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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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13 hours ago, Billy Z said:

Now I am not trying to be funny, rude, or anything negative...

Hey, there is nothing wrong with trying to be funny.

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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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2 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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. 

I'm not closed minded, however I do disagree with your stance on this because you haven't convinced me of two things:

1. A core principle of golf should be circumvented for divot holes

2. A divot hole can be defined so that any player, in any conditions, can determine if they are, or are not, in a divot hole.

Even if the rules experts could come up with a working definition (which they say the cannot), there isn't any support for the first point of the core principle of golf.

Unless I am playing someone for money, which I almost never do, I really don't care if they give themselves relief from divot holes, or anything else really. I see players in my weekly rounds fluff their lies all the time, or use their "foot wedge" to get a better angle from behind a tree, and so on. And if these players are counting these rounds for handicap, I really don't care about that either, because ultimately this just hurts them in competition when they can't do that.

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On 3/22/2021 at 6:54 PM, 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. 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. 

 

6 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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. 

The one specific thing I have asked for was for you to define when is a divot hole no longer severe enough that it merits relief.  I'd say I've been reasonable enough to accept that, for the sake of discussion only, a brand new fresh divot hole deserved relief, and at some point in the future it has healed well enough that relief is no longer justified.  A rule would need to be written clearly enough that we'd all agree that TODAY it is healed, when yesterday it wasn't.  You haven't made any effort to do that.

You're right in one respect, there are experts who could do a better job than any of us in writing a rule.  And those experts have said they cannot do it properly.  I think you'd be well served to read the rules, the definitions.  Its pretty dang clear when your ball is in a penalty area, when it is OB, what an obstruction is.  I don't think there are many issues left to the player's judgement, the rules are as specific as they can be.  

But really the most important thing to consider, in my mind, is whether divot holes justify an exemption to the basic principles of golf.  And they do not.

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22 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 

The one specific thing I have asked for was for you to define when is a divot hole no longer severe enough that it merits relief.  I'd say I've been reasonable enough to accept that, for the sake of discussion only, a brand new fresh divot hole deserved relief, and at some point in the future it has healed well enough that relief is no longer justified.  A rule would need to be written clearly enough that we'd all agree that TODAY it is healed, when yesterday it wasn't.  You haven't made any effort to do that.

You're right in one respect, there are experts who could do a better job than any of us in writing a rule.  And those experts have said they cannot do it properly.  I think you'd be well served to read the rules, the definitions.  Its pretty dang clear when your ball is in a penalty area, when it is OB, what an obstruction is.  I don't think there are many issues left to the player's judgement, the rules are as specific as they can be.  

But really the most important thing to consider, in my mind, is whether divot holes justify an exemption to the basic principles of golf.  And they do not.

I think I did give a definition, it just wasn't received well by some. I understand this can be a polarizing subject, that's ok, that's what makes it interesting as well. It's even been talked about on the PGA broadcasts. I think most golfers would love to see it changed.

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1 minute ago, Billy Z said:

I think most golfers would love to see it changed.

I think "most golfers" would like OB and lost balls to be treated as a red penalty area, because stroke and distance is way too hard.  

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I think "most golfers" would like OB and lost balls to be treated as a red penalty area, because stroke and distance is way too hard.  

I don't want to stray off topic too far, but I would like to see that changed too. Golf is just a game for the majority, might as well make it enjoyable!

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51 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I don't want to stray off topic too far, but I would like to see that changed too. Golf is just a game for the majority, might as well make it enjoyable!

I hope you’re kidding. It seems like you’d like to play a game similar to golf (which is fine), but you don’t actually like real golf which adds addition layers of difficulty and challenges that many of us enjoyed as part of the sport. 
 

You are certainly welcome to play pseudo-golf with your buddies if that’s makes it more enjoyable

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2 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I don't want to stray off topic too far, but I would like to see that changed too. Golf is just a game for the majority, might as well make it enjoyable!

I won't go any further down that road, another thread was just started for it.  But while golf is a game for the masses, the rules aren't made by the majority, we don't get a vote.  Lebron doesn't get a vote on basketball rules, ARod didn't get to vote on baseball rules, and even Tiger doesn't get to vote on golf rules.   The Rules of Golf are written by those experts who understand the history and traditions, the basic underlying principles, and the balance required among the rules.  We don't need to dumb the game down for the lowest common denominator.

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10 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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

Stop right there.

Is someone who thinks 2+2=4 "close minded" because they don't want to hear that 2+2 = "a pink elephant"?

This isn't that (because that's a fact, and rules are almost arbitrary), but it's closer than you think.

  • We've told you why your definitions stink.
  • We've told you that the Rules Experts (of which I am one, though again of a lower level than those who write the Rules) say about the possibility of writing a definition.
  • We've told you about the Principles Behind the Rules of Golf.

What you just said right there is insulting. It indicates to me that you cannot read and process an argument, and actually points to you being more close-minded than anyone arguing against you. After all, we've given you opportunities to come up with a definition. We'd have bet our houses you couldn't, but we gave you the chance, and replied with the reasons why they've stunk.

10 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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

It was not very "well thought out." It took a matter of seconds to poke holes in them, in exactly the ways you were told they would fail.

10 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I'm not going to give you another definition

Then your participation in this topic is coming to an end.

10 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I think in your hearts you know I have valid points

You do not.

10 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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.

So? I was on a leaf. I found a way to make a par.

10 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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

Let's place a wager. I'll give you until 2027, as the Rules are revised every four years (2023, 2027).

I'll give you 2:1 odds.

I'll put up up to $500. You put up $250. Or less, which reduces my obligation.

Is it a bet?

And if the rule ever changes while you're still on this site and I'm alive and ≤ 72 years old (I'm 43 as of yesterday), I'll refund what you almost certainly will have lost.

3 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I think I did give a definition, it just wasn't received well by some.

Your definition stunk, and was easily shown to be poor.

3 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I understand this can be a polarizing subject, that's ok, that's what makes it interesting as well.

It's not polarizing… in that nobody gets all that worked up about it on my side.

3 hours ago, Billy Z said:

It's even been talked about on the PGA broadcasts. I think most golfers would love to see it changed.

Most would.

Golf's rules aren't driven by polls or votes.

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(edited)
11 hours ago, Billy Z said:

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. 

I am beginning to think that you are trolling. Your argument does not stand up to ANY scrutiny, yet you persist.

"Closed minded" does not equate to people who make solid arguments agains flimsy ones such as yours.

Please direct us to the "well thought out definition" you have offered. 

"In my heart" I don't think you have valid points, and nor does anyone else from what I can see.  Who are you to tell us what we "really" believe. You are plain wrong.

So what if you moved your ball out of a divot in your last practice round? If you're not "scoring" you can do whatever you like, so who cares if you took a preferred lie? Why would you feel guilty if you aren't scoring? Since when did you have to play out of shitty lies in practice?

Please direct us to the secret info you have that indicates that the rule will get changed "pretty soon". Why do you "suspect" that it will be? You're just making sh*t up.

Every article that has been written about it says you can't define divots to the satisfaction of everyone all the time, so we'll juts keep playing the game as we have since it began. And that's beside the point that you aren't "supposed" to have perfect lies in the fairway.

Effectively, "preferred lies on all fairways at all times" will never exist.

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Sorry for my poor choice of words, after I posted I wanted to change the wording but it wouldn't let me. As far as my attempts to define what a divot is, yes it is difficult, but I think it can be done. I think the post may have run it's course for me, maybe for all? Play it as it lies! 

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On 3/24/2021 at 8:58 AM, Billy Z said:

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

So...you’re taking @iacas on the bet?

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No, doesn't seem like those in power want the change. ;-)

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14 hours ago, iacas said:

I'm alive and ≤ 72 years old (I'm 43 as of yesterday)

Okay, I know this is off topic, but happy birthday.

Just to keep this post on topic. I don't think this rule is going to be added/changed. Its too much to the core principle of golf, which is play it as it lies. If you want a perfect lie every time you find fairway just go play golf on a simulator. 

BTW - When I played earlier this week I hit the fairway on hole 11 with a solid drive, about 3 feet from the first cut on the right side. My ball came to rest in some kind of hole. I have no idea if it was a healing divot, if it was some kind of animal hole, if it was made some other way. I truly don't know. But my ball was definitely in a hole. Immediately I thought of this thread and laughed. 

In case anyone cares, I hit a chippy 6-iron from about 145 yards out to pin high but right of the green where I actually got a worse lie. Then I chipped it out (dug it out) with my 54 degree well past the hole and two putted. 

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1 minute ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Okay, I know this is off topic, but happy birthday.

Just to keep this post on topic. I don't think this rule is going to be added/changed. Its too much to the core principle of golf, which is play it as it lies. If you want a perfect lie every time you find fairway just go play golf on a simulator. 

BTW - When I played earlier this week I hit the fairway on hole 11 with a solid drive, about 3 feet from the first cut on the right side. My ball came to rest in some kind of hole. I have no idea if it was a healing divot, if it was some kind of animal hole, if it was made some other way. I truly don't know. But my ball was definitely in a hole. Immediately I thought of this thread and laughed. 

In case anyone cares, I hit a chippy 6-iron from about 145 yards out to pin high but right of the green where I actually got a worse lie. Then I chipped it out (dug it out) with my 54 degree well past the hole and two putted. 

Another alternative, probably what the majority of golfers do, is just foot wedge the ball out of the divot and play on. Most golfers probably don't keep a hc and do as they please. It's not scoring season in Michigan yet and that's what I do. When the season begins, I play it as it lies. 

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1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

I think the post may have run it's course for me, maybe for all?

It ran its course for you within your first ten posts in this topic.

1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

No, doesn't seem like those in power want the change. ;-)

You’re the one who made the assertion.

Tell you what. I’ll go 5:1 odds for up to $1000.

You’ll owe me $200 in 2027.

37 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Another alternative, probably what the majority of golfers do, is just foot wedge the ball out of the divot and play on. Most golfers probably don't keep a hc and do as they please. It's not scoring season in Michigan yet and that's what I do. When the season begins, I play it as it lies. 

Maybe Chet likes playing actual golf.

Who cares what the majority do? This is the Rules of Golf forum.

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1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

Sorry for my poor choice of words, after I posted I wanted to change the wording but it wouldn't let me. As far as my attempts to define what a divot is, yes it is difficult, but I think it can be done. I think the post may have run it's course for me, maybe for all? Play it as it lies! 

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.

PG1960_20Principles_20Behind_20The_20Rul

USGA Members, please sign in to receive your Member discount: Sign In SALE - 50% Off Discontinued This 72-page booklet is an update to the original version of The Principles Behind The Rules of Golf, according to the...

 

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2 hours ago, Billy Z said:

No, doesn't seem like those in power want the change. ;-)

You keep saying this, but the reality is most of the posters in this thread, who don’t want the rule changed, gave valid reasons. You don’t like it, but the vast majority of golfers who compete just play the lie as the find it.

1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

Another alternative, probably what the majority of golfers do, is just foot wedge the ball out of the divot and play on. Most golfers probably don't keep a hc and do as they please. It's not scoring season in Michigan yet and that's what I do. When the season begins, I play it as it lies. 

Golfers who don’t keep a HC are irrelevant to this discussion. 

Listen Billy, you are a good contributor to this forum, but I think you are off target when you say it would be easy to write the rule. Part of my job for the last 31 years was to write procedures, test methods and reports that would pass scrutiny in an FDA audit. I’ve been through many audits. There can be no gray areas in what I did. It has to be black and white. The Rules writers for golf have taken this into consideration and using the Principles decided the only black and white line would be no relief.

We can’t have competitors arbitrarily declaring any imperfection they don’t like as a divot. Heck, I played today and the fairways were what you’d expect for March in Massachusetts, bumpy, some dirt, patches of dead grass and maybe old divots. I still played it as it was because I may come to that in scoring season.

They are not going to change it.

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