Ball in a drain: free drop, unplayable, or something else?

No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

In a recent round, a playing partner's ball rolled via a concrete drainage ditch into a covered drainage hole. I think I am right in saying that if the ball was lying near the cover so as to affect his stance he would be provided free relief (right?), but what about when the ball is actually in the hole? Incidentally, the ball itself was pretty much irretrievable, though if we had a short net we would have been OK. Unplayable? Declare a lost ball? What would be the correct procedure in this case?

Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 

Answers

  • antipantip Members Posts: 446 ✭✭

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    In a recent round, a playing partner's ball rolled via a concrete drainage ditch into a covered drainage hole. I think I am right in saying that if the ball was lying near the cover so as to affect his stance he would be provided free relief (right?), but what about when the ball is actually in the hole? Incidentally, the ball itself was pretty much irretrievable, though if we had a short net we would have been OK. Unplayable? Declare a lost ball? What would be the correct procedure in this case?

    Yes, free relief is available for interference from an immovable obstruction (covered drainage hole) - assuming it is not inside a Penalty Area. If the ball is found in the drainage hole, and the hole is in the General Area, R16.1b applies, free relief using the Relief Area described in that rule. If the ball is lost in the drainage hole (knowledge or virtual certainty) then free relief is available under R16.1e. The key difference is the relief areas are defined slightly differently.

  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,920 ✭✭

    @antip said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    In a recent round, a playing partner's ball rolled via a concrete drainage ditch into a covered drainage hole. I think I am right in saying that if the ball was lying near the cover so as to affect his stance he would be provided free relief (right?), but what about when the ball is actually in the hole? Incidentally, the ball itself was pretty much irretrievable, though if we had a short net we would have been OK. Unplayable? Declare a lost ball? What would be the correct procedure in this case?

    Yes, free relief is available for interference from an immovable obstruction (covered drainage hole) - assuming it is not inside a Penalty Area. If the ball is found in the drainage hole, and the hole is in the General Area, R16.1b applies, free relief using the Relief Area described in that rule. If the ball is lost in the drainage hole (knowledge or virtual certainty) then free relief is available under R16.1e. The key difference is the relief areas are defined slightly differently.

    Perhaps we don't have a clear picture of the situation. I'll point out that a Penalty Area includes surface drainage ditches even if not containing water. This sounds like one to me, and if it is no free relief from an immovable obstruction is afforded. Is the "covered drainage hole" within the ditch?

  • AugsterAugster Members Posts: 4,187 ✭✭

    It certainly reads like it is a penalty area, formerly a water hazard. It doesn’t have to be marked to be a penalty area. From the definition:

    “Any body of water on the course (whether or not marked by the Committee), including a sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),”

    The OP uses “drainage ditch” and “drainage hole” in his post. This is very likely a penalty area. No free relief.

  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

    Hmmm. The covered drainage hole was not marked as a penalty area, it was in the General Area. Also, the cover was a lattice grate, so the ball was visible, if that makes a difference. At this course, if the ball goes such a ditch (more like gutters than ditches, if it helps. Made of concrete) free relief is allowed, which is why I thought it would also be allowed from the drainage hole.

    Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
    4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
    7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
    Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
    Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
    Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
    Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

    Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 
  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

    Also, thank you for the answers. I will check with the course the next time I go. Most of these concrete gutters run along the cart paths, and are treated as part of the cart path. This particular one, however, actually ran away the cart path at 90 degrees, and ended in the drainage hole a few yards away from the cart path.
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
    4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
    7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
    Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
    Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
    Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
    Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

    Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 
  • NewbyNewby Members Posts: 6,492 ✭✭
    edited Apr 23, 2019 4:37pm #7

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    Post edited by Newby on
  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers Posts: 23,066 ✭✭

    Completely depends on whether it's a surface drainage ditch or an underground drainage ditch. I wouldn't presume one or the other w/o additional clarification.

  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
    4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
    7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
    Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
    Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
    Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
    Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

    Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,920 ✭✭

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    IMO it would be treated as a penalty area with our without a local rule. (I doubt that it would be permissible to have a course feature which is a penalty area by definition turned into a segment of general area by local rule -- but these issues are dealt with case by case so, who knows!)

  • antipantip Members Posts: 446 ✭✭

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    In my part of the world, most concrete drains on the course are Immovable Obstructions, not penalty areas. And even concrete water channels that run directly across fairways can be treated as IOs in situations where they are only there to channel irregular rainfall - that is, they are not 'normally' channeling water - so it is a Committee discretion in such circumstances. This interpretation has previously been tested with the Ruling Bodies.

  • QEightQEight Members Posts: 3,416 ✭✭

    @antip said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    In my part of the world, most concrete drains on the course are Immovable Obstructions, not penalty areas. And even concrete water channels that run directly across fairways can be treated as IOs in situations where they are only there to channel irregular rainfall - that is, they are not 'normally' channeling water - so it is a Committee discretion in such circumstances. This interpretation has previously been tested with the Ruling Bodies.

    I would thought so too. In the old days also French drains gave you free relief. Soon someone will say a grate on top of well is penalty area...

    Ping G15 Titleist 950R Titleist 910D2
    Titleist 910f 3W
    Callaway XHot hybrid
    Titleist 735cm
    Vokey wedges
    Odyssey Works Versa #1 Tank Tri-Ball SRT
  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

    I just checked the back of the scorecard, and it says that man-made features like drainage ditches are immovable objects (along with wire fences, cart paths, and supporting poles for trees).
    Thank you to everyone for your help.

    Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
    4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
    7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
    Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
    Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
    Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
    Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

    Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 
  • NewbyNewby Members Posts: 6,492 ✭✭
    edited Apr 24, 2019 4:52am #14

    @antip said:

    This interpretation has previously been tested with the Ruling Bodies.
    >
    Agreed

  • NewbyNewby Members Posts: 6,492 ✭✭

    @QEight said:

    @antip said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    In my part of the world, most concrete drains on the course are Immovable Obstructions, not penalty areas. And even concrete water channels that run directly across fairways can be treated as IOs in situations where they are only there to channel irregular rainfall - that is, they are not 'normally' channeling water - so it is a Committee discretion in such circumstances. This interpretation has previously been tested with the Ruling Bodies.

    I would thought so too. In the old days also French drains gave you free relief. Soon someone will say a grate on top of well is penalty area...

    French Drains were/are Immovable Obstructions by definition. For some reason the USGA (but not the R&A) recommended that they should be marked and deemed as GUR. The R&A thought it unnecessary. I was involved in the debate at the time.

  • HaleboppHalebopp Members Posts: 2,786 ✭✭

    @Sawgrass said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    IMO it would be treated as a penalty area with our without a local rule. (I doubt that it would be permissible to have a course feature which is a penalty area by definition turned into a segment of general area by local rule -- but these issues are dealt with case by case so, who knows!)

    Like the model local rule B-4? :)

    Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
    MP-650, 9.5º / 917 F2, 16.5º / MP-H5, 21º / MP-4, 4-PW / MP-T5 50.07 / FG Tour PMP: 55.12, 59.10 / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4
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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members Posts: 14,920 ✭✭

    @Halebopp said:

    @Sawgrass said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @Newby said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    Playing as a junior in the UK, I remember drainage ditches were usually treated as lateral water hazards, but they were staked red. The drainage hole at this course had no marking, so my guess was free relief.

    The significant words in the definition in that case are "surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water),...."
    Is the 'drainage run' an open concrete channel along the ground, leading to the vertical(?) hole with the lattice cover?
    Unless it has been 'tied' to the associated path by a Local Rule (as I guess are the other drains), it should be treated as a Penalty Area and I would suggest so should the drain hole at the end.
    But IMO the course should really tie it to the path as one Immovable Obstruction.

    The drainage run was indeed an open concrete channel along the ground, connecting to the vertical hole with the lattice cover.
    So without a local rule, it would be treated as a penalty area?

    IMO it would be treated as a penalty area with our without a local rule. (I doubt that it would be permissible to have a course feature which is a penalty area by definition turned into a segment of general area by local rule -- but these issues are dealt with case by case so, who knows!)

    Like the model local rule B-4? :)

    Thank you! (Apparently, some do know!)

  • QEightQEight Members Posts: 3,416 ✭✭

    So the 3 meter long run of 20cm wide U-shaped concrete blocks from the corner of the club house are penalty area and not immovable obstruction, without the LR?

    Ping G15 Titleist 950R Titleist 910D2
    Titleist 910f 3W
    Callaway XHot hybrid
    Titleist 735cm
    Vokey wedges
    Odyssey Works Versa #1 Tank Tri-Ball SRT
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 3,873 ✭✭

    @QEight said:
    So the 3 meter long run of 20cm wide U-shaped concrete blocks from the corner of the club house are penalty area and not immovable obstruction, without the LR?

    Welcome to the Rules 2019! :D

  • rogolfrogolf Members Posts: 3,687 ✭✭

    My experience in refereeing where these concrete U-channels are present (in Japan) is that those adjoining paved cart paths are deemed to be part of the cart path. Those that are not adjoining a cart path, ie, in the general area, are normally covered with a grill (probably for safety reasons) and were also deemed to be immovable obstructions. The Committee has authority to do both.

  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

    @rogolf said:
    My experience in refereeing where these concrete U-channels are present (in Japan) is that those adjoining paved cart paths are deemed to be part of the cart path. Those that are not adjoining a cart path, ie, in the general area, are normally covered with a grill (probably for safety reasons) and were also deemed to be immovable obstructions. The Committee has authority to do both.

    That's the case here, as it happened on a Japanese course. However, not all the drain/gutter is covered by a grill, only the vertical drain the gutter runs into. I think what happened is that the ball went into the gutter/drain (U-shaped concrete blocks), and rolled down into the vertical drain.

    Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
    4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
    7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
    Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
    Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
    Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
    Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

    Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 
  • antipantip Members Posts: 446 ✭✭

    @Mr. Bean said:

    @QEight said:
    So the 3 meter long run of 20cm wide U-shaped concrete blocks from the corner of the club house are penalty area and not immovable obstruction, without the LR?

    Welcome to the Rules 2019! :D

    I don't think the new interpretation actually changed anything in 2019, I think it was bringing a previous ruling into the interpretations.

  • QEightQEight Members Posts: 3,416 ✭✭

    What about drainage hole in middle of the rough, covered with a lattice/grill? No ditch or anything, just a low point of terrain? IO or PA?

    Ping G15 Titleist 950R Titleist 910D2
    Titleist 910f 3W
    Callaway XHot hybrid
    Titleist 735cm
    Vokey wedges
    Odyssey Works Versa #1 Tank Tri-Ball SRT
  • antipantip Members Posts: 446 ✭✭

    @QEight said:
    What about drainage hole in middle of the rough, covered with a lattice/grill? No ditch or anything, just a low point of terrain? IO or PA?

    @QEight said:
    What about drainage hole in middle of the rough, covered with a lattice/grill? No ditch or anything, just a low point of terrain? IO or PA?

    We have a number of drainage holes and they have nothing to do with water runways/ditches. They include in bunkers and areas that simply hold some surface water (temporary water) when it is wet. No local rule, none required, simply IOs.

  • rogolfrogolf Members Posts: 3,687 ✭✭

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @rogolf said:
    My experience in refereeing where these concrete U-channels are present (in Japan) is that those adjoining paved cart paths are deemed to be part of the cart path. Those that are not adjoining a cart path, ie, in the general area, are normally covered with a grill (probably for safety reasons) and were also deemed to be immovable obstructions. The Committee has authority to do both.

    That's the case here, as it happened on a Japanese course. However, not all the drain/gutter is covered by a grill, only the vertical drain the gutter runs into. I think what happened is that the ball went into the gutter/drain (U-shaped concrete blocks), and rolled down into the vertical drain.

    Given what you've posted, I would rule that the ball is in an immovable obstruction and free relief is available. In this instance imo, discussions about a penalty area are off base.

  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,187 ✭✭

    @rogolf said:

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:

    @rogolf said:
    My experience in refereeing where these concrete U-channels are present (in Japan) is that those adjoining paved cart paths are deemed to be part of the cart path. Those that are not adjoining a cart path, ie, in the general area, are normally covered with a grill (probably for safety reasons) and were also deemed to be immovable obstructions. The Committee has authority to do both.

    That's the case here, as it happened on a Japanese course. However, not all the drain/gutter is covered by a grill, only the vertical drain the gutter runs into. I think what happened is that the ball went into the gutter/drain (U-shaped concrete blocks), and rolled down into the vertical drain.

    Given what you've posted, I would rule that the ball is in an immovable obstruction and free relief is available. In this instance imo, discussions about a penalty area are off base.

    That's how we played it, which is a relief, if you'll pardon the pun.

    Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
    4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
    7w TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
    Hybrid: RomaRo iBrid 23* Attas EZ 85S
    Irons (4i-PW): Wilson fg-62 S300 4/5-PW or MP4 Yoro Modus 125X 5-PW
    Wedges: Callaway MD2 T-grind combination of 52*, 56*, 58*, 60*
    Putter: Mac Jack Nicklaus Muirfield

    Old stuff: Tons of persimmon and older irons. 
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