both or even one of those features.

3/4 of a ball is 1.26". Most divot holes don't have an "abrupt front edge."

You keep arguing against yourself and, apparently, not even realizing it.

You have a picture of what you're talking about in your mind, but since you are not going to be able to rule on EVERY divot hole EVERYWHERE, you're going to have to define it.

And you can't.

And the rules experts will tell you that they cannot.

4 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Now I am not trying to be funny, rude, or anything negative, but I made a very brief photo of a situation I was in.

Bad luck. Suck it up, buttercup!

Still waiting on a definition.

4 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

All this to make the statement regarding the post I quoted that those holes look like child's play to hit out of compared to the unrepaired divot hole I ended up in.

I mean… so?

4 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

If it is unrepaired, a free drop should be awarded.

Oh my word.

NO. For the many reasons outlined repeatedly.

Those divot holes up above… they appeared to be un-repaired. And what if you replace a divot in a divot hole but the mower throws it off the next morning: is that divot hole repaired? Unrepaired?

4 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I am not really interested in explaining what an unrepaired divot is, because that is self-explanatory imo.

No, it's not.

If it's so obvious, write the definition.


Here's the problem:

  • You got some bad luck. 99 out of 100 people, maybe even 100, would say "yeah, you're in a divot hole there."
  • You see THAT case, but what about one that is a day or two older? Or four days? Or that someone splashed some sand/seed mix nearby, maybe even into?
  • What if it wasn't a divot hole made by a golfer? What if someone just kicked some turf with their shoe, or an instrument, or something else happened?

You have a picture of something in your mind, but you've never, not once, considered how quickly the line can be blurred between your picture and what actually exists in the real world.

Not to mention the other hurdle of the Principle.


One of my tee shots landed on top of a leaf today.

I wasn't entitled to relief, because in moving the loose impediment, the ball would have moved. 100%. I had to hit a shot with a leaf coming between my clubface and the ball.

That's golf.

I also hit one into the trees on 18, but had a clear alleyway and punched a hybrid through onto the green.

That's golf.

And some skill.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

One of my tee shots landed on top of a leaf today.

When I get one of these odd lies, I take the mindset of, “let’s see how this affects the ball flight”. Same with divots or other irregularities. If it is forward in the divot, I expect lower flight so I club up and try to come in steeper.

I’ve had acorns around the ball, sticks, pine bows, leaves, etc. If I can’t move them, I try to predict what will happen. It’s a game after all.

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Well it feels like I'm arguing with closed minded individuals, but that's ok. I have given a well thought out definition but it was 100% wrong to you, and that's ok. I'm not going to give you another definition, I think in your hearts you know I have valid points. I was in a fw divot last 18, btw, since it is not scoring season yet I bumped it out, and thought of this thread as I did. I didn't feel guilty. When scoring season is here I will play it as it lies. You will all be surprised when the rule gets changed, I suspect pretty soon. 

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27 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Well it feels like I'm arguing with closed minded individuals, but that's ok.

Just because someone has thought things through and doesn't agree with you doesn't mean they are closed minded. 

27 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I have given a well thought out definition but it was 100% wrong to you, and that's ok.

No you haven't, because it is easy to poke holes in the definition. 

28 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I think in your hearts you know I have valid points.

The only point you made is that you think golfers are entitlted to a perfect lie in the fairway. Which, is not a valid point. So, no. 

29 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

You will all be surprised when the rule gets changed, I suspect pretty soon. 

It will not happen anytime soon. There is not enough crying foul over this. A golf ball ending up in a divot is shown maybe once every handful of tournments on the PGA Tour if that. They USGA and PGA have their hands full with the hole distance debate. This is way down on the list for thm. 

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