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Relief from yardage marker

 AZBearcat ·  
AZBearcatAZBearcat Members  254WRX Points: 26Posts: 254 Greens
Joined:  in Rules of Golf and Etiquette #1

Playing in our club championship this weekend, a golfer was 5 yards behind a 150yd marker. His swing and stance was fine but the balls line of path to the green was impacted. The yardage marker base is in concrete so he is unable to pick it up a move it. Does he get free relief?

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  • NewbyNewby Members  7903WRX Points: 675Posts: 7,903 Titanium Tees
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  • AZBearcatAZBearcat Members  254WRX Points: 26Posts: 254 Greens
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    We all said no as well but can you point me to the rule that I can reference to show the individual? Thanks

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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members  16093WRX Points: 1,257Posts: 16,093 Titanium Tees
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    16.1a(1) under the meaning of interference -- as you will note that a cemented marker is an immovable obstruction addressed by this rule.

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  • jacob7071jacob7071 TXMembers  49WRX Points: 44Handicap: 1Posts: 49 Bunkers
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    Was it a pole in a concrete base sticking out of the ground interfering with his intended line of play? Or was it a concrete plaque that was only bothering his peripheral vision?

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  • AZBearcatAZBearcat Members  254WRX Points: 26Posts: 254 Greens
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    A wooden 4x4 yardage pole with a concrete footer.

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  • chippa13chippa13 Members  2697WRX Points: 451Posts: 2,697 Titanium Tees
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    I assume it was a pole. A flat plaque five feet ahead in the ground wouldn't even be a thought.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 20, 2020 6:09pm #8

    Committees can put in a local rule allowing line of sight relief from an immovable obstruction. Unless this is in place, you only get relief if it interferes with your swing.

    As an aside, he wants you to show him a rule that says he can not get a free drop, it should be him showing the rule that he does get free relief.

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  • AZBearcatAZBearcat Members  254WRX Points: 26Posts: 254 Greens
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    You are right about him showing me the rule but people are lazy so I have to do his job as well

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  • jacob7071jacob7071 TXMembers  49WRX Points: 44Handicap: 1Posts: 49 Bunkers
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    I assumed a pole too, but I thought you can get relief if it interferes with your line of play. When the first couple of responses said no, it made me think it was just a plaque. I'm surprised it's no relief. And I'm surprised how little I know about the rules after 20+ years of golf.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
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    Think through this rule logically. If you get relief within your line of play of an immovable obstruction, how could this be put into action? The course is covered with immovable obstructions (artificial objects that are on the course). I suspect a very high percentage of shots have an immovable obstruction in there line of play (sprinter head, cart path, yardage marker etc). - in fact nearly every tee shot has an immovable obstruction in your line of play unless you play from the front tee box (the tee markers are immovable obstructions).

    I think watching golf on TV has caused most of the confusion as the tour does have local rules to give line of sight relief with temporary immovable obstructions(TIO). TIO are non-permanent artificial object that is often erected in conjunction with a competition and is fixed or not readily movable. You see a getting relief form TV tower etc and people assume that is a normal rule of golf.

    I will highlight again, that local rules can allow for line of sight relief for IO's and TIO's so be sure to check for a local rule.

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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members  16093WRX Points: 1,257Posts: 16,093 Titanium Tees
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    Regarding your comment on a LR allowing line of play relief for immovable obstructions, E-6 regarding fences and F-5 when close to the green are the only ones I can think of, and they come with significant restrictions.


    Of course, a committee can declare anything a TIO and thereby provide greater relief.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
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    I bow down to your superior knowledge on this one, as the two examples you listed are the only two I can recall seeing and I assumed that there were more options for local rules but I can't find any when I do the actual research.

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  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
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    'Of course, a committee can declare anything a TIO and thereby provide greater relief.'

    Certainly it could, but the idea behind the concept of a TIO is that it is temporary, not something that lingers on the course permanently, as instructed in F-23:

    '"Definition of TIO: A temporary immovable obstruction (TIO) is a structure that is temporarily added on or next to the course, usually for a particular competition, and is fixed or not readily movable .'

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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members  16093WRX Points: 1,257Posts: 16,093 Titanium Tees
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    In my experience, large green-side fans, further than 2 CLs away from putting greens, are effectively and usefully declared TIOs.

    I know it’s a wiggle, but it works.

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  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
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    Green-side fans?? Oh my, that is just weird... and certainly nothing towards sustainable future...

    Then again, in the long run, everything is temporary, so green-side fans may be assigned as TIO's, no problem.

    P.S. A friend of mine used a battery operated fan in his trolley blowing air towards his face when pushing the trolley. Said it was very nice in hot weather. I can believe that. But a green-side fan...? Geezzz...

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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members  16093WRX Points: 1,257Posts: 16,093 Titanium Tees
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    Such fans are not uncommon at private courses in the northeast US. They protect greens in low, air-stagnant areas from some unknown-to-me malady.

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  • jacob7071jacob7071 TXMembers  49WRX Points: 44Handicap: 1Posts: 49 Bunkers
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    Well, I was thinking that a well struck shot hit from the middle of the fairway toward the green could hit the yardage pole 5 ft away (maybe unlikely, but not impossible). And if it does, it's just bad luck and you play it as it lies. But if I'm allowed to move my ball a few feet to the side, now there's virtually no chance a well struck shot hits it. So it seemed logical to me to allow relief. And in the case of a cart path or forward tee marker, golfers are usually intending to hit over those, so a shot that hits one of them was likely mishit.

    But you're right regarding professional tournaments. I was likening the yardage pole to grandstands or TV towers where golfers get line of sight relief. I wasn't differentiating between immovable obstructions and TIOs.

    I guess in the OP's case, it's poor judgment for the golf course to permanently seat the yardage pole in concrete as it creates a situation where a golfer can hit a well struck tee shot to the middle of the fairway and be blocked by an immovable obstruction for which there is no relief.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 21, 2020 12:49am #20

    Just for some fun let's consider if the rules allowed that immovable obstructions have two classes? One that is flush with the ground and anything else raised (markers, signs cemented in, poles, guide wires, water controllers, buildings etc etc etc.)

    Getting relief from a raised marker 5' away seems ?okay? - what about 10' or 20' away? What if it was on your line 25yards away when you are playing a low runner under a tree? What about a tall weather pole on your line 140 yards out? What about a large building you have to hit over?

    Some of the examples seem silly and some seem ?maybe okay? - so how would you write the rule tor prevent the silly ones?

    This is one I tend to think the governing bodies did well to leave it cut and dry.

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  • AZBearcatAZBearcat Members  254WRX Points: 26Posts: 254 Greens
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    Thanks for all the comments. Clarification, the yardage marker is on both sides of the fairway. I will take a photo tomorrow and see if I can upload it. Thanks to all!!!

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  • chippa13chippa13 Members  2697WRX Points: 451Posts: 2,697 Titanium Tees
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    Hang on, is the yardage marker in the fairway or off to the side in the rough? I could see making the argument if it was a permanent, immovable post within the boundaries of the fairway but not so much if it is outside of it.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
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    What argument under the rules of golf would you be making?

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  • jacob7071jacob7071 TXMembers  49WRX Points: 44Handicap: 1Posts: 49 Bunkers
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    I agree. We probably can't be granting relief in every one of those situations or the rule would be taken advantage of. In the OP's case, I think it's poor judgment by the course to make the yardage marker immovable rather than movable.

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  • chippa13chippa13 Members  2697WRX Points: 451Posts: 2,697 Titanium Tees
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    Just reread the OP and saw the swing was unaffected. Nevermind.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
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    I see your point, but these yardage marks are off the fairway in the rough, so I can see why they would be cemented in rather than movable like the ones you find in the middle of the fairway.

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  • chippa13chippa13 Members  2697WRX Points: 451Posts: 2,697 Titanium Tees
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    Most courses I play use movable ones off the fairway in the rough. Come to think of it, all of the times I've seen yardage/target markers in the middle of the fairway they have also been movable.

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  • antipantip Members  1326WRX Points: 452Posts: 1,326 Platinum Tees
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    Indeed so, there is no MLR that permits generalised relief for an IO on line of play. So when a women's tour event with Ladies European Tour status came to town and their coddled fraternity were disturbed to find a large IO well off the fairway on the RHS of a right hand dogleg they demanded and got that turned into a TIO, which gave them very liberal dropping freedom. The local members in the tournament audience were indignant at the concession.

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  • Bushwood Country ClubBushwood Country Club Bushwood Country Club Members  971WRX Points: 154Handicap: 8.8Posts: 971 Golden Tee
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    Pretty much any course with bent grass greens in the southern 2/3 of the country is going to have these fans. Not unusual whatsoever.

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  • OrangeGravyOrangeGravy WAMembers  1712WRX Points: 427Handicap: $$Posts: 1,712 Platinum Tees
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    I get your point, but would any of those things be in your line of play if you hit a tee shot in the middle of the fairway at a course other than a putt putt course?

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  • OrangeGravyOrangeGravy WAMembers  1712WRX Points: 427Handicap: $$Posts: 1,712 Platinum Tees
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    Just read that the markers were those that are off to the side, not in the middle of the fairway. I was curious why anyone would cement a barber pole in the middle of the fairway.

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