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Trees Marked as Lateral Hazard - Playing from Them


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Good grief!  I've just got so muddled between this thread and the one on unmarked out of bounds, that I posted a reply relevant to the latter in this one.

Time to get some help.

!

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Again, there are already instances where the Rules of Golf tell you not to play the course as marked.

I'm not disagreeing but can you point them out?

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I'm not disagreeing but can you point them out?


I assumed IACAS  was referring to Decisions 26/2 and 26/3  which he mentioned in the thread on unmarked out of bounds - which was the subject of the reply I put here by mistake and which is now in the other thread.

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This is very difficult situation, but on the other hand I find it difficult to penalize player playing according to markings of the course.

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This is very difficult situation, but on the other hand I find it difficult to penalize player playing according to markings of the course.

Would you also agree that a player would not be wrong in by playing by the rules in this case, despite the course being marked in direct opposition to the rules?  I feel that the player would be entirely justified in doing so, as long as he does not cause undue delay and fall off the pace (which is the only imaginable reason for a course being so badly mismarked)?

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Talked to my rules buddy..

After getting him to understand that sometimes-Like in small traveling leagues or high school events or somesuch-You just do not have control to mark the course as you see fit he said he would use 3-3 and then present the case for why you felt you could move the rock or stick or you could ground your club afterward. Then if the committee bought it cool otherwise you live by their decision.

He said that courses should know when they are skirting the rules to speed up play and should have a prepared sheet for tournament play which outlines which areas actually ARE water hazards and which are not. Of course if the course has that the player does not need to do 3-3 because it will say something like-The trees right of #3 marked as a lateral WH are to be played as through the green.

OK, so now I am on the committee and he is making his case.

My question would be, assuming a stroke play event, one of equity. Would we be prejudicing the field if we allowed the "moved the rock" score?  I cannot see allowing it in a case where there is marking but it is wrong.  I would distinguish this from a somewhat, but not exactly analogous case of GUR.  If you think an area is GUR but it isn't marked as such, then 3-3 is a great option.  But what if the area is marked as GUR and there is a local rule in effect prohibiting play out of GUR.  But say the player's ball is on a nice patch of grass within the GUR.  He certainly cannot argue, in this case, that the grass is mismarked and he should be able to hit from it.

IOW, I think there is (or should be?) a difference between something that is NOT marked and something that is MISmarked.  At least, I don't think analogies between the different situations work.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

Talked to my rules buddy..

After getting him to understand that sometimes-Like in small traveling leagues or high school events or somesuch-You just do not have control to mark the course as you see fit he said he would use 3-3 and then present the case for why you felt you could move the rock or stick or you could ground your club afterward. Then if the committee bought it cool otherwise you live by their decision.

He said that courses should know when they are skirting the rules to speed up play and should have a prepared sheet for tournament play which outlines which areas actually ARE water hazards and which are not. Of course if the course has that the player does not need to do 3-3 because it will say something like-The trees right of #3 marked as a lateral WH are to be played as through the green.

OK, so now I am on the committee and he is making his case.

My question would be, assuming a stroke play event, one of equity. Would we be prejudicing the field if we allowed the "moved the rock" score?  I cannot see allowing it in a case where there is marking but it is wrong.  I would distinguish this from a somewhat, but not exactly analogous case of GUR.  If you think an area is GUR but it isn't marked as such, then 3-3 is a great option.  But what if the area is marked as GUR and there is a local rule in effect prohibiting play out of GUR.  But say the player's ball is on a nice patch of grass within the GUR.  He certainly cannot argue, in this case, that the grass is mismarked and he should be able to hit from it.

IOW, I think there is (or should be?) a difference between something that is NOT marked and something that is MISmarked.  At least, I don't think analogies between the different situations work.

You, as the committee, are responsible for ensuring that any part of the course incorrectly marked is corrected, or noted on the instruction handout to the players prior to play.  If the entire field is informed that the wooded are adjacent to the right of the 5th hole is NOT a lateral water hazard as marked, but is through the green, then any who play it as a lateral would be in breach (it's fairly common for players to foolishly ignore such handouts), and those who play it as noted would not.  It should also be recommended that if a player hits a ball into that area, he should play a provisional ball to preserve pace of play.

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What I would do because we have a course like this due to density of the trees and rocks in the woods, however the woods are not marked:

If you can hit the ball out without any problem, hit it like you would a shot out of the woods.

If you cannot, you have the option of taking +1 stroke and dropping two club lengths at point of entry.

Otherwise you can spend 5 minutes hacking your ball out of the woods and eventually end up tossing it onto the fairway - yes, they're that thick. In our case, it's usually best to take the two club lengths +1 stroke at point of entry.

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What I would do because we have a course like this due to density of the trees and rocks in the woods, however the woods are not marked:

If you can hit the ball out without any problem, hit it like you would a shot out of the woods.

If you cannot, you have the option of taking +1 stroke and dropping two club lengths at point of entry.

Otherwise you can spend 5 minutes hacking your ball out of the woods and eventually end up tossing it onto the fairway - yes, they're that thick. In our case, it's usually best to take the two club lengths +1 stroke at point of entry.

So you're saying "treat them as a lateral water hazard," essentially. That's what they don't want to do.

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What I would do because we have a course like this due to density of the trees and rocks in the woods, however the woods are not marked:

If you can hit the ball out without any problem, hit it like you would a shot out of the woods.

If you cannot, you have the option of taking +1 stroke and dropping two club lengths at point of entry.

Otherwise you can spend 5 minutes hacking your ball out of the woods and eventually end up tossing it onto the fairway - yes, they're that thick. In our case, it's usually best to take the two club lengths +1 stroke at point of entry.

If your ball is in the woods and you can't play the ball then you must use the unplayable lie rules. So either you are able to drop 2 club lengths away from where the ball is located at, and if that gets you out of the woods for a shot then good job. If not then you need to continue taking unplayable lies till the ball is out. If you don't like the option of taking 3-4 unplayable lies then go back to the tee and re hit. If your ball was heading towards the woods you should be hitting a provisional anyways.

Just taking the two club lengths + penalty is bypassing actually using the rules that are used for this situation. You can not treat the woods as a lateral hazard.

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I know that's what you're supposed to do, but there's a local rule on the course.

Then there's other courses that have the "you can move the rocks and other debris (like pine cones and hard objects) out of a bunker" rule when your ball is in the bunker. You're not supposed to do that either.

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I know that's what you're supposed to do, but there's a local rule on the course.

Then there's other courses that have the "you can move the rocks and other debris (like pine cones and hard objects) out of a bunker" rule when your ball is in the bunker. You're not supposed to do that either.

Moving rocks (or stones) out of  bunker is an approved (by the USGA/R&A;) Local Rule.

I am told they are still thinking about pine cones (as at 12 months ago).

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Would you also agree that a player would not be wrong in by playing by the rules in this case, despite the course being marked in direct opposition to the rules?  I feel that the player would be entirely justified in doing so, as long as he does not cause undue delay and fall off the pace (which is the only imaginable reason for a course being so badly mismarked)?

I'm with you Rick. I believe that absent any other notification, a player has to play the course as marked. After all, think of how many incorrect judgements could be made.  "This doesn't look like a water hazard to me - I'm not going to follow the markings," says the player, not realizing that 10 feet away under the heavy brush is a spring which is currently dry.  However, if there is legitimate doubt, the player would be justified in playing another ball under 3-3.

If you're a school coach, it's on you to create a "hard card" for your team to let them know about the improperly-marked areas. If it's a course you haven't played before, it should be part of your preparation to call the head pro ahead of time, ask if there are any improperly-marked areas, and then come to an agreement with the opposing coach before the match begins. It's frustrating that you'd have to do this, but with "pace-of-play" markings becoming more and more prevalent, I see little other option.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadesworld View Post

I'm with you Rick. I believe that absent any other notification, a player has to play the course as marked.

I thought Fourputt was saying somewhat contrary when he wrote:

Quote:
Would you also agree that a player would not be wrong in by playing by the rules in this case, despite the course being marked in direct opposition to the rules?

Or perhaps I am lost with the word "despite" in the sentence.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by luu5 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadesworld View Post

I'm with you Rick. I believe that absent any other notification, a player has to play the course as marked.

I thought Fourputt was saying somewhat contrary when he wrote:

Quote:
Would you also agree that a player would not be wrong in by playing by the rules in this case, despite (because of) the course being marked in direct opposition to the rules?

Or perhaps I am lost with the word "despite" in the sentence.

I guess I should have phrased it " because of the course being marked in direct opposition to the rules".  I would play by the actual rules in such a situation unless directly instructed not to, and then I would play as ordered under protest.  Like everything else these days, I think the course which incorrectly marks such areas is lazy - just looking for an easy way to not have to manage the course properly.  How can a course induce players to conduct themselves properly when they set such a poor example?

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OK, so now I am on the committee and he is making his case.

My question would be, assuming a stroke play event, one of equity. Would we be prejudicing the field if we allowed the "moved the rock" score?  I cannot see allowing it in a case where there is marking but it is wrong.  I would distinguish this from a somewhat, but not exactly analogous case of GUR.  If you think an area is GUR but it isn't marked as such, then 3-3 is a great option.  But what if the area is marked as GUR and there is a local rule in effect prohibiting play out of GUR.  But say the player's ball is on a nice patch of grass within the GUR.  He certainly cannot argue, in this case, that the grass is mismarked and he should be able to hit from it.

IOW, I think there is (or should be?) a difference between something that is NOT marked and something that is MISmarked.  At least, I don't think analogies between the different situations work.

You, as the committee, are responsible for ensuring that any part of the course incorrectly marked is corrected, or noted on the instruction handout to the players prior to play.  If the entire field is informed that the wooded are adjacent to the right of the 5th hole is NOT a lateral water hazard as marked, but is through the green, then any who play it as a lateral would be in breach (it's fairly common for players to foolishly ignore such handouts), and those who play it as noted would not.  It should also be recommended that if a player hits a ball into that area, he should play a provisional ball to preserve pace of play.

This is completely correct but completely unhelpful, since I am discussing what to do AFTER the fact to deal with the situation, not what to do BEFORE the fact to avoid the situation.  Obviously the latter is preferable.  It is nice to assume that everything is done perfectly but that is not the case and the real issues a committee has to deal with are those where everything was NOT done correctly.  In the instant case, the committee may not even be aware of the situation at the start of the round and cannot change the marking midstream.  Yes the course should be marked correctly.  But if it wasn't, and some issue arises, the committee still has to make a ruling, whether or not the mis-marking was known to the committee ahead of time.

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Thankfully, I've never been on a committee which was so poorly prepared.  I know that it happens and resolving such a situation is going to create bad feelings no matter what you do if you have players who have already played it both ways.

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