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We had a bunker renovation late 2 seasons ago; bunkers were re-shaped, base applied, and then back-filled. Some of the bunkers still have a plywood wooden shoring wall around the perimeter and at ground level.

One of our players had a ball come to rest about 1” from the plywood with no swing, or at least only a swing away from the green and back down the fairway.

 

Is this a situation of relief from the plywood?

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I have an official answer on this discussion of whether a ball embedded in a dirt path that has been declared as an integral object can access 16.3 embedded ball relief. The answer is yes, 16.3 relief

Yes, see 16.1c for details. 

On the other hand, player isn't asking for relief from the integral object, merely relief for an embedded ball in the general area. 

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8 hours ago, antip said:

Also check the posted Local Rules. If they say nothing about the bunkers, 16.1c is all you need. Around here, bunker walls of artificial materials are commonly integral - no relief for any interference.

I want to briefly thread-jack

 

Do you get relief from a ball embedded in its own pitch mark in an integral object? For example a dirt road in the general area has been declared an integral object, and after a rainstorm the player's ball plugs into it. (I thought of it with the possibility for a ball plugging into the face of a bunker, in this case possibly defined as an integral object)

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2 hours ago, rogolf said:

The definition of integral object includes "an artificial object".  What is artificial about a dirt road?

I would say that there would be no free relief for a ball embedded in an integral (artificial) object.

I wonder about that.  We have a bark covered path defined as  an integral object.  It is quite feasible that a ball could be embedded on it and at a quick glance I can't see any grounds for denying relief.  Too busy right now, however,  with a complete shambles in our computer scoring set-up resulting  in course handicaps as high as 50 in  a 9 hole stableford  and a "winning"  score of 55 points. 

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4 hours ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

I want to briefly thread-jack

 

Do you get relief from a ball embedded in its own pitch mark in an integral object? For example a dirt road in the general area has been declared an integral object, and after a rainstorm the player's ball plugs into it. (I thought of it with the possibility for a ball plugging into the face of a bunker, in this case possibly defined as an integral object)

 

I wonder what difference does it make if a ball is embedded in an integral object or just lying on one. An integral object is something you do not get a free relief from.

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7 hours ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

I want to briefly thread-jack

 

Do you get relief from a ball embedded in its own pitch mark in an integral object? For example a dirt road in the general area has been declared an integral object, and after a rainstorm the player's ball plugs into it. (I thought of it with the possibility for a ball plugging into the face of a bunker, in this case possibly defined as an integral object)

Fine question, probably a situation not contemplated/planned for. I also lean to relief but we have a fundamental clash of permission versus prohibition. This generally favours permission, but not always.

My leaning is driven by the following words from the 'major changes' sheet on embedded ball but I suggest a phone call would be needed to confirm the official response  - do we have a volunteer to call?

Excerpt from 'major changes' sheet: This is an appropriate exception to the principle of playing the ball as it lies because having to play a ball that is stuck in soft or wet ground (whether in the fairway or the rough) should not be considered part of the normal challenge of playing a course.

PS Perhaps a reasonable answer would be relief available, but relief area limited to the integral object - but I can't see RBs going for that extra complexity.

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18 hours ago, antip said:

Also check the posted Local Rules. If they say nothing about the bunkers, 16.1c is all you need. Around here, bunker walls of artificial materials are commonly integral - no relief for any interference.

So would it be accurate to say that there are some situations due to that condition that would require a person to take relief from the bunker and +1 stroke penalty?

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2 hours ago, antip said:

Fine question, probably a situation not contemplated/planned for. I also lean to relief but we have a fundamental clash of permission versus prohibition. This generally favours permission, but not always.

My leaning is driven by the following words from the 'major changes' sheet on embedded ball but I suggest a phone call would be needed to confirm the official response  - do we have a volunteer to call?

Excerpt from 'major changes' sheet: This is an appropriate exception to the principle of playing the ball as it lies because having to play a ball that is stuck in soft or wet ground (whether in the fairway or the rough) should not be considered part of the normal challenge of playing a course.

PS Perhaps a reasonable answer would be relief available, but relief area limited to the integral object - but I can't see RBs going for that extra complexity.

Agree that it's a fine question, but I still have difficulty understanding how a ball can be embedded in the ground in an integral object, which by definition is an artificial object and is part of the challenge of playing the course, from which free relief is not allowed.  And, the definition clearly states  that "free relief is not allowed" without limiting that statement in any way, ie, presumably meaning that free relief is not allowed by any Rule.

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Though, I appreciate the words in the Definition, I lean towards the notion that the player is not seeking relief from the artificial object which has been "artificially" recategorized as integral. I like the concept from 16.3 that a ball embedded in the general area is entitled to relief.

 

ps Mercifully, most Committees are sufficiently underinformed so as to not abuse the integral object thing. (I'm the one-eyed guy in the land of the blind at my club, so we don't have anything goofy in our Local Rules.)

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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2 hours ago, sui generis said:

 

Though, I appreciate the words in the Definition, I lean towards the notion that the player is not seeking relief from the artificial object which has been "artificially" recategorized as integral. I like the concept from 16.3 that a ball embedded in the general area is entitled to relief.

 

ps Mercifully, most Committees are sufficiently underinformed so as to not abuse the integral object thing. (I'm the one-eyed guy in the land of the blind at my club, so we don't have anything goofy in our Local Rules.)

I understand that there may potentially be two applicable Rules.  But, if the object is artificial, and the ball is in it, how can the ball be embedded below ground level?  What artificial material would permit that occurrence (maybe kevlar or a plastic sheet)?  Most artificial objects would prevent part of the ball from being below the level of the ground.

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34 minutes ago, rogolf said:

I understand that there may potentially be two applicable Rules.  But, if the object is artificial, and the ball is in it, how can the ball be embedded below ground level?  What artificial material would permit that occurrence (maybe kevlar or a plastic sheet)?  Most artificial objects would prevent part of the ball from being below the level of the ground.

Where an object prevents part of the ball from below the level of the ground then you don't have an embedded ball and the question of relief does not arise but that doesn't have any bearing on an instance where it is possible for a ball to be embedded.   I cited the possibility on my own course of an embedded ball on  a bark covered path which is an integral object. It  could happen easily enough.  The bark gets scuffed by passing feet and there are patches where the ball could make direct impact on the earth.  If it's muddy, the bark gets pressed into the soil and a ball landing on a bit of such bark could easily push it further in and be embedded.  It hasn't happened yet,   but this is golf!

 

If a ball is embedded in the general area you are entitled to relief from that condition. The path is in the general area, therefore you can take relief from the embedded ball although not from the path.  It could be that relief leaves you on the path but if relief takes you off the path to a better place, so be it.  That's what can happen in relief situations.

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Mr. Bean said:

I had a discussion with a colleague of mine and he founded his view on the fact that an integral object is not an obstruction but part of the course. Thus relief per 16.3 should be allowed.

 

An official ruling on this one would be nice although I think free relief is the correct answer.

While obviously sharing the same view on the outcome, I'd suggest that an obstruction remains an obstruction when defined as an integral object. But I don't see it as necessary for it not to be an obstruction in order to grant relief from something completely different - an embedded ball.  It's the fact that the ball is embedded in the general area that counts.

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15 hours ago, rogolf said:

The definition of integral object includes "an artificial object".  What is artificial about a dirt road?

I would say that there would be no free relief for a ball embedded in an integral (artificial) object.

 

IMG_20201106_094546590_HDR.jpg.97023bf3ec7a3bae59e51607a4bd0506.jpg

 

In the definition for an immovable obstruction, an example provided is "artificially surfaced roads and paths" 

 

The paths in the image are (in my opinion) artificially surfaced; a specially structured sand mix not found elsewhere on the course is brought in, rolled and packed reasonably firmly, and periodically treated with a salt spray. All such roads at this course are defined in the local rules as immovable obstructions.

 

So it's an artificial surface, but it's still made out of "dirt" so the ball could embed in it and be below the level of the ground. And if for whatever reason the course had decided some or all of these would be integral objects instead, that created the question.

 

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6 hours ago, Quasimoto said:

So would it be accurate to say that there are some situations due to that condition that would require a person to take relief from the bunker and +1 stroke penalty?

 

Hey Quasumoto, I'm sorry I took your thread off the rails, so I wanted to readdress your question here.

 

The answer to your question is kind of. The rules almost always let you play the ball as it lies. When you say "require" if you mean "doesn't have any other good options" then yes, you can be out of luck in a bunker. Think of the steep wall bunkers at the British Open. If you are up against the edge of those bunkers your options may be sideways, backwards, or perhaps an unplayable.

 

I once had a ball roll up the face of a shallow bunker and come to rest wedged where the grass of the lip had overgrown to make a 1 golf ball tall gap between what you would call the lip and the sand surface. Not embedded, yes in the bunker, and not a happy me. My options were to play it as it lay, or the various unplayable ball reliefs and their associated penalties. (Rule 19.3)

 

I actually elected to play the ball as it lay (with my putter, because it's blade was small enough to fit in the gap.) I figured I wasn't going to miss, and if I made contact the ball would probably roll to the base of the bunker where I'd be dropping anyway, and if I made very good contact it might even hop out of the bunker onto the fairway (saving me a stroke as opposed to dropping there with the unplayable). As luck would have it the ball did hop out of the bunker and off I went. 

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7 hours ago, Quasimoto said:

So would it be accurate to say that there are some situations due to that condition that would require a person to take relief from the bunker and +1 stroke penalty?

All depends on the specifics. For example, if there is a local rule 'bunker walls made of stacked artificial turf are integral objects', the only relief for interference for a ball in the bunker is Rule 19 - unplayable ball. That is, 1SP for S&D or drop in bunker or 2SP for BOL relief outside the bunker. However, if there is no local rule applying, and there is plywood in the bunker but interfering with a ball in the bunker, relief options are under Rule 16 and include free relief in the bunker (16.1c(1)) or 1SP outside the bunker BOL (16.1c(2)).

 

 

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7 hours ago, rogolf said:

Agree that it's a fine question, but I still have difficulty understanding how a ball can be embedded in the ground in an integral object, which by definition is an artificial object and is part of the challenge of playing the course, from which free relief is not allowed.  And, the definition clearly states  that "free relief is not allowed" without limiting that statement in any way, ie, presumably meaning that free relief is not allowed by any Rule.

Here you are affirming the problem - there is an issue flowing from the definition of Integral Object. It says it is an "artificial object" but Committees since time immemorial have declared whatever they want to be "Integral". This definition of integral object is new from 2019 and we do not have the benefit of RBs telling us whether they think Committees are not permitted to declare dirt roads to be "integral" because it is not an artificial object. That would be something useful to get RB guidance on.

 

There are certainly courses around here that declare dirt (machinery) paths around the course to be integral, intending to affirm there is no free relief from such off fairway paths. Perhaps the best way for Committees to go in this case is just affirm there is no relief from such parts of the general area rather than complicating the issue by using the old 'integral' language. That is, supply information rather than use any local rule. And that certainly removes any doubt of the status of an embedded ball in such dirt paths if they are sufficiently wet for a ball to embed. Simple 'ol me thinks if it is embedded in dirt it is embedded, it doesn't cease to be embedded by the stroke of a local rule pen (unless that local rule limits embedded to the closely mown).

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1 hour ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

 

IMG_20201106_094546590_HDR.jpg.97023bf3ec7a3bae59e51607a4bd0506.jpg

 

In the definition for an immovable obstruction, an example provided is "artificially surfaced roads and paths" 

 

The paths in the image are (in my opinion) artificially surfaced; a specially structured sand mix not found elsewhere on the course is brought in, rolled and packed reasonably firmly, and periodically treated with a salt spray. All such roads at this course are defined in the local rules as immovable obstructions.

 

So it's an artificial surface, but it's still made out of "dirt" so the ball could embed in it and be below the level of the ground. And if for whatever reason the course had decided some or all of these would be integral objects instead, that created the question.

 

I think this post highlights some different issues. Declaring something as an immovable obstruction (or GUR) does not prevent a ball embedded in such a defined area to be eligible for embedded relief - it is just another case of different forms of relief being available and the player being able to proceed under either rule.

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4 hours ago, Colin L said:

While obviously sharing the same view on the outcome, I'd suggest that an obstruction remains an obstruction when defined as an integral object.

 

That is not what the Definition says:

 

'Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are not obstructions or
boundary objects.'

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13 hours ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

 

Hey Quasumoto, I'm sorry I took your thread off the rails, so I wanted to readdress your question here.

 

The answer to your question is kind of. The rules almost always let you play the ball as it lies. When you say "require" if you mean "doesn't have any other good options" then yes, you can be out of luck in a bunker. Think of the steep wall bunkers at the British Open. If you are up against the edge of those bunkers your options may be sideways, backwards, or perhaps an unplayable.

 

I once had a ball roll up the face of a shallow bunker and come to rest wedged where the grass of the lip had overgrown to make a 1 golf ball tall gap between what you would call the lip and the sand surface. Not embedded, yes in the bunker, and not a happy me. My options were to play it as it lay, or the various unplayable ball reliefs and their associated penalties. (Rule 19.3)

 

I actually elected to play the ball as it lay (with my putter, because it's blade was small enough to fit in the gap.) I figured I wasn't going to miss, and if I made contact the ball would probably roll to the base of the bunker where I'd be dropping anyway, and if I made very good contact it might even hop out of the bunker onto the fairway (saving me a stroke as opposed to dropping there with the unplayable). As luck would have it the ball did hop out of the bunker and off I went. 

Hey, no worries James, it’s all good info & instruction.

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On 4/30/2021 at 6:50 PM, antip said:

Here you are affirming the problem - there is an issue flowing from the definition of Integral Object. It says it is an "artificial object" but Committees since time immemorial have declared whatever they want to be "Integral". This definition of integral object is new from 2019 and we do not have the benefit of RBs telling us whether they think Committees are not permitted to declare dirt roads to be "integral" because it is not an artificial object. That would be something useful to get RB guidance on.

 

There are certainly courses around here that declare dirt (machinery) paths around the course to be integral, intending to affirm there is no free relief from such off fairway paths. Perhaps the best way for Committees to go in this case is just affirm there is no relief from such parts of the general area rather than complicating the issue by using the old 'integral' language. That is, supply information rather than use any local rule. And that certainly removes any doubt of the status of an embedded ball in such dirt paths if they are sufficiently wet for a ball to embed. Simple 'ol me thinks if it is embedded in dirt it is embedded, it doesn't cease to be embedded by the stroke of a local rule pen (unless that local rule limits embedded to the closely mown).

I have an official answer on this discussion of whether a ball embedded in a dirt path that has been declared as an integral object can access 16.3 embedded ball relief. The answer is yes, 16.3 relief is available, and declaring something to be integral just means it is not an immovable obstruction.

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