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Is Lipsky breaking the rules here?


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He hits the ball against a tree stump just in front of him and is clearly unplayable, as he gets to his ball he smooths out the dirt to the right, and then appears to have dropped the ball in the area he has smoothed out? That can't be allowed surely?

 

See the video, I think the white pole cannot be used as a reference point as that gets moved to the left before he drops the ball.

 

 

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I think it's a subjective call.  Was he simply removing loose impediments, was he aware of the potential for the area to be a relief area, were his actions in removing the LIs "reasonable?"  A questio

Call it in.

How are you guys managing to comment on this?  You don't see where he dropped his ball in the video and what a white pole has to do with it  is a  total mystery.

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I'm not a rules guru but I think that is ok.  If you were to take a drop in a grassy area with a lot of leaves and such and pine cones I believe you are allowed to clear those away before making a drop.  He may have just been sweeping away some loose stones or pebbles do they didn't affect his drop.

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1 hour ago, Halebopp said:

Yes, he is. Sand and loose soil aren't loose impediments and therefore cannot be removed or pressed down in the relief area.

I think it's a subjective call.  Was he simply removing loose impediments, was he aware of the potential for the area to be a relief area, were his actions in removing the LIs "reasonable?"  A question becomes, "Is it reasonable to drag your foot across a smooth, hard dirt surface when attempting to brush away loose stones?"  

 

 

15.1 Loose Impediments

a. Removal of Loose Impediment

Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).

 

8.1a/8 – Altering Surface of Ground in Relief Area Is Not Allowed

Before dropping a ball to take relief, a player must not replace a divot in a divot hole in the relief area or take other actions to alter the ground surface in a way that improves conditions affecting the stroke.

However, this prohibition applies only after the player becomes aware that he or she is required or allowed to drop a ball in that relief area.

For example, if a player plays a ball, replaces the divot and only then realizes that he or she must or may play again from there under penalty of stroke and distance because the ball is out of bounds, is in a penalty area, is unplayable or that a provisional ball should be played, the player is not in breach of Rule 8.1a if that replaced divot is in the relief area.

 

8.1b 

b. Actions That Are Allowed

In preparing for or making a stroke, a player may take any of these actions and there is no penalty even if doing so improves the conditions affecting the stroke:

 

(2) Take reasonable actions to remove loose impediments (see Rule 15.1) and movable obstructions(see Rule 15.2).

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Sawgrass said:

I think it's a subjective call.  Was he simply removing loose impediments, was he aware of the potential for the area to be a relief area, were his actions in removing the LIs "reasonable?"  A question becomes, "Is it reasonable to drag your foot across a smooth, hard dirt surface when attempting to brush away loose stones?"  

 

 

15.1 Loose Impediments

 

a. Removal of Loose Impediment

Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).

 

8.1a/8 – Altering Surface of Ground in Relief Area Is Not Allowed

Before dropping a ball to take relief, a player must not replace a divot in a divot hole in the relief area or take other actions to alter the ground surface in a way that improves conditions affecting the stroke.

However, this prohibition applies only after the player becomes aware that he or she is required or allowed to drop a ball in that relief area.

For example, if a player plays a ball, replaces the divot and only then realizes that he or she must or may play again from there under penalty of stroke and distance because the ball is out of bounds, is in a penalty area, is unplayable or that a provisional ball should be played, the player is not in breach of Rule 8.1a if that replaced divot is in the relief area.

 

8.1b 

b. Actions That Are Allowed

In preparing for or making a stroke, a player may take any of these actions and there is no penalty even if doing so improves the conditions affecting the stroke:

 

(2) Take reasonable actions to remove loose impediments (see Rule 15.1) and movable obstructions(see Rule 15.2).

 

 

In other words, it's a subjective call!

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6 hours ago, Thayneil said:

With an unplayable you are never required to drop in a certain place

 

1 its always your call whether a  ball is unplayable and

 

2 there are 3 options

 

Red herring?

When you've decided to take a drop you can't drop anywhere you want, so you are required to drop within a certain area within the limits of the rules.  The question really has nothing do do with where he chose to drop but whether he took improper actions within the relief area before he dropped. I think you are just trying to point out there may be different possibilities as to where he may drop (actually up to a total of four depending on where the unplayable is declared)?

 

So I'm not getting the "red herring" part.  I will say it appears he may have kicked some dirt/sand out of the way in the place where he ended up taking a stance after relief, but the video isn't conclusive and there was a rules official there to advise on the ruling (now may not have seen or been told what happened before he got there) --- have to go with the rule provided by @Sawgrass as far as the answers for how the relief area figures into it.  But there is still a "certain area" for the actual drop.

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9 hours ago, Colin L said:

How are you guys managing to comment on this?  You don't see where he dropped his ball in the video and what a white pole has to do with it  is a  total mystery.

Video order is scrambled. First scene is original stroke, 27s-30s on the vid; then 1s-27s is the action after the stroke resulting in ball against tree base including significant sweeping of feet in area he subsequently took relief in; 30-34 is the final stroke.

I note a pole was removed from the direct line to the green, to the right of the tree in front on him on the second stroke. There is no info that tells me why he got a drop from against the tree - but there seemed to be another white pole in the ground (audience barrier?). The removal of the forward pole seems to be unrelated to the relief taken.

On the face of it, he could have been in breach with the foot sweeping but how would we know on this limited data?

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I think the white poles are rope standards - you can see some rope going in and out of one early in the video.  Obviously permitted to move those.  Suspect that he was taking unplayable relief for the ball against the exposed tree root.

And agree that it is not possible to make a ruling based strictly on this short video.  As with many situations, can't make correct ruling unless you were on the scene, able to watch and ask clarifying questions.

Good observation though to pick up the scraping of the ground.

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Pretty sure I saw an LGPA player do this same thing in preparing to take relief on #18 in the final round this past weekend. She swept the area where she was going to be taking a drop with her shoe prior to taking the drop. As I recall the official was standing right by her at the time. So it makes me wonder why a penalty is not being assessed for this kind of activity. To me, a broad sweeping of the ground with the side of someone's shoe goes well beyond simply removing a loose impediment.

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1 hour ago, Dpavs said:

Pretty sure I saw an LGPA player do this same thing in preparing to take relief on #18 in the final round this past weekend. She swept the area where she was going to be taking a drop with her shoe prior to taking the drop. As I recall the official was standing right by her at the time. So it makes me wonder why a penalty is not being assessed for this kind of activity. To me, a broad sweeping of the ground with the side of someone's shoe goes well beyond simply removing a loose impediment.

There is no penalty for "this kind of activity" as such.  The action  has to improve conditions affecting the stroke.  If the referee was  aware of the action,  it has to be assumed that he/she did not consider that any such improvement had been made.

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56 minutes ago, Colin L said:

There is no penalty for "this kind of activity" as such.  The action  has to improve conditions affecting the stroke.  If the referee was  aware of the action,  it has to be assumed that he/she did not consider that any such improvement had been made.

 

So, if that is true, my question is why isn't there?

When I read 8.1 particularly the sections below, it would appear to me that that a player using their foot to broadly sweep an area of intended relief performs an action that inherently will deliberately alter uneven surfaces, and eliminating indentations.

 

8.1 Player’s Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke

To support the principle of “play the course as you find it,” this Rule restricts what a player may do to improve any of these protected “conditions affecting the stroke ” (anywhere on or off the course) for the next stroke the player will make:

 

    The lie of the player’s ball at rest,
    The area of the player’s intended stance,
    The area of the player’s intended swing,
    The player’s line of play, and
    The relief area where the player will drop or place a ball.

 

----coupled with---

 

8.1 a. Actions That Are Not Allowed

(3)  Alter the surface of the ground, including by:


    Replacing divots in a divot hole,
    Removing or pressing down divots that have already been replaced or other cut turf that is already in place, or
    Creating or eliminating holes, indentations or uneven surfaces.

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7 minutes ago, Dpavs said:

 

So, if that is true, my question is why isn't there?

When I read 8.1 particularly the sections below, it would appear to me that that a player using their foot to broadly sweep an area of intended relief performs an action that inherently will deliberately alter uneven surfaces, and eliminating indentations.

 

8.1 Player’s Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke

To support the principle of “play the course as you find it,” this Rule restricts what a player may do to improve any of these protected “conditions affecting the stroke ” (anywhere on or off the course) for the next stroke the player will make:

 

    The lie of the player’s ball at rest,
    The area of the player’s intended stance,
    The area of the player’s intended swing,
    The player’s line of play, and
    The relief area where the player will drop or place a ball.

 

----coupled with---

 

8.1 a. Actions That Are Not Allowed

(3)  Alter the surface of the ground, including by:


    Replacing divots in a divot hole,
    Removing or pressing down divots that have already been replaced or other cut turf that is already in place, or
    Creating or eliminating holes, indentations or uneven surfaces.

 

How would you prefer that the Rules describe the acceptable methods for removing loose impediments? 

 

As of 2019, the Rule says this: "Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment)."

Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.

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32 minutes ago, Dpavs said:

 

So, if that is true, my question is why isn't there?

When I read 8.1 particularly the sections below, it would appear to me that that a player using their foot to broadly sweep an area of intended relief performs an action that inherently will deliberately alter uneven surfaces, and eliminating indentations.

 

 

All you can say is that the action you describe might alter an uneven surface and eliminate indentations.  If the action is performed, you have to consider its actual effect  on that particular bit of ground and whether that effect will make a material difference to the stroke.

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25 minutes ago, sui generis said:

 

How would you prefer that the Rules describe the acceptable methods for removing loose impediments? 

 

As of 2019, the Rule says this: "Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment)."

 

Spitballing here of course of course but...

 

In order to protect the integrity and spirit of both 8.1 and 15.1, perhaps the addition of some language to 15.1 to the effect of ".....however in doing so, the player may not alter the general condition of the ground around the loose impediment in such a way that would violate rule 8.1" ?

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Colin L said:

All you can say is that the action you describe might alter an uneven surface and eliminate indentations.  If the action is performed, you have to consider its actual effect  on that particular bit of ground and whether that effect will make a material difference to the stroke.

 

Well true enough, but then so many of things under the ROG are judgement calls aren't they?

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2 hours ago, Dpavs said:

Pretty sure I saw an LGPA player do this same thing in preparing to take relief on #18 in the final round this past weekend. She swept the area where she was going to be taking a drop with her shoe prior to taking the drop. As I recall the official was standing right by her at the time. So it makes me wonder why a penalty is not being assessed for this kind of activity. To me, a broad sweeping of the ground with the side of someone's shoe goes well beyond simply removing a loose impediment.

It was Danielle Kang and I saw the same thing.  Looked odd but there was an official.  I would have loved to heard the explanation. 

 

I don't think it was 18 (PAR 3) I thought it was the drivable PAR 4 that she flared it right into the trees on 16, took an unplayable but cleared a spot that she dropped on and scrambled for PAR.  There was some landscaping going on before that drop.

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1 hour ago, Dpavs said:

 

Spitballing here of course of course but...

 

In order to protect the integrity and spirit of both 8.1 and 15.1, perhaps the addition of some language to 15.1 to the effect of ".....however in doing so, the player may not alter the general condition of the ground around the loose impediment in such a way that would violate rule 8.1" ?

 

 

 

Also be aware of Interpretation 8.1a/6, where it says, in part, "The restriction on altering the ground (Rule 8.1a(3)) does not include removing loose impediments or movable obstructions from the area of intended stance, such as removing large amounts of pine needles or leaves from where a player will stand to play the ball."

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1 hour ago, sprcoop said:

It was Danielle Kang and I saw the same thing.  Looked odd but there was an official.  I would have loved to heard the explanation. 

 

I don't think it was 18 (PAR 3) I thought it was the drivable PAR 4 that she flared it right into the trees on 16, took an unplayable but cleared a spot that she dropped on and scrambled for PAR.  There was some landscaping going on before that drop.

 

Thanks and yep I believe you are right!

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5 hours ago, rogolf said:

Also be aware of Interpretation 8.1a/6, where it says, in part, "The restriction on altering the ground (Rule 8.1a(3)) does not include removing loose impediments or movable obstructions from the area of intended stance, such as removing large amounts of pine needles or leaves from where a player will stand to play the ball."

 

That is a very good point... I didn't even consider that the ground might have been covered with pine needles. In truth, I was not wearing my glasses at the time, so if there were needles there, no way I would have seen them...lol.

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Implicit in the comments of others, it is only the outcome from such actions that matters, not the intent or the actual action. Were conditions improved by that leg sweeping? Yes or no? The Lipsky action was certainly a wide foot sweep in an area that appeared to be part of the intended relief area. And there was no question that he moved dirt, it was flying everywhere, but if there was not a discernible improvement in the conditions for the next stroke then no breach. Hard to second guess that call from the screen of a device.

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30 minutes ago, antip said:

Implicit in the comments of others, it is only the outcome from such actions that matters, not the intent or the actual action. Were conditions improved by that leg sweeping? Yes or no? The Lipsky action was certainly a wide foot sweep in an area that appeared to be part of the intended relief area. And there was no question that he moved dirt, it was flying everywhere, but if there was not a discernible improvement in the conditions for the next stroke then no breach. Hard to second guess that call from the screen of a device.

When Rule 8.1 is being discussed, the definition of "improve" should also be considered,

"To alter one or more of the conditions affecting the stroke or other physical conditions affecting play so that a player gains a potential advantage for a stroke."

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