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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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12 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

That isn't a bad idea, but maybe another way to do it while still adhering to the principle of not touching one's ball unnecessarily would be to set the tees on a different tee box so that most players aren't landing in the damaged area as readily.  A change of 10-15 yards could make that work.

I agree with @Fourputt for many cases where its a fairway collection area.  Around the green it isn't so easy, as I saw in Pinehurst for the 2014 US Open.  During practice rounds, a significant number of green-side collection areas were covered with tarps, so nobody could practice and tear them up for the tournament.  By moving the pins around, we didn't see too great a concentration of divots during the men's tournament, but I'm sure that the women had to deal with less-than-stellar conditions.  A big part of the concern wasn't so much landing in a repaired divot hole, but putting or chipping through and around them, and the unpredictable things that could happen.

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There were a number of LPGA players expressing concern in the weeks leading up to the event, but I don't remember specific complaints during the tournament.  Two things that I'm sure helped were:

Different tee locations and driving distances.  They said they were going to try to set up the courses so the women were hitting the same clubs as the men, meaning they were using different parts of the fairways.

The extremely firm turf pretty made taking a divot for "chipping" range shots impractical.  The shots most used were either a chip or pitch utilizing the bounce of the club, which doesn't cause much damage, or putting, sometimes from well off the actual green. 

I also wonder if many of the players decided that to complain about the conditions while the tournament was going on would be to admit that the conditions were in their heads.  Jordan Spieth famously said at Chambers Bay that the condition of the greens was NOT going to be a problem for him, and that approach worked out OK for him.

Anyway, this little subthread is kind of off-topic, although we ARE discussing the impact of divot holes on play at the highest level.

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My guess is that there are more messages in this thread than there were balls in divots during the 2015 season of all of the people participating in this thread, combined.

I just do not understand why we would want to change the rules and introduce all kinds of uncertainties and subjectivity (which any such rule would do) for a situation which occurs so infrequently.  To me this is the classic solution in search of a problem.

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1 hour ago, turtleback said:

My guess is that there are more messages in this thread than there were balls in divots during the 2015 season of all of the people participating in this thread, combined.

I just do not understand why we would want to change the rules and introduce all kinds of uncertainties and subjectivity (which any such rule would do) for a situation which occurs so infrequently.  To me this is the classic solution in search of a problem.

Agree 100%! :beer:

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3 minutes ago, Golf Grouch said:

I think that this short video settles the debate quite nicely:

 

 

It doesn't settle anything at all - Jack states his opinion and Mike Davis explains why it won't work.

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1 hour ago, Rulesman said:

The point I note is that he is only concerned with sand filled divot (holes). Apparently no problem with replaced divots or unfilled holes.

Which is interesting. So by Jack his argument is. 

Sand Filled Divot = GUR because the course is repairing the divot by using sand
Normal Divot = non GUR because it's just how the course is due to natural play. 

I can see that side of it. I just don't think you can make a rule for it that would take the wide range of subjectivity out of it. 

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6 hours ago, Rulesman said:

The point I note is that he is only concerned with sand filled divot (holes). Apparently no problem with replaced divots or unfilled holes.

Jack first mentioned his dislike of the treatment of divot holes (I think it was all of them, not just sand-filled ones) more than 30 years ago. Maybe he thought that putting sand in the hole would constitute a repairing act and thus he would have an easier time convincing Mike Davis of the USGA in that interview. Yes, that's the only thing they talk about, but that does not mean that it's all there is on Jack's mind.

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43 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Jack first mentioned his dislike of the treatment of divot holes (I think it was all of them, not just sand-filled ones) more than 30 years ago. Maybe he thought that putting sand in the hole would constitute a repairing act and thus he would have an easier time convincing Mike Davis of the USGA in that interview. Yes, that's the only thing they talk about, but that does not mean that it's all there is on Jack's mind.

He does specifically point out, however, in that video that players can play shots from empty divot holes and replaced divots.  He certainly implies there that it's only sand filled divots that present a problem.

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9 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

He does specifically point out, however, in that video that players can play shots from empty divot holes and replaced divots.  He certainly implies there that it's only sand filled divots that present a problem.

And to me, the sand-filled holes present much more of a "normal" shot than when a ball is sitting in a relatively deep un-repaired crater, as long as the sand is smoothed down about even with the surrounding grass.  As much as I respect Jack, I think his concern here is misguided.

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1 minute ago, DaveP043 said:

And to me, the sand-filled holes present much more of a "normal" shot than when a ball is sitting in a relatively deep un-repaired crater, as long as the sand is smoothed down about even with the surrounding grass.  As much as I respect Jack, I think his concern here is misguided.

Absolutely!  A relatively flat, even, sand filled divot is a much better option and generally gives an easier shot than the ball sitting down in a crater.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

And to me, the sand-filled holes present much more of a "normal" shot than when a ball is sitting in a relatively deep un-repaired crater, as long as the sand is smoothed down about even with the surrounding grass.  As much as I respect Jack, I think his concern here is misguided.

Nonsense - go to the unrepaired or partially repaired divot hole.  Fill it with sand - then move your ball  ;-)

 

Let me ask this - If it's NOT GUR.  then why do we have 'Divot Repair Tools"?  HMMM?  c'mon people it's obvious - :~(

 

 

MWSnap 2016-01-14, 08_50_17.jpg

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11 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

Nonsense - go to the unrepaired or partially repaired divot hole.  Fill it with sand - then move your ball  ;-)

 

Let me ask this - If it's NOT GUR.  then why do we have 'Divot Repair Tools"?  HMMM?  c'mon people it's obvious - :~(

I'm not sure what the first bit really means, but I'd much prefer to have a ball sitting level with the fairway grass, but on a bit of sand, as compared to a ball sitting a half-inch below the level of the fairway grass in an un-repaired divot hole.  If you'd prefer the reverse, that's your choice, but "nonsense" doesn't really apply here.

For the second bit, I know what those tools are often called, but they're for repairing old hole plugs or ball marks on the putting green.  They're rarely if ever used to repair a divot hole in the fairway.  There's an obvious difference between the two.  In fact, several differences, but the most important one is that balls marks on the putting green are specifically allowed to be repaired.

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Slightly OT question if anybody would like to humor me. Why is relief allowed from 'play it as it lies' rule from a plugged lie but not unfilled divot if you can deem that the divot bottom is below the ground level?   Not questioning the rule but the logic behind the difference.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm not sure what the first bit really means, but I'd much prefer to have a ball sitting level with the fairway grass, but on a bit of sand, as compared to a ball sitting a half-inch below the level of the fairway grass in an un-repaired divot hole.  If you'd prefer the reverse, that's your choice, but "nonsense" doesn't really apply here.

For the second bit, I know what those tools are often called, but they're for repairing old hole plugs or ball marks on the putting green.  They're rarely if ever used to repair a divot hole in the fairway.  There's an obvious difference between the two.  In fact, several differences, but the most important one is that balls marks on the putting green are specifically allowed to be repaired.

Clearly my wry humor was missed here.  I'll explain tediously.  You normally get my humor, Dave...I even sprinkled in smiley faces.....

1 - Jack considers sand filled to be GUR - so (wry humor) carry some sand around with you and sprinkle it whenever you don't like your lie.  I'm not serious.

2 - Semantics argument humor - since we have Divot "Repair" Tools.....QED, therefore Divots = GUR  (even better, since "Divot repair tools" don't even repair divots)

there will be a quiz

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

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