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USGA Rules Quiz; two questions / comments


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Just went through an intermediate quiz with 25 questions and two questions with their answers lifted my eyebrows:

 

1. When taking relief under any relief Rule, the player may use the original ball or another ball if he or she chooses to do so.

True: Ref R6.3b(1)

 

7. A player may not move a natural object to see if it is loose if in doing so the lie of the player's ball is improved. 

False: Ref R8.1a, 8.1b(11)

 

Number 1 answer is strictly reading incorrect but obviously the person who wrote the question was thinking of a relief through dropping or placing. However, relief can be taken also from a Movable Obstruction and in such a case the original ball must be used.

 

Number 7 is something I do not really get. Rule 8.1 is rather specific in saying that the lie of the player's ball must not be improved. Yet this answer implies that it is not a problem. Am I missing something here?

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(6)  Stretching Devices and Training or Swing Aids.     Not Allowed. Using any type of golf training or swing aid (such as an alignment rod or a weighted headcover or “donut”)

Good luck at fishing a ball out of water with an orange whip, sounds like a bit of a challenge.   I have a different orange whip rules story. I'm referee at a district match play club teams

As I said earlier, relief was completed when the movable obstruction was removed.  The ball moved and was replaced under a separate Rule (14.2)

3 minutes ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Well, that is the Rule I gave you in my question so I must have seen it and read it. Unfortunately the text does not match with the question. I would have not asked if it did.

 

8.1b indicates which actions are allowed. And 8.1b(11) says that natural objects can be moved to see if they are loose. It's self-evident.

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11 minutes ago, b.helts said:

 

8.1b indicates which actions are allowed. And 8.1b(11) says that natural objects can be moved to see if they are loose. It's self-evident.

 

Sure it is but improving the lie of the ball is not. So how can those two be combined?

 

The only explanation I can come up with is that the question nor the answer tell but do mean that if the lie may be restored then there would be no penalty. Well, the question does not indicate that thus my concern.

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42 minutes ago, jimbo123 said:

8.1b is explicitly a list of exceptions. 
 

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

 

Thanks, I had missed that part. 👏

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3 hours ago, jimbo123 said:

8.1b is explicitly a list of exceptions. 
 

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

Quite so. But IMO you can also get there with a careful read of 8.1b(11). The requirement to avoid penalty is a) don't break any attachment and b) return it as nearly as possible to original position. That is, if the player returns it anap the requirement has been met - there is no requirement to eliminate 100 per cent of the improvement unless it is possible to do so.

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7 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

Just went through an intermediate quiz with 25 questions and two questions with their answers lifted my eyebrows:

 

1. When taking relief under any relief Rule, the player may use the original ball or another ball if he or she chooses to do so.

True: Ref R6.3b(1)

  

Number 1 answer is strictly reading incorrect but obviously the person who wrote the question was thinking of a relief through dropping or placing. However, relief can be taken also from a Movable Obstruction and in such a case the original ball must be used.

 

On No.1

The rules themselves segregate taking relief under a rule from the situation you raise - what you must do if your ball is moved when moving a movable obstruction (replace using the same ball).  This latter issue falls under the third bullet point in 6.3b(1), not the first bullet point.

IMO, a clearer identification of the difference between these themes (a.taking relief or penalty relief and b.replacing a lifted or moved ball) is provided in the Preamble to Rule 14 (see the two bullet points).

These observations convince me that this question and answer are valid.

 

All the questions in the USGA intermediate quiz set are sourced from the Dr Lew Blakey '500 Questions' set (accessible at generalarea.org) and they have stood the test of a few years very careful scrutiny. I was able to point out a couple of minor issues early in the piece and they led to some adjustments but if I re-work those quiz sets again today (I do from time to time), once in a while I can get one wrong. And when that happens, I am extremely confident that the error is me, not the question - I just need to re-think to find my error. A very sharp golf rules brain was behind their creation.

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9 minutes ago, antip said:

On No.1

The rules themselves segregate taking relief under a rule from the situation you raise - what you must do if your ball is moved when moving a movable obstruction (replace using the same ball).  This latter issue falls under the third bullet point in 6.3b(1), not the first bullet point.

IMO, a clearer identification of the difference between these themes (a.taking relief or penalty relief and b.replacing a lifted or moved ball) is provided in the Preamble to Rule 14 (see the two bullet points).

These observations convince me that this question and answer are valid.

 

 

The reference was 6.3b(1), no bullet point was mentioned separately. In the 1st bullet point dropping and placing are dealt with but Rule 15.2 (Movable Obstruction) deals with free relief as well. Now, as the question was about taking relief under ANY Rule that would IMO include R15.2 which does not allow the ball to be changed. So IMO the answer does not accurately fit the question.

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11 minutes ago, antip said:

On No.1

The rules themselves segregate taking relief under a rule from the situation you raise - what you must do if your ball is moved when moving a movable obstruction (replace using the same ball).  This latter issue falls under the third bullet point in 6.3b(1), not the first bullet point.

IMO, a clearer identification of the difference between these themes (a.taking relief or penalty relief and b.replacing a lifted or moved ball) is provided in the Preamble to Rule 14 (see the two bullet points).

These observations convince me that this question and answer are valid.

 

All the questions in the USGA intermediate quiz set are sourced from the Dr Lew Blakey '500 Questions' set (accessible at generalarea.org) and they have stood the test of a few years very careful scrutiny. I was able to point out a couple of minor issues early in the piece and they led to some adjustments but if I re-work those quiz sets again today (I do from time to time), once in a while I can get one wrong. And when that happens, I am extremely confident that the error is me, not the question - I just need to re-think to find my error. A very sharp golf rules brain was behind their creation.

Dr. Lew Blakey (his doctorate is in Engineering) is a brilliant Rules person, having been on the USGA Rules Committee for several years and also served as an USGA representative on the Joint Rules Committee (JRC).  His website is a worth a visit for those seriously interested in the Rules of golf.

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11 minutes ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

The reference was 6.3b(1), no bullet point was mentioned separately. In the 1st bullet point dropping and placing are dealt with but Rule 15.2 (Movable Obstruction) deals with free relief as well. Now, as the question was about taking relief under ANY Rule that would IMO include R15.2 which does not allow the ball to be changed. So IMO the answer does not accurately fit the question.

15.2 relief is the capacity to move the MO if there is interference, that is the relief rule. It has nothing to do with permitting the ball to be moved - that is not part of the relief rule (and the quiz question is solely about relief rules).

 

Movement of a ball at rest is governed by Rule 9, requiring a process that may or may not involve a penalty and will require (unless natural forces are the culprit) replacement of the ball under Rule 14.2. The wording in Rule 15.2 simply shorthands the reminder what you need to do if accidental ball movement occurs while using the relief available under 15.2.

 

So I don't share your concern with this question. And as I said earlier, it is often a challenge to pit your own golf rules brain against that of Dr Blakey.

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3 minutes ago, antip said:

15.2 relief is the capacity to move the MO if there is interference, that is the relief rule. It has nothing to do with permitting the ball to be moved - that is not part of the relief rule (and the quiz question is solely about relief rules).

 

 

Well, R15.2 starts with 'This Rule covers free relief that is allowed from artificial objects that meet the definition of movable obstruction.' That makes it a relief Rule in my book.

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Well, R15.2 starts with 'This Rule covers free relief that is allowed from artificial objects that meet the definition of movable obstruction.' That makes it a relief Rule in my book.

As I said earlier, relief was completed when the movable obstruction was removed.  The ball moved and was replaced under a separate Rule (14.2)

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4 minutes ago, rogolf said:

As I said earlier, relief was completed when the movable obstruction was removed.  The ball moved and was replaced under a separate Rule (14.2)

 

The question does not say anything about a ball moving or not moving or when a relief is complete.

 

This is a good example of a question where you have to figure out what the author of the question had in mind.

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6 minutes ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

The question does not say anything about a ball moving or not moving or when a relief is complete.

 

This is a good example of a question where you have to figure out what the author of the question had in mind.

It doesn't do so because it would be irrelevant additional wordage not relevant to the relief rule. There's nothing that needs to be figured out. 15.2 is a relief rule which is about moving a MO, it is not about accidental movement of a ball in play, for that you go to Rule 9 and Rule 14 for the mechanics of correction of that separate issue and the wording at the end of 15.2a is simply shorthanding that. 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, antip said:

It doesn't do so because it would be irrelevant additional wordage not relevant to the relief rule. There's nothing that needs to be figured out. 15.2 is a relief rule which is about moving a MO, it is not about accidental movement of a ball in play, for that you go to Rule 9 and Rule 14 for the mechanics of correction of that separate issue and the wording at the end of 15.2a is simply shorthanding that. 

 

 

This is the question: 'When taking relief under any relief Rule, the player may use the original ball or another ball if he or she chooses to do so.'

 

In which part of that question can you find something about movement of a ball? I sure cannot but I do find 'When taking relief under any relief Rule'.

 

Well, I will not convince you and you will not convince me. Time to move on.

 

Edited by Mr. Bean
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7 minutes ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Well, I will not convince you and you will not convince me. Time to move on.

 

Probably so. Here's my 'last word'. Taking relief under a relief rule does not include replacing a ball accidentally moved while proceeding under a rule. Don't take my word for it, it is in blue and black at the start of Rule 14.

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4 hours ago, Halebopp said:

The Cleaning Ball local rule is a relief rule (according to its purpose explanation), yet doesn't allow substituting the ball with another one.

Is there something in the water in Finland? 🙂

 

As noted, when a ball must be replaced, same ball must be used. And such a rule is not a relief rule. 

 

But I note that the word 'relief' appears another 301 times in Committee Procedures Section 8 Model Local Rules. So, on the reasoning you have employed, I'd expect you might find an extremely large number of your 'relief rules' among the Model Local Rules.

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@antipcan you please explain how you determine if a rule is a relief rule?  From what I’m seeing, it can’t be merely the use of the word relief (because you exclude the Cleaning Ball local rule).  But nor can it be simply the type of “dropping” relief described in the preamble to rule 14 (because you agree that 15.2 is a relief rule). So what defines whether a rule is a relief rule? 

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1 hour ago, jimbo123 said:

@antipcan you please explain how you determine if a rule is a relief rule?  From what I’m seeing, it can’t be merely the use of the word relief (because you exclude the Cleaning Ball local rule).  But nor can it be simply the type of “dropping” relief described in the preamble to rule 14 (because you agree that 15.2 is a relief rule). So what defines whether a rule is a relief rule? 

IMO, the notable feature of a relief rule - as used in the OP Q1 - is where a substituted ball or the original ball must be dropped in a particular relief area when taking permitted actions under that rule. We have guidance to this effect in Rule 6.3b and the preamble to Rule 14.

Unlike Mr B, and possibly Hale, I don't have any issues with that question and its answer.

 

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3 hours ago, jimbo123 said:

If I take relief by moving a movable obstruction, and I’m not allowed to substitute my ball when I do that, isn’t that simply a counter-example to the statement in the question?  
 

 

Rule 15 provides no authority to touch or move your ball. If you move your ball, you head to Rule 9 to resolve what to do next. I see no logic in seeking to link a rule that provides no authority to touch your ball with consideration of whether a ball can be substituted.

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Posted (edited)

I believe that the intention of the question concerns lifting a ball to take relief - but the question is not precise.

 

It pains me to say this but I believe that the wording of the Quiz question needs to be tweaked a little as Mr Bean has suggested.

If I recall the USGA website does indeed invite  comments regarding its questions and I would encourage Mr Bean to write and list a number  of the Relief rules Inc local rules  which do not permit substitution -- .

I do agree with Antip's comments regarding rule 15 - but the subtlety of this interpretation / as regards the quiz question is beyond most students.

 

Relief's Model local Rule E-2   however appears tostand out as a definite abnomaly.

 

The inclusion of "relief area" in the question would alleviate any ambiguity.

Edited by limegreengent
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35 minutes ago, antip said:

IMO, the notable feature of a relief rule - as used in the OP Q1 - is where a substituted ball or the original ball must be dropped in a particular relief area when taking permitted actions under that rule. We have guidance to this effect in Rule 6.3b and the preamble to Rule 14.

 

 

Here's the core of this issue, in YOUR opinion. Nothing in the Rules support that interpretation, it is just a way of perceiving the issue. It does not lead to false rulings on the course but gives a different angle on certain Rules quiz questions.

 

When there is a question about reliefs then it should IMO (see, in MY opinion!) include all the relief situations. Let me take an example. My ball is lying against a rake in a bunker and I ask 'may I take a relief from that rake'. You would say 'no, you cannot take a relief as that is not covered by a relief Rule but you can move the rake and if your ball moves you must replace it with no penalty'. Then I would ask 'well, don't I then get a relief from that rake' and you will answer 'no, you do not get a relief, you are just allowed to move it and replace your ball'.

 

How much sense does that conversation make to you..?

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Beyond playing "gotcha" with practice exam questions and answers, here's what a player needs to know. From the "Purpose of Rule" for Rule 14:

 

When a lifted or moved ball is to be replaced, the same ball must be set down on its original spot.

 

When taking free relief or penalty relief, a substituted ball or the original ball must be dropped in a particular relief area.

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=14

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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7 minutes ago, sui generis said:

Beyond playing "gotcha" with practice exam questions and answers, here's what a player needs to know. From the "Purpose of Rule" for Rule 14:

 

When a lifted or moved ball is to be replaced, the same ball must be set down on its original spot.

 

When taking free relief or penalty relief, a substituted ball or the original ball must be dropped in a particular relief area.

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=14

 

So... if we made a true/false claim like this:

- 'When taking free relief or penalty relief, a substituted ball or the original ball must be dropped in a particular relief area.'

 

the correct answer would be True, correct?

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Here's the core of this issue, in YOUR opinion. Nothing in the Rules support that interpretation, it is just a way of perceiving the issue. It does not lead to false rulings on the course but gives a different angle on certain Rules quiz questions.

 

When there is a question about reliefs then it should IMO (see, in MY opinion!) include all the relief situations. Let me take an example. My ball is lying against a rake in a bunker and I ask 'may I take a relief from that rake'. You would say 'no, you cannot take a relief as that is not covered by a relief Rule but you can move the rake and if your ball moves you must replace it with no penalty'. Then I would ask 'well, don't I then get a relief from that rake' and you will answer 'no, you do not get a relief, you are just allowed to move it and replace your ball'.

 

How much sense does that conversation make to you..?

It makes no sense to me, but then why would it, you are conducting both sides.

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