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Obstruction in the teeing ground?


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Interesting question came up today playing with my wife. She is playing the forward (red) tees. On some tee boxes, the next longer tees (silver) also share the same general area for tees. On certain days, the greenskeeping staff set the tee boxes offset, with the silver tees behind the red tees, but with one of the silver tee markers IN the area of the red teeing ground. In many cases, it would be appropriate / likely that a player playing from the red tees would want to utilize a part of the teeing area that is occupied by the silver tee marker, and would interfere with stance or swing.

 

Question: In that case, with a match being contested from the red tees, are the silver tee markers obstructions? Are they moveable?

 

I know that you cannot move the tee markers for the course you are playing. But can you move an interfering tee marker that is NOT part of the course you are playing?

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Does this help? From Rule 6.2b4:

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=15&subrulenum=2

 

Restriction on Moving Tee-Markers When Playing from Teeing Area.


The location of the tee-markers is set by the Committee to define each teeing area and should remain in that same location for all players who will play from that teeing area.

 

If the player improves the conditions affecting the stroke by moving any such tee-marker before playing from the teeing area, he or she gets the general penalty for breach of Rule 8.1a(1).

 

In all other situations, the tee-markers are treated as regular movable obstructions that may be removed as allowed in Rule 15.2.

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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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1 minute ago, goaliedad30 said:

And just like that, the thread is over 🙂

Thanks, @sui generis!

 

You're welcome. Of course, it could go on a couple of more pages if somebody jumps in and demands relief from divot holes. 😉

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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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I would've given a different answer off the top of my head and you'd find the reason under Rule 8.1a. It's specific about the tee-markers for the teeing area being played from. It's odd that 6.2b says moving any such tee-marker would be a breach of a rule that doesn't consider the act to be a breach at all.

 

(1) Move, bend or break any:

  • Tee-marker for the teeing area when playing a ball from that teeing area.

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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1 hour ago, Halebopp said:

I would've given a different answer off the top of my head and you'd find the reason under Rule 8.1a. It's specific about the tee-markers for the teeing area being played from. It's odd that 6.2b says moving any such tee-marker would be a breach of a rule that doesn't consider the act to be a breach at all.

 

(1) Move, bend or break any:

  • Tee-marker for the teeing area when playing a ball from that teeing area.

I'm not following your argument here.

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2 minutes ago, antip said:

I'm not following your argument here.

 

Rule 6.2b(4):

  • If the player improves the conditions affecting the stroke by moving any such tee-marker before playing from the teeing area, he or she gets the general penalty for breach of Rule 8.1a(1).

 

Rule 8.1a(1):

  • Tee-marker for the teeing area when playing a ball from that teeing area.

 

Rule 6 seems to tell us rule 8 forbids us from moving any tee-markers within the teeing area whereas rule 8 only forbids moving the tee-markers defining the teeing area.

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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12 minutes ago, Halebopp said:

 

Rule 6.2b(4):

  • If the player improves the conditions affecting the stroke by moving any such tee-marker before playing from the teeing area, he or she gets the general penalty for breach of Rule 8.1a(1).

 

Rule 8.1a(1):

  • Tee-marker for the teeing area when playing a ball from that teeing area.

 

Rule 6 seems to tell us rule 8 forbids us from moving any tee-markers within the teeing area whereas rule 8 only forbids moving the tee-markers defining the teeing area.


I read 6.2b a bit differently.  I think “any such tee marker” is referring back to the first paragraph, namely those tee markers which “ should remain in that same location for all players who will play from that teeing area.”

 

However I agree your interpretation is reasonable and the wording is so unnecessarily unclear.  

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46 minutes ago, jimbo123 said:


I read 6.2b a bit differently.  I think “any such tee marker” is referring back to the first paragraph, namely those tee markers which “ should remain in that same location for all players who will play from that teeing area.”

 

However I agree your interpretation is reasonable and the wording is so unnecessarily unclear.  

 

In my opinion the previous bullet point discusses all the teeing areas on the course rather than a specific teeing area.

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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3 hours ago, Halebopp said:

 

In my opinion the previous bullet point discusses all the teeing areas on the course rather than a specific teeing area.

For me, that interpretation makes no sense as it is not consistent with 6.2a, which is careful to distinguish the Teeing Area from all other teeing locations. For the same reason, I read "the location of tee markers" in the first bullet point of 6.2b(4) to only relate to those relevant to "the" Teeing Area, in contrast to that last para of 6.2b(4) that introduces the different concept of "all other situations" where the tee markers are regular MOs.

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39 minutes ago, antip said:

For me, that interpretation makes no sense as it is not consistent with 6.2a, which is careful to distinguish the Teeing Area from all other teeing locations. For the same reason, I read "the location of tee markers" in the first bullet point of 6.2b(4) to only relate to those relevant to "the" Teeing Area, in contrast to that last para of 6.2b(4) that introduces the different concept of "all other situations" where the tee markers are regular MOs.

 

It is rather odd as they do specify "other teeing locations" and, before starting to read the rules carefully, I would've said a player is free to move all the other tee-markers. But reading both the English and Finnish versions of the two rules, I have to say I can't be certain of it. If I wanted to make it clear we're only talking about the tee-markers for the player's starting point on a particular hole, I would've used the word "the" instead of "each" and "that" (bolded below). The word each means they're discussing more than one teeing area (or, in other words, several teeing locations).

 

  • The location of the tee-markers is set by the Committee to define each teeing area and should remain in that same location for all players who will play from that teeing area.
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Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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6.2b(4) is clear.  The first bullet point states that the tee markers defining a teeing area are in a fixed position for those  playing from that teeing area.  That specifies two tee markers .   The second bullet point states the penalty for moving  "any such tee-marker."   The word such  exclusively refers to the tee markers specified.  It can refer to nothing else. The other situations in which tee markers can be moved is where the tee markers are those of any teeing area other, that is,  than the one being played from.  

 

 

Edited by Colin L
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Lol.  This place amazes me.  Of course 6.2b(4) can only be read one way in the context of all the surrounding rules.  But to claim it’s “clear” on its own is nonsense.  It’s phrased almost perfectly to trip people up.  It’s a very simple rule that should be phrased so that any player on the course can look it up and get the right answer in one single reading.  Instead multiple experts take to it with a microscope and one (reading in two languages!!!!) comes to a different interpretation. 

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7 minutes ago, Colin L said:

Well, I can honestly say that 6.2b(4) was clear to me on first reading.

But to be fair, I'm used to reading rules and English is my specialism.  But to be fair to the rules writers,  it isn't easy to ensure that a rule says exactly what it needs to say without complications.

Edited by Colin L
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15 minutes ago, Colin L said:

But to be fair, I'm used to reading rules and English is my specialism.  But to be fair to the rules writers,  it isn't easy to ensure that a rule says exactly what it needs to say without complications.

I appreciate this reminder.   I try to see the reasoning behind rules that seem overly complex to me at first.  In this case I feel it’s a simple rule that could be phrased more simply, but maybe that’s while I’m not a rules writer.  

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It's also very clear to me - the first bullet refers to "the" tee-markers that are set by the Committee for all players in the competition to play from.  The second bullet refers to "any such tee-marker" which can only refer to those noted in the first bullet.

The last section, "In all other situations" refers to other tee markers than the ones being used and also to those being used when the stroke is not being played from the teeing area.

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2 hours ago, Newby said:

The term 'Tee markers' only applies to the hole being played (def Teeing Area). Their specific function is to to define the area from which to start the hole. When a hole is not being started, these and all other similar objects not defining the starting area are not 'tee markers'. They are simply obstructions.

 

Newby

To be absolutely clear.

The underlined section of the highlighted text should say-

 

"When not playing from the Teeing Area "

 

The restriction on moving the markers is not only limited to when starting the hole.(6.2b(4))

 

 

Edited by limegreengent
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1 hour ago, Newby said:

The term 'Tee markers' only applies to the hole being played (def Teeing Area). Their specific function is to to define the area from which to start the hole. When a hole is not being started, these and all other similar objects not defining the starting area are not 'tee markers'. They are simply obstructions.

 

 

I have to disagree with your comment. The definition of Teeing Area doesn't mention that the term tee-markers would only refer to the tee-markers of the Teeing Area. I'm unable to find such a limitation in the rules.

 

Teeing Area

The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing.

The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

  • The front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee-markers set by the Committee, and
  • The side edges are defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers.

The teeing area is one of the five defined areas of the course.

All other teeing locations on the course (whether on the same hole or any other hole) are part of the general area.

 

@rogolf the first bullet point refers to each teeing area, which, in my opinion would mean they're referring to several (all) teeing areas. And therefore the second bullet point would refer to all the tee-markers.

 

Anyhoo, I still believe all tee-markers should always be immovable obstructions to lessen any possible confusion, even if it adds another exception in the form of a movable obstruction being treated as immovable.

 
 
 

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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12 minutes ago, Halebopp said:

 

I have to disagree with your comment. The definition of Teeing Area doesn't mention that the term tee-markers would only refer to the tee-markers of the Teeing Area. I'm unable to find such a limitation in the rules.

 

Teeing Area

The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing.

The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

  • The front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee-markers set by the Committee, and
  • The side edges are defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers.

The teeing area is one of the five defined areas of the course.

All other teeing locations on the course (whether on the same hole or any other hole) are part of the general area.

 

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing.

 

12 minutes ago, Halebopp said:
 
 
 

 

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14 minutes ago, Halebopp said:

 

I have to disagree with your comment. The definition of Teeing Area doesn't mention that the term tee-markers would only refer to the tee-markers of the Teeing Area. I'm unable to find such a limitation in the rules.

 

 
 
The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing.
 
The definition makes no reference any other 'teeing areas' so anything purporting to define such areas are not teeing markers.

 

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The Rules certainly refer to multiplicity of  tee markers in 6.1b

 

A player must start each hole by playing a ball from anywhere inside the teeing area under Rule 6.2b.

If a player who is starting a hole plays a ball from outside the teeing area (including from a wrong set of tee markers for a different teeing location on the same hole or a different hole):

 

They are clearly the objects used to mark all possible teeing areas on the course.   My home course has four measured courses which means we have 144 tee markers.

 

I'm not sure where that takes us, mind you.  🙂

 

 

Edited by Colin L
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I empathize with the observations Hale and Jimbo have made about 6.2b(4), I don't think the drafting is easy reading. But as multiple folk have noted, you are misunderstanding that second bullet point in particular. Here's what is not said in this sub-rule:

For any given player starting a stroke play round, there will be 18 separate Teeing Areas to be negotiated sequentially during the round. But each of them is only defined as a Teeing Area for a limited period, for the duration of your play on that specific hole. The other 17, and all the other tees on the course (a total of 71 in Colin's case) are simply teeing locations.

 

From the time you start a new hole, until you complete that hole, your specific two tee markers are subject to the defined restrictions on their movement whenever your ball is in that hole's Teeing Area. And while playing that hole, there are no restrictions on you moving every other tee marker on the course as they are movable obstructions.

 

Writing easily understood regulations is often challenging and particularly when you are dealing with a chameleon - which is what tees and tee markers are. A tee spends most of it's time as a teeing location and occasional time as a Teeing Area. A tee marker spends most of its time as a movable obstruction and occasional time as something other than a movable obstruction.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Colin L said:

The Rules certainly refer to multiplicity of  tee markers in 6.1b

 

A player must start each hole by playing a ball from anywhere inside the teeing area under Rule 6.2b.

If a player who is starting a hole plays a ball from outside the teeing area (including from a wrong set of tee markers for a different teeing location on the same hole or a different hole):

 

They are clearly the objects used to mark all possible teeing areas on the course.   My home course has four measured courses which means we have 144 tee markers.

 

I'm not sure where that takes us, mind you.  🙂

 

 

 

Yes and nowhere in the rules can I see anything that separates the tee-markers marking the Teeing Area from all the other tee markers on the course the same way as the definition of Teeing Area separates it from the rest of the course and all the other similarly-marked areas.

 

The rule itself uses the plural form of Teeing Areas and tee-markers (the words each and any in the first and second bullets of rule 6.2b(4) respectively) when a singular form of Teeing Area would be sufficient if the tee-markers were defined as restrictively as the Teeing Area is or the RBs meant it to be that way. Such plural forms are also used in the Swedish and German versions of the rules ("varje tee", "jeden Abschlag", respectively) but the Finnish version talks singularly about "the teeing area" but later uses words that could imply tee-markers of several teeing locations.

 

Because of the differences in different languages, I sent the question to our head of rules as they might want to make a note of it for the 2023 version of the rules.

 

@antip "your specific two tee markers are subject to the defined restrictions on their movement whenever your ball is in that hole's Teeing Area"

 

This is the point I'm arguing. You state it is as a fact and (I assume) therefore say there's a misunderstanding. And like I've said, I would agree with you. But my argument is that the way the rule reads, there's no specific restriction on the rules regarding the specific tee-markers marking the Teeing Area. The only thing that would matter is whether or not the ball is being played from inside the Teeing Area. When inside, no tee-markers can be moved and, when outside, all tee-markers can be moved.

 

We'd be better off if the definition of Teeing Area included a note indicating that any reference to tee-markers refers to the specific pair of tee-markers defining the Teeing Area, or using a singular form of Teeing Area in the first bullet point of the rule. (Unless our understanding of the rule has actually been wrong.)

 

But I feel like I've invested way too much time on this minute detail concerning a scenario I'll likely never come across in real life. Although I did play with a lady who almost always teed off so that the tee-marker was in between her and the ball just last week.

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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