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Should Divots Be Considered Ground Under Repair?


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

123 members have voted

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



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7 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

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.

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.

Thanks for your post, well written! 

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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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12 hours ago, Rulesman said:

I don't see why people can't cope

For most of the time they can, but I have been in in divots where the most you can do is advance it maybe 50 yards.

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9 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

For most of the time they can, but I have been in in divots where the most you can do is advance it maybe 50 yards.

Not buying that Billy. You must play one hell of a lot ‘a golf. And if you did...you’d be able to do better than advance it 50yds. 

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Not buying that Billy. You must play one hell of a lot ‘a golf. And if you did...you’d be able to do better than advance it 50yds. 

You were not in my divot last year, the one I am referencing? Honestly, I advanced it further than my opponents thought I could. It was a deep gash in the ground, about 1 1/4" deep, vertical wall on the front end where my ball came to rest. Some hacker hit a terrible shot, I would guess, and said 'screw it, I'm not going to fix it'. Now these type are not that common, but my ball found it with zero chance to go at the elevated green, over water, from 160 yds. Literally impossible. Whether you 'buy it' or not, that's ok, but I was the one in it. Not even a professional would be able/capable to hit the green from this predicament, period. It was an uncommon situation, but accurate to what I described.

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25 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

You were not in my divot last year, the one I am referencing? Honestly, I advanced it further than my opponents thought I could. It was a deep gash in the ground, about 1 1/4" deep, vertical wall on the front end where my ball came to rest. Some hacker hit a terrible shot, I would guess, and said 'screw it, I'm not going to fix it'. Now these type are not that common, but my ball found it with zero chance to go at the elevated green, over water, from 160 yds. Literally impossible. Whether you 'buy it' or not, that's ok, but I was the one in it. Not even a professional would be able/capable to hit the green from this predicament, period. It was an uncommon situation, but accurate to what I described.

And sometimes you hit a ball and it's right behind a tree. Or takes a bad hop off a cart path and goes OB.

Goodness. Move on.

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1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

but I have been in in divots where the most you can do is advance it maybe 50 yards.

Ok. So you were in a bad one last year. You said ‘divots’. A rare event happened last year, once. Like Erik said....

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41 minutes ago, iacas said:

And sometimes you hit a ball and it's right behind a tree. Or takes a bad hop off a cart path and goes OB.

Goodness. Move on.

but most golfers want those rules changed! 😉

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I’m late to the party. Haven’t really read through all of the responses completely but I voted yes. My thought is that it really sucks to have to play from a divot when you hit a drive in the fairway. 
 

That said I think the issue is that writing a clear rule as to what constitutes a “divot” would become an issue. I also could see being slower in competition because of constant rulings needed when players claim any little imperfection in the fairway to be a divot. 
 

Don’t think there can ever be a way to make this rule change without issues. Best to leave it where it is.

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I'm also late to the party, and I feel like I've commented on this issue before, possibly in this thread, but the system shows this as a thread I haven't posted in?  

Anyway.  I don't think it should be ground under repair, partly for the definitional reason.  

I can't be the only person who practices hitting out of a divot with a few shots when I'm at a grass range.  If you don't do that, do it.  You never know when you'll be in a divot during a strict-rules situation.  And if you aren't in a strict rules situation, don't move the ball either, because you could use the practice.

Remember:  just because you're in a divot doesn't mean you're in a hole. 

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(edited)

Fun (or not so fun) fact: I played this weekend on a course that used to be in great shape, in a gated community, etc... It must have fallen on hard times, which is weird in the COVID-growth era. The fairways were like mine fields, unrepaired divot holes everywhere! My cart partner and I combined for being in 4 such holes in our round, at 2 a piece. It was in a tournament round too. And no, hitting from those, the results were not fugly or tremendous, kind of in between... But it just shows that the odds of being in one such hole may not be 3-5 per year for everyone! :beer:

And now:

:offtopic:

And that's without mentioning the gazillion holes on the green, following aeration (it's that time of the year after all, around here). At least we were covered by a (local?) rule that allows moving the ball out of such a hole to start a putt. Yeah!

Edited by sjduffers
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12 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

But it just shows that the odds of being in one such hole may not be 3-5 per year for everyone!

It doesn’t really show anything.🙂

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1 minute ago, Vinsk said:

It doesn’t really show anything.🙂

Sort of. Nor does saying as a blanket statement that it is a rare event. It varies. A. Lot. I know it happened a lot more than usual that day. 4 times between two players in a single round is a lot.

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24 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Sort of. Nor does saying as a blanket statement that it is a rare event. It varies. A. Lot. I know it happened a lot more than usual that day. 4 times between two players in a single round is a lot.

Well...I humbly disagree. If a man gets struck by lightning...he’s incorrect to say, ‘ Well so much for this being a rare event...it varies.’

Sure events can vary..but overall hitting into a divot hole on a golf course is a rare  happening. 

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41 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Sort of. Nor does saying as a blanket statement that it is a rare event. It varies. A. Lot. I know it happened a lot more than usual that day. 4 times between two players in a single round is a lot.

No it’s still a rare event.

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58 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Fun (or not so fun) fact: I played this weekend on a course that used to be in great shape, in a gated community, etc... It must have fallen on hard times, which is weird in the COVID-growth era. The fairways were like mine fields, unrepaired divot holes everywhere! My cart partner and I combined for being in 4 such holes in our round, at 2 a piece. It was in a tournament round too. And no, hitting from those, the results were not fugly or tremendous, kind of in between... But it just shows that the odds of being in one such hole may not be 3-5 per year for everyone! :beer:

And now:

:offtopic:

And that's without mentioning the gazillion holes on the green, following aeration (it's that time of the year after all, around here). At least we were covered by a (local?) rule that allows moving the ball out of such a hole to start a putt. Yeah!

Crappy ground can be like that. As the courses open here, the ground is really variable. Some patches here that look like divots may just be bare ground waiting for grass to grow back in.

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20 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Well...I humbly disagree. If a man gets struck by lightning...he’s incorrect to say, ‘ Well so much for this being a rare event...it varies.’

Sure events can vary..but overall hitting into a divot hole on a golf course is a rare  happening. 

Yes getting hit by lightning is rare and it still happens alright, but getting hit twice is extremely rare. However it happens more in areas susceptible to have lightning in the first place.

Not every situation is equal in the face of global statistics. Some courses are bound to have more instances of balls in divot holes than others. This course is one of them, apparently: did I mentioned that the divot holes were all (or nearly all) unrepaired and there were a lot of them? I also have played lots of times on courses where I don't ever recall being in a divot hole and their overall maintenance was much better too. Hence my correct statement. It varies. A. Lot.

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15 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Crappy ground can be like that. As the courses open here, the ground is really variable. Some patches here that look like divots may just be bare ground waiting for grass to grow back in.

True, but it was not like that at all. These were clearly defined divot holes (meaning recent ones), in the typical divot shape, occurring  seemingly uniformly in common landing areas, every foot or even less. Just a course with lots of play (aren't they all these days?) and seemingly little maintenance. And indeed, there were also areas with bare ground and areas less watered. California is in another drought after all, as we had another pretty dry winter following the one last year...

I should have taken a picture, but sadly I didn't. And it's a course that is a long drive from home (85 miles or so each way), so I won't making the trip back anytime soon...

 

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