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Fall Season "Leaf" Rule

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curious if you guys play the "leaf rule" - with all the leaves on the courses in the fall?   Meaning if a ball can't be found, a drop is allowed at an agreed upon spot by all players, at no penalty (assuming the ball is not in or near the trees or close to OB)

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curious if you guys play the "leaf rule" - with all the leaves on the courses in the fall?   Meaning if a ball can't be found, a drop is allowed at an agreed upon spot by all players, at no penalty (assuming the ball is not in or near the trees or close to OB)

I can think of at least four times we have imposed the "leaf rule" this fall. It just speeds up play.

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We use the leaf rule judiciously when a ball goes missing on or near the fairway.  If a ball heads into the woods or in an area where it would be questionable to find even if leaves weren't present then it's treated as a lost ball or out of bounds depending on which is more applicable.

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never ever heard of this nevertheless it's motsly pine trees and wild plants here.

i do know a couple of holes with loads of leaves in the roughs and the idea is not to end up in the rough cause obviously it's really hard to find a ball.

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My home course is lined with trees and while they do their best to clean up the leaves during the fall, it's almost impossible, especially when the wind is gusting to keep them off the fairway.

It's not uncommon to lose a ball under a leaf on the fairway, no less the rough so the rule is in place to prevent people from turning over every leaf on the course to find their ball and slowing down the pace of play for everyone without penalizing the golfer.

It's easily abused so we try to only apply it when we're certain the ball landed and rolled on or close to the fairway.

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Seems particularly applicable on a course that you play often and know well. I've played my local course so much lately that I usually have a good sense for when I've truly lost the ball because of an errant shot vs. losing it to the leaves (which are plentiful in my area).
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My home course is lined with trees and while they do their best to clean up the leaves during the fall, it's almost impossible, especially when the wind is gusting to keep them off the fairway.

It's not uncommon to lose a ball under a leaf on the fairway, no less the rough so the rule is in place to prevent people from turning over every leaf on the course to find their ball and slowing down the pace of play for everyone without penalizing the golfer.

It's easily abused so we try to only apply it when we're certain the ball landed and rolled on or close to the fairway.

I was blowing the leaves off of our first fairway last week and found 6 brand new looking golf balls right in the middle of the fairway. They stood out like a sore thumb after the leaves were blown away.

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I was blowing the leaves off of our first fairway last week and found 6 brand new looking golf balls right in the middle of the fairway. They stood out like a sore thumb after the leaves were blown away.

If they were 350 yards from the tips, they were mine. I just started playing last week and my friends say I keep my head down too long, and I never see where the ball goes. When can I expect to get better?

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There's a guy at our club who doesn't see well as it is. I avoid him in the fall. Rounds with him in the fall are a leaf rulapalooza.

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I've never heard of the leaf rule ... but that's only because we don't really have a fall here in Socal. ;)  But it is perfectly reasonable to me.  I would play that way if I ever experienced an autumn in a leafy area. :)

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If they were 350 yards from the tips, they were mine. I just started playing last week and my friends say I keep my head down too long, and I never see where the ball goes. When can I expect to get better?

Ha ha! I don't know how to respond to most of that other than that those balls were all about 230 yards from the tee...So not yours. :-D

I'm sure back in the clubhouse all of those ball were over 300 yards and up by the green though.

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curious if you guys play the "leaf rule" - with all the leaves on the courses in the fall?   Meaning if a ball can't be found, a drop is allowed at an agreed upon spot by all players, at no penalty (assuming the ball is not in or near the trees or close to OB)

This is horrible where I play because the course winds through the woods.  You miss the fairway and it's gone, the leaves are shin deep.  We play that if it goes into the leaves on the fly then it is lost and you take the stroke to recover.  However, if the ball bounces on the fairway (or clean rough) and then rolls into the leaves it's a free drop.

I almost want to take a rake with me.  There are a couple of really tight fairways that I am sure the ground is covered with balls if the 6-10 inches of leaves were gone.

One question though, if the ball is not in or near any trees, where did the leaves come from? :-$

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This is the official 'Leaf Rule'

The Committee may make a temporary Local Rule declaring accumulations of leaves through the green at certain holes to be ground under repair (see Definition of "Ground Under Repair") and Rule 25-1 will apply.

The Local Rule should be restricted to the hole(s) at which trouble with leaves occurs and it should be withdrawn as soon as conditions permit. Particular attention is drawn to the opening paragraph of Rule 25-1c ; unless it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the leaves, it must be treated as lost elsewhere and Rule 27-1 applies.

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This is the official 'Leaf Rule'

The Committee may make a temporary Local Rule declaring accumulations of leaves through the green at certain holes to be ground under repair (see Definition of "Ground Under Repair") and Rule 25-1 will apply.

The Local Rule should be restricted to the hole(s) at which trouble with leaves occurs and it should be withdrawn as soon as conditions permit. Particular attention is drawn to the opening paragraph of Rule 25-1c; unless it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the leaves, it must be treated as lost elsewhere and Rule 27-1 applies.

I am in the midwest and leaves started coming down a couple weeks ago. I was a playing a round by myself a week ago and hit a decent drive ~220 and just to the left of the fairway. When I got to the spot, there were 10,000 leaves on the ground and I could not find my ball. I am not aware of the course/committe specific rules hole by hole as they pertain to leaves, but I decided to drop in the approximate location where I thought it landed WITHOUT penalty.

Perhaps this is not proper scoring, but in tournament conditions there would be no leaves, the assumption being that the course would be kept pretty clean. Also, I would have found my ball easily if it were a week earlier (before Fall kicked in) or at a similar course in a different part of the country (where there is no Fall).

I have heard the argument that the problem with dropping is that you end up giving yourself a better lie. Perhaps, but isn't that the case with hazards as well? It's an approximation at the end of the day.

Anyway, with Fall officially kicking in here I anticipate more lost balls due to leaves (that would "normally" be found). I don't think it's fair that we are penalized for this.

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I give myself a free drop if I genuinely think I would have found the ball but for the leaves.

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I will do this on the occasion when the ball was right in the fairway but when I get there it is covered with leaves.  If the ball is heading toward trouble and there are leaves along the way, well too bad it is a lost ball.  I also have no illusion that most of our "leaf balls" are compliant with the Rules of Golf, but on a windy October day the round could take forever searching 5 minutes under the leaves for every other shot. I do find that with today's heavy duty leaf blowers the problem is not as bad as 20 years ago.

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I was thinking about this over the weekend and am considering one of these to aid in my searches:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200625337_200625337

Just have to be careful not to move your ball in the process...

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I was thinking about this over the weekend and am considering one of these to aid in my searches:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200625337_200625337

Just have to be careful not to move your ball in the process...


LOL! What do the rules say about carrying one of these in your bag?

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