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Blown Leaf Alters Putt, You Can Replay?


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However :-

Status of Air When Artificially Propelled

Q.What is the status of air from a blower operated by an outside agency or from a fan?

A.Although the Definition of "Outside Agency" states that wind is not an outside agency, in this case the artificially-propelled air is considered to be an outside agency.

If such artificially-propelled air moves a ball at rest, Rule 18-1 applies.

IMO this decision would, in equity, apply to Rule 19-1

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The wind came  from "outside" the golf course property, where as the leaf most likely came from "inside" the course's property.......... :-P Just kidding. I know what you mean, and I do understand the rule....now. It will be a good topic for our local group next time this happens. 

Just thinking that whole rule book would be a litigation nightmare if it ever came to that. So many different arguements available, while only one interpretation is right. 

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A couple of weeks back the wind was in the 20s with gusts into the 30s.  Lots of leaves on the course.  On one green I was looking at a putt of about 6 feet, with wind blowing left-to-right, when a sea of leaves started blowing across the green. (It was cool to watch, and I wished I had my phone in my pocket to take a quick video.)  After what seemed to be a minute or two I got impatient and finally putted it out. (Yes, I made it—this time :content:.)

But while I was waiting, this thread came to mind.  My thinking was that there were so many leaves blowing, that it was going to be very likely that my ball would be touched by a moving leaf. In the end, I decided to go ahead and putt and watch the results: if it looked like an unaltered roll, accept it; if it looked like the roll was altered, replace and putt again. Since the ball didn’t didn’t look like it was knocked off line by one or more leaves (even if hit), I took it as good.

This round didn’t count for handicap or anything—just enjoying the day.  But it got me wondering if this was the correct way to handle this. 

Edited by Missouri Swede
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5 hours ago, Patch said:

Just thinking that whole rule book would be a litigation nightmare if it ever came to that. So many different arguements available, while only one interpretation is right. 

It's not that difficult if you understand a few basic things. And finding the answer is often a matter of looking at the Definitions.

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5 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

A couple of weeks back the wind was in the 20s with gusts into the 30s.  Lots of leaves on the course.  On one green I was looking at a putt of about 6 feet, with wind blowing left-to-right, when a sea of leaves started blowing across the green. (It was cool to watch, and I wished I had my phone in my pocket to take a quick video.)  After what seemed to be a minute or two I got impatient and finally putted it out. (Yes, I made it—this time :content:.)

But while I was waiting, this thread came to mind.  My thinking was that there were so many leaves blowing, that it was going to be very likely that my ball would be touched by a moving leaf. In the end, I decided to go ahead and putt and watch the results: if it looked like an unaltered roll, accept it; if it looked like the roll was altered, replace and putt again. Since the ball didn’t didn’t look like it was knocked off line by one or more leaves (even if hit), I took it as good.

This round didn’t count for handicap or anything—just enjoying the day.  But it got me wondering if this was the correct way to handle this. 

We had almost the same exact situation on the 16th green during our last tournament of the season on October 14.  The wind had just started to blow hard with a front coming in, and every leaf on or near the green was in motion.  It was not only impractical to wait, but we couldn't even really clear a line for putting because there was so much stuff moving, stopping and starting unpredictably.  We did what little we could, then all putted out and moved on. 

Fortunately, that was the only green of the 3 left on our round that was impacted.  We were the lead group that day, so I know that a lot of the guys behind us (there were at least 30 more groups) must have had issues on several greens, because the wind didn't slack off before dark that day, and it blew hard.

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On 11/28/2017 at 10:04 AM, Rulesman said:

However :-

Status of Air When Artificially Propelled

Q.What is the status of air from a blower operated by an outside agency or from a fan?

A.Although the Definition of "Outside Agency" states that wind is not an outside agency, in this case the artificially-propelled air is considered to be an outside agency.

If such artificially-propelled air moves a ball at rest, Rule 18-1 applies.

IMO this decision would, in equity, apply to Rule 19-1

Also: from 18-1/7 "Wind is not an outside agency. However, if an object being moved by the wind moves a ball, the object is an outside agency in the circumstances"

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  • 1 month later...

The ruling brings up a few questions in my mind:

1. What happens if a leaf hits the ball and it acts a little funny, but it is uncertain whether the leaf had caused the ball to move off course?  My guess would be that unless it was somewhat certain the ball was moved off course by the leaf, the rules would say that the leaf did not move the ball.  Agree?

2. What happens if only one person in the group sees the ball change course due to being hit by a leaf?  My guess is play would need to continue by 3-3 (playing two balls in stroke play) and brought to the rules committee at earliest convenience.  Agree?

On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 5:45 AM, Martyn W said:

Also: from 18-1/7 "Wind is not an outside agency. However, if an object being moved by the wind moves a ball, the object is an outside agency in the circumstances"

3. Do the rules state or imply anywhere that the object needs to be big enough to be visual to the naked eye?  Lets say the putted ball gets knocked off course by a gust of "dusty" wind.  We can see that the air is full of dust because there is an open dirt field upwind and the air has a significant visual brown tint to it.  Did the wind cause the ball to move, did the dust cause the ball to move, or a combination of the two?  Can a bunch of dust in the air be considered an outside agency when individual dust particles cannot be seen, but the millions of dust particles together can be seen?

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Just now, SG11118 said:

1. What happens if a leaf hits the ball and it acts a little funny, but it is uncertain whether the leaf had caused the ball to move off course?  My guess would be that unless it was somewhat certain the ball was moved off course by the leaf, the rules would say that the leaf did not move the ball.  Agree?

Yep. Decide what you think is fact and proceed correctly.

Just now, SG11118 said:

2. What happens if only one person in the group sees the ball change course due to being hit by a leaf?  My guess is play would need to continue by 3-3 (playing two balls in stroke play) and brought to the rules committee at earliest convenience.  Agree?

Sure. Unless they agreed that it was a fact, which is all they would do after 3-3 too.

Just now, SG11118 said:

3. Do the rules state or imply anywhere that the object needs to be big enough to be visual to the naked eye?

Be reasonable.

It's just wind. I mean, technically, air molecules are "solids" if you ignore their spacing from other molecules nearby. :-P It's just wind. Yes, you have to be able to see it. Wind and water are not outside agencies.

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I think it was very harsh to give this guy penalty strokes for something that was a stretch to call an outside agency.  What if this guy would have told the rules officials "The wind was the only thing pushing this leaf, and the leaf ran into my ball deflecting it off it's course.  I would have liked to have called the leaf an outside agency and replayed my shot, but the leaf was very small and only weighs a fraction of a gram, and it wouldn't have done anything to my ball without the wind.  To myself and my playing partners the wind was the force that deflected my ball and it did not seem right to allow me to replay my shot, so I played the ball as it lied"?  If he had said something like this, would he still have received any penalty strokes?  If not, why should he have received penalty strokes for not saying this? 

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52 minutes ago, SG11118 said:

I think it was very harsh to give this guy penalty strokes for something that was a stretch to call an outside agency.

It's not a stretch to call it an outside agency. It's the definition. An outside agency doesn't have to be self-animating (like a living animal…).

And there are a few Decisions that specifically speak to this, not to mention 19-1b is pretty clearly written.

52 minutes ago, SG11118 said:

What if this guy would have told the rules officials "The wind was the only thing pushing this leaf, and the leaf ran into my ball deflecting it off it's course.

Doesn't matter.

52 minutes ago, SG11118 said:

To myself and my playing partners the wind was the force that deflected my ball and it did not seem right to allow me to replay my shot, so I played the ball as it lied"?

If the leaf was not of substantial enough mass to actually cause the ball to move, then you'd have a case. If it was heavy enough to cause it to move, you do not.

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16 hours ago, iacas said:

It's not a stretch to call it an outside agency. It's the definition. An outside agency doesn't have to be self-animating (like a living animal…).

And there are a few Decisions that specifically speak to this, not to mention 19-1b is pretty clearly written.

OK -  from 19-1b, if a large insect flies into my putted ball and knocks it off course, the ROG say tough luck - play it as it lies?  How is that equitable to this leaf situation?

Also, what is meant by "the like" exception in 19-1b?  It could be inferred to mean a small animal similar to an insect, but it could also be inferred to mean anything small including a small leaf or dust. 

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1 hour ago, SG11118 said:

OK -  from 19-1b, if a large insect flies into my putted ball and knocks it off course, the ROG say tough luck - play it as it lies?  How is that equitable to this leaf situation?

Because things like "worms, insects, or the like" are quite commonly found on the putting green, while a leaf blowing across and deflecting your ball is not that common.

And when was the last time a large insect "flew into" your putted ball? C'mon. You're reaching here. Worms and insects are pretty often seen on the putting green, but rarely does an insect fly into your ball. The rules can only just try to be practical and cover as much as they can. This rule is pretty simple, and the Rules are somewhat consistent in classifying worms, insects, etc. a bit differently. They're not burrowing animals, they're not loose impediments…

1 hour ago, SG11118 said:

Also, what is meant by "the like" exception in 19-1b?  It could be inferred to mean a small animal similar to an insect, but it could also be inferred to mean anything small including a small leaf or dust. 

No, a leaf is not "like" an insect or a worm here. A spider might be. A caterpillar, maybe.


Also… Since we're almost a month into 2018, these rules are only going to last another 11 months. Have you looked at Rule 11 in the Proposed 2019 Rules?

Exception 2 – When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction on Putting Green: The stroke is canceled and the ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) and played again, except in these two situations:

  • Ball in Motion Hits Another Ball at Rest or Ball-Marker on Putting Green. The stroke is not canceled and the ball must be played as it lies.
  • Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Flagstick or Person Attending Flagstick. This is covered by Rule 13.2d(1), not by this Rule.
 

Simplified. No mention really of insects or worms or "the like."

So, while I can see the justification for the current rule, I too am likely joining you in being glad it will likely be a bit simpler in 2019 and beyond.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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6 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

What will baseball do? Start awarding home runs to warning track outs because the wind was blowing in? Come on, people! The wind is a part of nature and that's what we're playing in!

Uhhhh…?

This is about a leaf altering a putt. Not the wind exactly.

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An if a leaf were ta deflect the ball ta yer advantage...would ya register complaint as well?  Rub o' the green, laddie.  

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25 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

No. If the leaf in motion deflects a moving ball, the strike is canceled and must be replayed. 

Kinna ball. in motion, not deflect a blowin' leaf?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/19/2018 at 10:08 PM, iacas said:

Uhhhh…?

This is about a leaf altering a putt. Not the wind exactly.

Yes, but what was the agency that blew the leaf?

On 2/19/2018 at 10:53 PM, Piz said:

Kinna ball. in motion, not deflect a blowin' leaf?

I've noticed that it normally doesn't happen that way, The leafg usually deflects the ball! No matter. In the fall we play through all manner of leaf littered greens. I'ves seen guys carry battery powered leafg blowers in their carts in the Fall.

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  • iacas changed the title to Blown Leaf Alters Putt, You Can Replay?

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