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New OB rules

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I kind of understand the the new OB rules; you can take the distance but it is a 2 stoke penalty or hit again hitting 3. 

So here is the scenario: Hole 18 dog leg right, trees and OB right (at and before the dogleg), forced carry over native grass before fairway and you can not see the green. You can carry over the trees, but if it hits a tree and goes down the slope you will have a hard time a) finding it b) risk OB. Now if you try to carry and do not make it you have not crossed into the course, so the line of flight in through the native areas and trees. So where is the drop, if you choose this option? Line of flight plus the line of the flag? To me it would be at best the very beginning of the fairway behind the trees. Best image I could find Tee box is about 220 yards straight right in the photo.

Had a guy in league take a drop in front of the tree line, with a shot into the green and only take a 1 stroke penalty. I feel like we should have protested, but without the full understand of the new OB rule I just let it go. 

 

Help. 

hole-18.jpg

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Was the ball OB or lost? My reading your post makes it sound like it went OB farther back than where he played what should be his fourth shot.

Here is the USGA info:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/golfs-new-rules-stroke-and-distance.html

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Is that native area marked as OB or is that marked as a hazard? Cause if it is a hazard than the 1 stroke penalty is fine. Either way, the drop was illegal and should've been dropped at the line of entry.

In my opinion, the USGA should eliminate OB from Amateur Golf. Take away the confusion and have everything be a lateral drop with a one stroke penalty. Not only would this reduce questions like this, but it would improve pace of play. Also, the new drop rule requiring from to be knee height is so dumb. Please @USGA make golf logical again.

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1 hour ago, TCUFrog said:

Is that native area marked as OB or is that marked as a hazard? Cause if it is a hazard than the 1 stroke penalty is fine. Either way, the drop was illegal and should've been dropped at the line of entry.

In my opinion, the USGA should eliminate OB from Amateur Golf. Take away the confusion and have everything be a lateral drop with a one stroke penalty. Not only would this reduce questions like this, but it would improve pace of play. Also, the new drop rule requiring from to be knee height is so dumb. Please @USGA make golf logical again.

What's the confusion?  If you can't hit the 150 acres that you've been allocated for your golf, it deserves a fairly severe penalty.  Stroke and distance is fine.  The new (Optional) Local Rule keeps the penalty similar, while easing pace of play issues.  

And really, what is "dumb" about dropping from the height of one specific part of the body, as compared to dropping from the height of a different part?

For the OP, the "Reference Point" is the point where the ball probably went OB, which means somewhere back near the tee.  If you think the ball in in play, but lost, the reference point is where the ball is likely to be lost, which could be much closer to the green.  That is the point marked A in the reference @cnosil posted.  Either way, unless there are red stakes, its a two-stroke penalty.  And if there ARE red stakes, the Reference Point is where the ball entered the hazard, way back there by the tee. 

This is one of the improvements in the new Rules, every single time you drop a ball there is a Reference Point and a Relief Area.  The ball must always stay within the Relief Area.  And THAT requirement is the reason for lowering the drop height.  Lowered drop height means, in general, reduced bounce and roll, fewer second drops, and fewer opportunities to place the ball.

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1 minute ago, DaveP043 said:

What's the confusion?  If you can't hit the 150 acres that you've been allocated for your golf, it deserves a fairly severe penalty.  Stroke and distance is fine.  The new (Optional) Local Rule keeps the penalty similar, while easing pace of play issues.  

And really, what is "dumb" about dropping from the height of one specific part of the body, as compared to dropping from the height of a different part?

For the OP, the "Reference Point" is the point where the ball probably went OB, which means somewhere back near the tee.  If you think the ball in in play, but lost, the reference point is where the ball is likely to be lost, which could be much closer to the green.  That is the point marked A in the reference @cnosil posted.  Either way, unless there are red stakes, its a two-stroke penalty.  And if there ARE red stakes, the Reference Point is where the ball entered the hazard, way back there by the tee. 

This is one of the improvements in the new Rules, every single time you drop a ball there is a Reference Point and a Relief Area.  The ball must always stay within the Relief Area.  And THAT requirement is the reason for lowering the drop height.  Lowered drop height means, in general, reduced bounce and roll, fewer second drops, and fewer opportunities to place the ball.

I'm not the one who's getting confused by the rules. What I am saying is that let's remove barriers and confusions for players. If you're new to golf, is it not easier to just learn that you drop on the line where the ball went out, take a 1 stroke penalty, move on? Put yourself in someone who's never played golf before shoes and tell me it's not confusing.

If you don't think it looks outrageously stupid to drop from knee height, get your friend/spouse to take a photo of you doing it. You look like you're getting ready to hit up the squatty potty. Why does it matter if i drop from knee height, shoulder height, or anywhere inbetween? 

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3 minutes ago, TCUFrog said:

I'm not the one who's getting confused by the rules. What I am saying is that let's remove barriers and confusions for players. If you're new to golf, is it not easier to just learn that you drop on the line where the ball went out, take a 1 stroke penalty, move on? Put yourself in someone who's never played golf before shoes and tell me it's not confusing.

If you don't think it looks outrageously stupid to drop from knee height, get your friend/spouse to take a photo of you doing it. You look like you're getting ready to hit up the squatty potty. Why does it matter if i drop from knee height, shoulder height, or anywhere inbetween? 

Someone who has never played golf before doesn't need to know the rules, really.  We all learn the rules as we learn to play the game.  If you can learn to hit a ball 400 yards in just a couple of shots, you can learn simple rules about penalties.  And I believe that a hierarchy of penalties is appropriate.  Missing the golf course, or hitting it where you cannot find it, merit a pretty severe penalty.  

And perhaps you didn't read what I wrote, the drop height was specifically lowered to minimize the ball rolling, minimize second drops, and minimize the need to place the ball.  The choice of knee high was almost certainly a compromise between those who wanted to place the ball instead of dropping at all, and those who wanted to maintain a certain degree of randomness.  If you allow the player the choice of heights, you allow the player the opportunity to game the system, to get the result he desires.  If he likes his spot, he'll drop it low.  If he would prefer roll, or prefer to place, he'll drop it high.  

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10 minutes ago, TCUFrog said:

I'm not the one who's getting confused by the rules. What I am saying is that let's remove barriers and confusions for players. If you're new to golf, is it not easier to just learn that you drop on the line where the ball went out, take a 1 stroke penalty, move on? Put yourself in someone who's never played golf before shoes and tell me it's not confusing.

If you don't think it looks outrageously stupid to drop from knee height, get your friend/spouse to take a photo of you doing it. You look like you're getting ready to hit up the squatty potty. Why does it matter if i drop from knee height, shoulder height, or anywhere inbetween? 

If someone is going to play in a league or any competition it doesn’t matter if they are playing their first round it their on hundred thousand round they should know the rules or have an understanding of them 

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Someone who has never played golf before doesn't need to know the rules, really.  We all learn the rules as we learn to play the game.  If you can learn to hit a ball 400 yards in just a couple of shots, you can learn simple rules about penalties.  And I believe that a hierarchy of penalties is appropriate.  Missing the golf course, or hitting it where you cannot find it, merit a pretty severe penalty.  

As a high handicap player who was taught from their first round to play "ready golf" and keep pace of play up, I never hit more than one ball off the tee unless I hit water/OB on a par 3 hole. I've always played OB the same way I would play a lateral hazard - one stroke penalty, and take a drop 2 club lengths from the point of entry into the hazard/OB area. More often than not that ends up being in the rough or behind some trees, so it's similar in punishment to the local rule which allows play from the fairway.

I'm of the opinion that simplifying the rules would be good for the game - whether we're talking spectators watching on TV, local tournaments that don't have tons of officials running around on carts, or players who are new to the game. My proposal is this: If for any reason a ball is unplayable (e.g. went OB, into a hazard, lost, or an unplayable lie), take a one stroke penalty and a drop two clubs lengths from the ball's last known location on the course (which would be point of entry into the hazard or OB area) no closer to the hole. If you then ensure that you have at least 8 feet of rough along any OB boundary that is plenty of punishment for players likely to end up there.

Realistically this change would have the effect of bringing the handicaps of high-handicap players down by 1 or 2 strokes, and would have almost no effect on scratch golfers.

As an example, consider this hole at a local course in my area. 375 yard par 4 from the white tees, with a 130 yard forced carry - for just about any amateur the hole requires a driver off the tee. Fairway is about 100 feet wide. Down the entire right side of the fairway is water, down the entire left side is OB. With the current rules, a right-handed player who hits a slice that bounces off the fairway and out takes a 1 stroke penalty and a drop. If their playing partner hits a hook that bounces off the fairway and out they take a 2 stroke penalty and a drop. Both players missed the fairway, so they should both be penalized. But why are we penalizing one more than the other?

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11 minutes ago, gavinski91 said:

As a high handicap player who was taught from their first round to play "ready golf" and keep pace of play up, I never hit more than one ball off the tee unless I hit water/OB on a par 3 hole. I've always played OB the same way I would play a lateral hazard - one stroke penalty, and take a drop 2 club lengths from the point of entry into the hazard/OB area. More often than not that ends up being in the rough or behind some trees, so it's similar in punishment to the local rule which allows play from the fairway.

I'm of the opinion that simplifying the rules would be good for the game - whether we're talking spectators watching on TV, local tournaments that don't have tons of officials running around on carts, or players who are new to the game. My proposal is this: If for any reason a ball is unplayable (e.g. went OB, into a hazard, lost, or an unplayable lie), take a one stroke penalty and a drop two clubs lengths from the ball's last known location on the course (which would be point of entry into the hazard or OB area) no closer to the hole. If you then ensure that you have at least 8 feet of rough along any OB boundary that is plenty of punishment for players likely to end up there.

Realistically this change would have the effect of bringing the handicaps of high-handicap players down by 1 or 2 strokes, and would have almost no effect on scratch golfers.

As an example, consider this hole at a local course in my area. 375 yard par 4 from the white tees, with a 130 yard forced carry - for just about any amateur the hole requires a driver off the tee. Fairway is about 100 feet wide. Down the entire right side of the fairway is water, down the entire left side is OB. With the current rules, a right-handed player who hits a slice that bounces off the fairway and out takes a 1 stroke penalty and a drop. If their playing partner hits a hook that bounces off the fairway and out they take a 2 stroke penalty and a drop. Both players missed the fairway, so they should both be penalized. But why are we penalizing one more than the other?

Wait, you want to eliminate some of the options available for Unplayable Ball or ball in a Penalty Area? 

Anyway, your "solution" for OB has been tried, and the results were apparently not what the Ruling Bodies had hoped for, so the rule was changed back to stroke and distance.  

And why should the rules be changed, if you don't follow the rules anyway?  Many many other players do just the same as you, and I have no problem with them doing it.  But we don't increase speed limits because people don't follow the current laws, we don't need to change the Rules of Golf because lots of people don't know or choose not to follow them.

But let's look at your example.  On one side, the player KNOWS he get a 1-stroke penalty if he misses there, on the other side he KNOWS he has to take a stroke penalty and play again from the tee.  Does he aim down the middle?  If so, he's a fool.  He has to make a decision to favor the water side.  So if he hits it OB, its a MUCH worse shot than if he hits it into the water.  Understanding the "problems" ahead of you has to influence how you plan to play your shot. And designers use those various problems when they design courses.

 

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38 minutes ago, gavinski91 said:

As a high handicap player who was taught from their first round to play "ready golf" and keep pace of play up, I never hit more than one ball off the tee unless I hit water/OB on a par 3 hole. I've always played OB the same way I would play a lateral hazard - one stroke penalty, and take a drop 2 club lengths from the point of entry into the hazard/OB area. More often than not that ends up being in the rough or behind some trees, so it's similar in punishment to the local rule which allows play from the fairway.

I'm of the opinion that simplifying the rules would be good for the game - whether we're talking spectators watching on TV, local tournaments that don't have tons of officials running around on carts, or players who are new to the game. My proposal is this: If for any reason a ball is unplayable (e.g. went OB, into a hazard, lost, or an unplayable lie), take a one stroke penalty and a drop two clubs lengths from the ball's last known location on the course (which would be point of entry into the hazard or OB area) no closer to the hole. If you then ensure that you have at least 8 feet of rough along any OB boundary that is plenty of punishment for players likely to end up there.

Realistically this change would have the effect of bringing the handicaps of high-handicap players down by 1 or 2 strokes, and would have almost no effect on scratch golfers.

As an example, consider this hole at a local course in my area. 375 yard par 4 from the white tees, with a 130 yard forced carry - for just about any amateur the hole requires a driver off the tee. Fairway is about 100 feet wide. Down the entire right side of the fairway is water, down the entire left side is OB. With the current rules, a right-handed player who hits a slice that bounces off the fairway and out takes a 1 stroke penalty and a drop. If their playing partner hits a hook that bounces off the fairway and out they take a 2 stroke penalty and a drop. Both players missed the fairway, so they should both be penalized. But why are we penalizing one more than the other?

The majority of the rules, at least the ones that happen on a regular basis, are pretty simple. There are many decisions that can add to confusion but really they are rare. I have played golf for 25 years, I have ran golf tournaments as a Pro, as an am, and have played in many events that adhere to the USGA rules to a T. In all of that there have probably been less than 5 instances where a decision book was used, or even any confusion as to what the ruling is. 

Golf is different from a lot of sports in the fact that there are a lot of people that don't play be the rules no matter what they are. There are also those that adhere to the rules. Changing the rules to fit the first group defeat purpose. If someone is playing in a league or tournament it is their obligation to have a basic understanding of the rules. You don't have to be an expert but a basic understanding should be the minimum. You don't get in a car without knowing the laws (rules). 

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All native grass is marked as a lateral hazard. Just on the other side of the grass is OB. If the ball can not be found, because of the height of the grass (and snakes) how can we be positive where the ball is at rest?

The drop was illegal for sure. 

The drop rule should be arm straight down your side, this would be somewhere around mid thigh. This way you don't look like you are to take a dump and it would be a lot like shoulder height as it varies due to how tall the player is. But that would make sense and as we know not all golf rules like doing this. 

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1 hour ago, gavinski91 said:

As a high handicap player who was taught from their first round to play "ready golf" and keep pace of play up, I never hit more than one ball off the tee unless I hit water/OB on a par 3 hole. I've always played OB the same way I would play a lateral hazard - one stroke penalty, and take a drop 2 club lengths from the point of entry into the hazard/OB area. More often than not that ends up being in the rough or behind some trees, so it's similar in punishment to the local rule which allows play from the fairway.

I'm of the opinion that simplifying the rules would be good for the game - whether we're talking spectators watching on TV, local tournaments that don't have tons of officials running around on carts, or players who are new to the game. My proposal is this: If for any reason a ball is unplayable (e.g. went OB, into a hazard, lost, or an unplayable lie), take a one stroke penalty and a drop two clubs lengths from the ball's last known location on the course (which would be point of entry into the hazard or OB area) no closer to the hole. If you then ensure that you have at least 8 feet of rough along any OB boundary that is plenty of punishment for players likely to end up there.

Realistically this change would have the effect of bringing the handicaps of high-handicap players down by 1 or 2 strokes, and would have almost no effect on scratch golfers.

As an example, consider this hole at a local course in my area. 375 yard par 4 from the white tees, with a 130 yard forced carry - for just about any amateur the hole requires a driver off the tee. Fairway is about 100 feet wide. Down the entire right side of the fairway is water, down the entire left side is OB. With the current rules, a right-handed player who hits a slice that bounces off the fairway and out takes a 1 stroke penalty and a drop. If their playing partner hits a hook that bounces off the fairway and out they take a 2 stroke penalty and a drop. Both players missed the fairway, so they should both be penalized. But why are we penalizing one more than the other?

So you basically don’t play by the rules and your handicap if you carry an official one isn’t accurate.

and your rules for penalty strokes may make the game harder 


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I can make this easy. If you hit OB, two stroke penalty and take relief from point of entry to a point on the nearest edge of the fairway no closer to the hole. Hit in yellow or red (how about eliminate the two hazards in favor one color - orange?) and take a one stroke penalty with the same placement on the fairway as OB. Lost ball, same with one stroke. Unplayable, two club length relief with one stroke. 


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Thoughts then on courses that mark the perimeter with red stakes instead of white? One local course I play at does so.


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4 minutes ago, gavinski91 said:

Thoughts then on courses that mark the perimeter with red stakes instead of white? One local course I play at does so.

Did they start doing that in the last year or two? One of the recommendations that came in the last rules revision was to expand the use of penalty areas. 
 

If there’s no houses or other property then it makes sense to have red stakes for pace of play  and removes the need to implement the local rule


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1 hour ago, Sean! said:

All native grass is marked as a lateral hazard. Just on the other side of the grass is OB. If the ball can not be found, because of the height of the grass (and snakes) how can we be positive where the ball is at rest?

The drop was illegal for sure. 

The drop rule should be arm straight down your side, this would be somewhere around mid thigh. This way you don't look like you are to take a dump and it would be a lot like shoulder height as it varies due to how tall the player is. But that would make sense and as we know not all golf rules like doing this. 

Its up to the player to make a judgement whether his ball is in bounds or not.  If its in bounds but in the Penalty Area, he could use a reference point where the ball entered the Penalty Area and follow the Red Penalty Area relief procedures.

And really, all the talk of taking a dump goes back to Rickie Fowler making fun of the rule.  Can't we just bend from the waist, or bend one knee like a lunge exercise?  Any decision that was to be made is obviously somewhat arbitrary, but dropping from knee-high just isn't that difficult, nor does it have to look as bad as many describe.

41 minutes ago, Titleist87 said:

I can make this easy. If you hit OB, two stroke penalty and take relief from point of entry to a point on the nearest edge of the fairway no closer to the hole. Hit in yellow or red (how about eliminate the two hazards in favor one color - orange?) and take a one stroke penalty with the same placement on the fairway as OB. Lost ball, same with one stroke. Unplayable, two club length relief with one stroke. 

I have a problem with this.  Generally, the penalty for taking relief should be greater than the "price paid" for playing the ball as is.  For instance, I hit a ball deep in the woods.  If I find it, it could take me 2 or 3 more strokes before I can get it out of the woods.  If I can just declare it lost, "pay" just one stroke, and hit it from the fairway, I'm all in!.  The stroke and distance penalty makes me think a lot harder about declaring that ball lost, and that's right in my book.  The (Optional) Local Rule E5 still maintains a similar level of penalty as stroke and distance.

12 minutes ago, gavinski91 said:

Thoughts then on courses that mark the perimeter with red stakes instead of white? One local course I play at does so.

When the USGA allowed any part of the course to be defined as a Penalty Area, not just water-related areas, they specifically recommended against doing what you describe.  This is from the Committee Procedures section of the current Rules:

"The Committee should not define properties bordering the course as a penalty area where the properties would normally be marked as out of bounds."

To me, this reduces the difficulty of the course too much.  In a perfect world, the course should be re-rated based on the revised markings.  The Scratch Rating would be unchanged, the Bogey Rating would probably go down, and so the Slope would go down.  The USGA does suggest that the Local Rule E-5 should be used for pace of play purposes, rather than defining "everything" as a red Penalty Area.

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Bottom line, Red line = 1 stroke penalty, OB = different circumstances apply

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On 6/25/2020 at 10:55 AM, GaDawg said:

Bottom line, Red line = 1 stroke penalty, OB = different circumstances apply

The new Local Rule regarding A Lost Ball is all about YOU and your playing partner agreeing on where the ball was lost. If you saw it cross the hazard line then so be it however if you did not then it is a Lost Ball. OB is defined as a Lost Ball.

And the penalties are simple - Red line = 1 stroke penalty, Lost Ball = 2 Stoke Penalty - ball is to be dropped on within 2 clubs lengths on the fairway no closer to the hole.

NOTE. Once you leave the Tee Box you cannot return - therefore in you see the ball land in a hazard generally it is better to take a drop. However is it goes OB or in to deep rough it is much better to play a provisional.


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5 minutes ago, Firebird said:

The new Local Rule regarding A Lost Ball is all about YOU and your playing partner agreeing on where the ball was lost. If you saw it cross the hazard line then so be it however if you did not then it is a Lost Ball. OB is defined as a Lost Ball.

And the penalties are simple - Red line = 1 stroke penalty, Lost Ball = 2 Stoke Penalty - ball is to be dropped on within 2 clubs lengths on the fairway no closer to the hole.

NOTE. Once you leave the Tee Box you cannot return - therefore in you see the ball land in a hazard generally it is better to take a drop. However is it goes OB or in to deep rough it is much better to play a provisional.

Virtual Certainty that a ball is in a Penalty Area doesn't require that you see it cross the line, you are allowed to make the judgement based on some other factors.  OB and Lost Ball are defined differently, but you are right, the penalty is the same.

I'm not sure what you mean by the second bold part, but you CAN return to the tee if your ball is lost or OB.   I agree, its always best to hit a provisional if there's a reasonable possibility that the ball is lost or OB, to save the long walk back.  

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Enjoyed reading these posts regarding rules. Is there a video(s) series demonstrating these rules?

I would like to see the rules demonstrated in some areas. Just one of my learning styles.

Any references to videos appreciated. 

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