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Preferred lies optional in match play


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Yesterday, prior to the start of our summer-long individual match play tournament, I overheard our pro advise a match that they could play preferred lies if they both agreed to it.

 

Yet our Local Rules only permit lift-clean-and-place during the summer on holes where cart-path-only is in effect for the day. (Cart-path-only was not in effect yesterday.) I didn't like the pro's advice.

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

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Posted (edited)

Did you tell him (or her) that any players who agree to waive a rule can both be DQed?

Edited by iacas
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Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

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"Golf is the only game in which a precise knowledge of the rules can earn one a reputation for bad sportsmanship." — Pat Campbell

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23 minutes ago, iacas said:

Did you tell him (or her) that any players who agree to waive a rule can both be DQed?

I wasn't about to call him out in front of the 50+ assembled players. (It was a shotgun start.) He's an experienced stroke play competitor, but like many knows little of match play. His concept of match play is that the players may do what they want so long as they agree. 🙄

 

We'll talk about it next week if he happens to come in to work. He treats it as a part-time job. 

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

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If the Pro was 'The Committee' doesn't he/she have the authority to put LCP in play? And in that case is there an issue with the competitors deciding not to play LCP? And in that case is there an enforcement mechanism (and if so what is it)?

 

Serious questions (asked out of curiosity). 

 

dave

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49 minutes ago, DaveLeeNC said:

If the Pro was 'The Committee' doesn't he/she have the authority to put LCP in play? And in that case is there an issue with the competitors deciding not to play LCP? And in that case is there an enforcement mechanism (and if so what is it)?

 

Serious questions (asked out of curiosity). 

 

dave

 

Certainly the Committee can make it so, but he did it only for the one match which asked whether we were playing the ball "down." 

 

His answer was that they could play preferred lies if they wanted since in match play a match could play anyway it (they) wanted to. He implied that a match could play by any Rules they saw fit.

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3 hours ago, sui generis said:

I wasn't about to call him out in front of the 50+ assembled players.

 

Ah, yes, probably not the best time to have that conversation. 😉 

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Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

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"Golf is the only game in which a precise knowledge of the rules can earn one a reputation for bad sportsmanship." — Pat Campbell

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2 hours ago, Nels55 said:

What if one player wants preferred lies and the other does not?

 

As explained , they cannot agree to use it, and if it is not in the Local Rules in force that day they are not allowed to use it. So it does not matter if one wants it and the other does not, they just have to play the ball down.

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22 hours ago, DaveLeeNC said:

If the Pro was 'The Committee' doesn't he/she have the authority to put LCP in play? And in that case is there an issue with the competitors deciding not to play LCP? And in that case is there an enforcement mechanism (and if so what is it)?

 

Serious questions (asked out of curiosity). 

 

dave

If LCP is instituted for a competition, there is no requirement actually use it.  You can play the ball as it lies.  
But if 2 competitors agree to not use it I think that is a problem.  

Edited by st1800e
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It really should be set in the rules for your tournament.  We used to have a similiar thing here but we handled it this way: Higher handicap decided the tees and the low cap decided if you could LCP in the fairway or play it down everywhere.

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18 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

As explained , they cannot agree to use it, and if it is not in the Local Rules in force that day they are not allowed to use it. So it does not matter if one wants it and the other does not, they just have to play the ball down.

 

42 minutes ago, rogolf said:

The Rules are pretty clear - in match play, players can decide Rules issues themselves, so long as the player do not agree to ignore any Rule or penalty that they knew applied.  Local Rules that are in effect are part of the Rules.

 

I was just about to add this point. In Match Play, ignorance of the rules can be a get out jail free card. 

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So what is the result here ? I even see "The rule is pretty clear" but no "decision".

 

Pro/committee tells them they can use it for their match.

 

They AGREE they will  both play it as it lies.

 

DQ both ? Or no ?

 

 

 

Edited by nsxguy

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1 hour ago, nsxguy said:

So what is the result here ? I even see "The rule is pretty clear" but no "decision".

 

Pro/committee tells them they can use it for their match.

 

They AGREE they will  both play it as it lies.

 

DQ both ? Or no ?

 

 

 

 

No decision. My post was about a pro (the Committee) changing our Local Rules for one match that day and not for all matches that day. 

 

Our Local Rules play the ball "down" during the summer months unless cart-path-only is in effect. And, it was summertime and with no cart restrictions.

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

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4 minutes ago, sui generis said:

 

No decision. My post was about a pro (the Committee) changing our Local Rules for one match that day and not for all matches that day. 

 

Our Local Rules play the ball "down" during the summer months unless cart-path-only is in effect. And, it was summertime and with no cart restrictions.

 

OK. Thanks. I guess. 51683a_c2f3f9efec304733bca1337b57bbd1d3~

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5 hours ago, sui generis said:

 

No decision. My post was about a pro (the Committee) changing our Local Rules for one match that day and not for all matches that day. 

 

Our Local Rules play the ball "down" during the summer months unless cart-path-only is in effect. And, it was summertime and with no cart restrictions.

 

I’m not sure what the second paragraph has to do with the situation. Seems like the pro was the committee and and committee can institute any permitted local rules they want. 

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2 minutes ago, klebs01 said:

 

I’m not sure what the second paragraph has to do with the situation. Seems like the pro was the committee and and committee can institute any permitted local rules they want. 

My interpretation of the situation is that the OP is not saying that the head Pro was making a statement of what rules are in effect. Rather (in the opinion of the OP) the head Pro was making a (incorrect) statement regarding the Rules of Golf as applied to match play. 

 

dave

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49 minutes ago, klebs01 said:

 

I’m not sure what the second paragraph has to do with the situation. Seems like the pro was the committee and and committee can institute any permitted local rules they want. 

 

How would you feel if the Committee instituted a Local Rule for just one match and not all matches that day?

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

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53 minutes ago, sui generis said:

 

How would you feel if the Committee instituted a Local Rule for just one match and not all matches that day?


Wouldn’t care as it really doesn’t impact the outcome. Same as if matches in a round occurred on different days. But either way, what relevance does that second paragraph have? It’s irrelevant for all issues. Doesn’t impact having different local rules for different matches. 

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9 minutes ago, klebs01 said:


Wouldn’t care as it really doesn’t impact the outcome. Same as if matches in a round occurred on different days. But either way, what relevance does that second paragraph have? It’s irrelevant for all issues. Doesn’t impact having different local rules for different matches. 

 

Never mind. 🙄

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

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1 hour ago, klebs01 said:


Wouldn’t care as it really doesn’t impact the outcome. Same as if matches in a round occurred on different days. But either way, what relevance does that second paragraph have? It’s irrelevant for all issues. Doesn’t impact having different local rules for different matches. 

100%. 
 

If the pro says group 1 fourball has to play it down, but group 2 fourball gets to roll it, the results in group 1 won’t be affected one iota by the results of group 2. 
 

Just like the stroke allocations and the tee allocations that are being played in group 1, doesn’t affect how group 2 plays at all. They are completely separate fourball matches. 
 

Now, if you’re going to make the case that ALL competitors in ALL matches are in, say, a giant skins game, then yes, they should be playing by the same local rules. But without an overarching “big game” how they play the matches in each group is independent of every other group. 

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Just now, Archimedes65 said:

LCP in the summer is such a foreign concept to me.  Never once played it.

 

C'mon down to SoFla - you'll be playing it plenty in the Summer.

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On 6/9/2024 at 9:28 AM, iacas said:

Did you tell him (or her) that any players who agree to waive a rule can both be DQed?

 

No DQ.

 

They didn't agree to waive a rule.

 

They agreed to use the provision(s) of the local rule the same way.

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I've just come to this thread and, uncharacteristically for golfwrx (😉), it has gone all over the place. Back to the original question and for what it's worth, my take on it.

 

The purposes of the Preferred Lies local rule are a) to protect the course - although in my view it doesn't and b) to make the game more playable and enjoyable in adverse conditions.  It should be restricted to areas mown to fairway height.  It is plain wrong and all too casual for players in a match to be given the option of adopting it even though  it does not affect the competition as a whole.  Both play to the same conditions, one of them wins and that makes no difference to other matches.  It could, after all, in a competition with ties being played on different days, be that preferred lies are in place on one day (for a proper reason and applicable to all golf on that day) and not on another when ties are being played.    It is a club matter who has the authority to put preferred lies in place.  In mine, the decision would involve the Competitions Convener, the Course Convener and the Course Manager (the last being still known to me, being an old fart, as the Head Greenkeeper).  The Preferred Lies LR sets aside that fundamental rule of golf, play the ball as it lies.  So do various other Rules but in each case, the principle is clear: it is unreasonable to expect the player to play the ball as it lies (eg. it is up against an object on the course such has a bench, a ball washer or a sprinkler head which has no natural place as a feature of a golf course).  Offering players the choice of preferring lies in their match to allow them to choose a nicer lie if they fancy it changes the nature of the game being played and is just not on.

 

That being said, if players are told by the pro, even if he did not have the authority to do so,    that they can adopt preferred lies for their match, I reckon it would be unreasonable to penalise them.  But a club has to be clear about the circumstances when it Is appropriate to introduce preferred lies, who has the authority to decide to do so and how that is communicated to players.

 

To pick up on another aspect raised somewhere in the conversation, I don't see any problem if two players agree not to prefer lies when the LR is in place.  They are not agreeing to do anything wrong as they have the option of preferring their lie or playing the ball as it lies. Agreeing to prefer their lies when the LR is not in place is another matter: that is an agreement to waive Rule 9.1a.  

 

 

Edited by Colin L
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One aspect I haven’t seen..one match plays preferred lies, another doesn’t.   The outcome of those matches could be affected by the choice.  One match with LCP - example, roll the ball out of a divot could have a significant effect on the shot outcome. In the divot, higher probability of a poor shot result, or can only lay up with a wedge, vs a longer club to the green.  Result could be lose the hole vs a tie, or hole won .  So the outcome of the match could be affected.
 

And assuming the competition has winners playing winners progressively to the Championship match , this seemingly innocuous “play what you agree on” can affect the final outcome.  
 

In  the example of playing matches different days , one day might be heavy rain requiring LCP enacted by the committee for that day only.
I’d say that if  LCP is enacted by the committee it applies to all matches played, and if not enacted all players play the ball down.  So it’s a rule in place, and the individual matches can’t decide to not follow a rule.  
 

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I sure would like to see a match that is won by 1 hole and it all comes down to one ball being in a divot hole on one fairway for one of the players. No missed putts, no missed fairways or greens resulting to one stroke more, no bad shots at all for either of the players. Doubt it will ever happen.

 

Many clubs have a match play tournament lasting most of the season. There will be days when LCP is in effect and others when it is not. But all matches are individual matches one-to-one and the winner of the match advances to the next round regarless of LCP or not. I cannot see how that could affect who wins the entire tournament.

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20 hours ago, nsxguy said:

So what is the result here ? I even see "The rule is pretty clear" but no "decision".

 

Pro/committee tells them they can use it for their match.

 

They AGREE they will  both play it as it lies.

 

DQ both ? Or no ?

 

 

 

 

I believe Colin answered your question, i.e. players do nothing wrong.

 

But in the other case if they decided to use LCP when it was in fact not in effect then they may get DQ. If that pro was a member of the Committee or a referee of the competition then the score stands and no DQ. But if he was not then he is like any other person giving incorrect information to players. If they believe him it is their responsibility and in that latter case both get the DQ.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

I believe Colin answered your question, i.e. players do nothing wrong.

 

But in the other case if they decided to use LCP when it was in fact not in effect then they may get DQ. If that pro was a member of the Committee or a referee of the competition then the score stands and no DQ. But if he was not then he is like any other person giving incorrect information to players. If they believe him it is their responsibility and in that latter case both get the DQ.

 

Just in case, note Colin's answer was before you mentioned it and I saw it. And yes, that answers the question.

 

Anyway, Augster's response was essentially the same. But he's not a "rulie" so it carries a bit less weight to us other non-rulies.

 

What I've noticed around here is that some Rules Officials (and referees :classic_laugh:) will sometimes not issue their "decision" of a/the ruling. They will quite often post the Rule, or a link to same, and when us non-rullies, unsure of the ruling in the first place, read the rule are still not quite sure they've gotten it right - instead of explaining.

 

That is why I asked "DQ or not ?" 

 

Anyway, this morning I got the answer from the USGA - NO DQ.

 

 

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