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Should free relief have been granted?


MisterT
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I encountered this situation on Wednesday and disagreed with how it was handled. NOTE: We have no Committee - it's a group of guys playing for $5 a player.

 

Player A hits his tee shot into an open drain pipe (it looks like a U when seen from above) that flairs out from under the cart path. The pipe is not in the penalty area and is filled with water. There is no way he could have played the ball regardless of water being present in the pipe.

 

Player A claims he is entitled to a free drop as the pipe is an immovable obstruction. I countered with it being an unplayable lie and shared his options (play his next shot from the prior spot, drop within one club length no closer to the hole...) - each with a one stroke penalty. Players B and C agreed it should be a free drop and that decided how it was handled.

 

Player A then had to determine where to drop. The closest point of free relief left him him standing on the cart path. Ultimately he ended up with a drop on the left side of the cart path. That seemed appropriate and would have been similar in my "ruling" except he'd be hitting three and not two. Was I wrong here?

 

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I agree with free relief from the drain - it's an immovable obstruction, just like the cart path.  After taking that relief, he has a new situation if his foot is on the cart path and is entitled to free relief from the cart path.  However, if he is right-handed, I have a very difficult time seeing how his relief would be on the left side of the cart path!

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36 minutes ago, MisterT said:

I encountered this situation on Wednesday and disagreed with how it was handled. NOTE: We have no Committee - it's a group of guys playing for $5 a player.

 

Player A hits his tee shot into an open drain pipe (it looks like a U when seen from above) that flairs out from under the cart path. The pipe is not in the penalty area and is filled with water. There is no way he could have played the ball regardless of water being present in the pipe.

 

Player A claims he is entitled to a free drop as the pipe is an immovable obstruction. I countered with it being an unplayable lie and shared his options (play his next shot from the prior spot, drop within one club length no closer to the hole...) - each with a one stroke penalty. Players B and C agreed it should be a free drop and that decided how it was handled.

 

Player A then had to determine where to drop. The closest point of free relief left him him standing on the cart path. Ultimately he ended up with a drop on the left side of the cart path. That seemed appropriate and would have been similar in my "ruling" except he'd be hitting three and not two. Was I wrong here?

 

 1983076285_NumberEight.jpg.034e186343b6ced12825186507c9a639.jpg


You were wrong IMO but when friends can’t agree I’d suggest playing both options you discuss and determining whether the total scores on that hole for the 2 options make any difference to the match result. 
 

I’ve done this only once but it’s a useful way to avoid nasty arguments;  whether or not it’s “ legal “ depends on the new rule. It used to be in medal play only I think. 

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35 minutes ago, rogolf said:

I agree with free relief from the drain - it's an immovable obstruction, just like the cart path.  After taking that relief, he has a new situation if his foot is on the cart path and is entitled to free relief from the cart path.  However, if he is right-handed, I have a very difficult time seeing how his relief would be on the left side of the cart path!

I agree about Relief from the drain.  In looking at the drawing, relief from the cart path to the golfer's right would have put him closer to the Penalty Area.  Its possible that there wasn't enough room to take complete relief, feet off the path, without the ball being in the PA.  If that's correct, the Nearest Point of Complete Relief in the General Area could have been to the opposite side of the path.  Obviously I can't tell that from the drawing, I'm just suggesting its possible.

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The relevant Rule, Mr T, is Rule 16  Relief from Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immoveable Obstruction)... 

 

You have misled yourself through thinking about the ball being unplayable in the pipe. You are denied relief only if something other than the immovable obstruction (the pipe) makes it impossible to play the ball.

 

 

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If it had been unplayable, he gets two club lengths, not one as you proposed.  One length is for free drops.

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I thought his ball was in a pipe and not part of the cart path. 
 

If my understanding is correct, then it’s free relief from the pipe, most likely to the right of the cart path with his feet on the cart path. Then relief from the cart path which is likely on the left. 
 

If the pipe and path are the same obstruction, then disregard. 

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6 hours ago, Colin L said:

The relevant Rule, Mr T, is Rule 16  Relief from Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immoveable Obstruction)... 

 

You have misled yourself through thinking about the ball being unplayable in the pipe. You are denied relief only if something other than the immovable obstruction (the pipe) makes it impossible to play the ball.

 

 

Can't emphasise those bolded words enough "You are denied relief only if something other than the immovable obstruction (the pipe) makes it impossible to play the ball."

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Talk of drains and pipes reminded me of a situation I had to help with during a tournament this summer past.  Unusually, I actually saw it happening.  In the photo, the direction of play is from left to right.  There is a bit of a dogleg left.   The ball cleared the ditch (clearly marked as a yellow penalty area), hit the further bank at X, bounced back into the water and was carried  into the pipe and came to rest about 30cms into it. 

 

Perhaps the qualified amongst us could hold back and let others have a go at a ruling?  If that happened to you and there wasn't a referee around, what would you do?1009752829_Ballinpipe.png.e8200bdcf2af3d533d75a4af0f578014.png

 

 

Edited by Colin L
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3 hours ago, Pastit said:


What divides the definition of bridges and culverts ? That structure does Bridge a gap. 

A bridge spans an 'open water course' as specified in the penalty area definition. The picture shows a culvert pipe or conduit under the grassed area. So that area is not an 'open water course. 

Edited by Newby
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11 minutes ago, Newby said:

A bridge spans an open water course as specified in the penalty area definition. The picture shows a culvert pipe or conduit under the grassed area. So that area is not an 'open water course. 


I’m not sure you’re correct as there’s a bridge over an open water course in the Hintergrund. Nor do I see any grass over the “ structure “. 
 

As “ structures “ of this older design often use arches then the pipe is just a simple method of doing the same thing - hence my question. Is it a culvert or a bridge ? Thanks.

 

p.s. When arches are built there is usually a “ former “ inserted until the structure is complete. If the pipe was removed then it’s clearly a bridge to my eyes. So it’s when is a culvert not a culvert ? A: when it functions as a bridge ?

Edited by Pastit
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6 hours ago, Newby said:

That area will not be in the PA as it is not a bridge.

 

That depends entirely on the Committee.

 

Besides, defininition of a bridge is not restrictive. That is why I always advice the Committees to put a clarifying stake between the two or to paint the line.

 

 

Edited by Mr. Bean
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5 minutes ago, Schulzmc said:

It looks pretty clear from the two yellow stakes on either side of the bridge and the yellow line connecting them that the bridge/drainage pipe are not in the penalty area.

 

It is far from clear, that is why a 3rd stake between the 2 is more than recommended.

 

And it is not a bridge 🤓

Edited by Mr. Bean
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Just noticed something else. In zooming in to confirm that there is indeed a yellow line on each side of the bridge, I also noticed a round cover sitting on the bank  that appears to normally cover the end of the pipe to keep balls from doing exactly what this ball did. If that had been in place the ball would have stayed in the penalty area...

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

That depends entirely on the Committee.

 

Besides, defininition of a bridge is not restrictive. That is why I always advice the Committees to put a clarifying stake between the two or to paint the line.

 

Unless the committee has marked the area as part of the PA, it would not be as it there is no open water course and the yellow lines indicate the margin.  

If this was Colin's home course I reckon the lines in situ are clear.

Such marking is very common over here as many streams crisscross golf courses. Some such 'crossings' are included in the PA and some are excluded. It generally depends on the width of the 'crossing'. The narrower, the more likely it is included.

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1 hour ago, Newby said:

Unless the committee has marked the area as part of the PA, it would not be as it there is no open water course and the yellow lines indicate the margin.  

If this was Colin's home course I reckon the lines in situ are clear.

Such marking is very common over here as many streams crisscross golf courses. Some such 'crossings' are included in the PA and some are excluded. It generally depends on the width of the 'crossing'. The narrower, the more likely it is included.

 

Exactly...

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9 hours ago, Colin L said:

I did ask the qualified to hold back and let others have a go!  ✋

I would drop for 2 on the closer side of the ditch to the tee box, and play my next shot as 3. My thinking is I screwed up and hit it into the water (bounce or not). But I don't really have a clear understanding of hazard vs penalty areas and the different penalties and procedures. I just always air on the side of giving myself the penalty and taking the punishment for my shot going where it shouldn't go. I don't play competitive golf. 

 

I've never returned to the teebox to play another tee shot ever, if I know its gone I'll hit again, but the idea of returning to the tee in this pace obsessed golf culture seems like a faux pas even if it may be the correct thing to do by the rules. But yea I'm not well versed enough on the rules. The people I see on the course kick it out from behind trees and take free re-tees. So when I penalize myself on course even if not the correct way, it is still better in my mind than many of the things I see people do. 🤷‍♂️ haha

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9 hours ago, Colin L said:

I did ask the qualified to hold back and let others have a go!  ✋

 

Based on the stakes and the paint location, I would say the spot the ball ended up in is not part of the penalty area.

 

Therefore, you would get free relief. Tough to tell from the pic, but my best guess is the nearest point (for a righty) would be close to the yellow stake in the bottom left of the picture.

 

FWIW I'm not a rules expert, but I did play a lot of competitive golf up until my mid 20s. Now my competitive rounds are limited to club related events.

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