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  1. This topic is for the discussion of what happened at the 2016 PGA Championship to Jordan Spieth on the 7th hole. Jordan was on the cart path but didn't want to take relief from that as it would put him behind a big pine tree. His ball was also sitting in a puddle, so he wanted to take relief from casual water. After a protracted discussion with the RO, during which Jordan indicated his line of play to be to the right a little (to miss the tree), and attempted to drop several times toward the right near a second smaller puddle, Jordan finally dropped to the right somewhat and back a fair amount and, in taking his stance, was standing outside the casual water. He ostensibly used the club he'd use to hit the shot, and the RO cleared his play as he was not standing in the water, nor was his ball in the water, or the area of his swing. But when he played the ball his toes were "over" the water. I don't know if they touched much (or any?) water, but they were visibly within the boundary of the casual water. This was pointed out on the telecast immediately, as you'll see in the video, and later by Gary McCord in suggesting that people would be calling in. What do you think? To be clear, I'm not asking whether you think he gained an advantage, whether the rule is lame, whether call-ins should be allowed (the commentators didn't need to "call in" but they, too, aren't rules officials or members of the committee)… This discussion is solely about the Rules of Golf as it applies to this topic, and whether Jordan should be penalized. As best as I can, the order of events: Jordan finds his ball in a puddle on the cart path. He indicates to the RO he wishes to take relief. The RO indicates that this puddle is the instance of casual water they need to get away from. Jordan indicates his line of play, and the RO indicates the nearest point of relief (to the left of the puddle). Jordan measures one club length with his driver to the right and then tries to drop as far right as possible as it will leave him an easier shot. He even drops once or twice outside of a driver club length and is told to re-drop. He eventually drops and places, then takes a stance to show the RO that his foot is not in the casual water. (I believe this is also on tape - I saw the entire thing on the the live stream. The TNT coverage had less than the whole saga.). When he makes his swing, his foot (toes) is as you see above: in or over the casual water from which he took relief. So again, does this meet the definition of complete relief? Or does he deserve a penalty? Did he alter his stance from what he showed the RO? What do you think of this, as it relates to the application of the Rules of Golf?
  2. Many years ago I played a team match format on an odd day. The bunkers were full of casual water, sometimes six inches or so deep. We were only told to re tee if we could not rake it out or certain it was in. A playing compeitior teed off and it clearly went in, he could not rake it out but was entitled relief. I hit next and since it was hazy I could not see my ball land, one competitor thought he saw it hit the bunker. It was possible my ball went into the casual water, but it may have bounced out of the bunker, or landed just beyond the bunker, and into tall grass. We could not find the ball in grass, so I believed it was also in the water. Due to the weather I did not put up much of a fight and ran back to re tee and made a nice round ruining 8. Perhaps I should've called for an official but in the cold and pouring rain I decided to just get on with it. I believe the competitor was right in any case. I think if I am certain it is in the casual water, and my competitor disagrees, it goes to any other competitor or spectator, and then the committee must rule. Now that I see Justin Rose having to re tee because he cannot climb a tree to identify his ball, I am wondering if you must also find a ball when in casual water, bunker or otherwise.
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