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Rule Change Needed? Free Lift and Drop from a Divot?


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23 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

it's a divot when your playing partner says it's a divot.  After all, the playing partner is there to protect the field.

This is difficult, we're all going to interpret this differently.  Remember the "backstopping" conversation not long ago, Jimmy Walker said that sometimes the ball was left in place to help a player you like, and other times it was marked to avoid helping someone you don't like.  Divots would be similar, I bet, the player's approval to get relief would often depend on being well-liked by his peers.  Every other relief situation has a pretty straightforward definition, you'd have to have one for divot holes if you want to make a rule allowing relief.

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The thing that is curious though is that when a ball is on the green the surface is treated as though it must be pristine and you are allowed to adjust it, thus giving more weight and importance to a putt vs a ball in the fairway where you expect to be rewarded for a good shot.

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2 minutes ago, StrokerAce said:

The thing that is curious though is that when a ball is on the green the surface is treated as though it must be pristine and you are allowed to adjust it, thus giving more weight and importance to a putt vs a ball in the fairway where you expect to be rewarded for a good shot.

The rules have increasingly recognized the putting green as a special place, compared to the rest of the golf course.  This is almost certainly due to the increasing quality of the surface available on most greens due to improvements in equipment, agronomy, chemicals, water control, and other factors.  And it has really only happened over the last 60 years or so.  Prior to that you couldn't improve your line of play on the green, you couldn't lift or clean your ball on the green, you just played it down.  Watch old films of putting at Augusta, you find faster greens today at most local muni courses.

While fairways have certainly improved for many of the same reasons, the rulesmakers haven't seen fit to tell us that we should expect perfection when we (occasionally) hit a fairway.  And to do so would throw out one of the basic foundations of the rules, play the course as you find it.

 

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The rules have increasingly recognized the putting green as a special place, compared to the rest of the golf course.  This is almost certainly due to the increasing quality of the surface available on most greens due to improvements in equipment, agronomy, chemicals, water control, and other factors.  And it has really only happened over the last 60 years or so.  Prior to that you couldn't improve your line of play on the green, you couldn't lift or clean your ball on the green, you just played it down.  Watch old films of putting at Augusta, you find faster greens today at most local muni courses.
While fairways have certainly improved for many of the same reasons, the rulesmakers haven't seen fit to tell us that we should expect perfection when we (occasionally) hit a fairway.  And to do so would throw out one of the basic foundations of the rules, play the course as you find it.
 

Ah yes days of old. Let’s go back to the stymie! Golf the way it was intended [emoji23]
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9 minutes ago, cnosil said:


Ah yes days of old. Let’s go back to the stymie! Golf the way it was intended emoji23.png

I didn't say all of the changes are bad, just that I think changing the rules regarding divot holes would be unnecessary, unwise, and unenforceable.

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I didn't say all of the changes are bad, just that I think changing the rules regarding divot holes would be unnecessary, unwise, and unenforceable.

I agree with you. When you were talking about how the greens used to be and. It being able to pick up the ball, it made me think of the rollback golf thoughts and how courses are become irrelevant which made me think about how stymies

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9 minutes ago, cnosil said:


I agree with you. When you were talking about how the greens used to be and. It being able to pick up the ball, it made me think of the rollback golf thoughts and how courses are become irrelevant which made me think about how stymies

I read an article Tufts wrote for the USGA in about 1959 or 1960, wondering whether the Rules were getting too soft, based on the changes to the rules for the putting green.  That's what I was reminded of, and maybe in a couple of decades we'll be asking the same thing if divot relief is actually approved.

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When I was kid, several balls in my range bucket were devoted to practicing less than ideal lies - rough, divots, etc. - because they are inevitable.

Playing from a divot is an opportunity to test your grit, one of the things that makes the game so very special. It’s meant to challenge character, build resolve and ultimately, take your lumps like a gentleman.

Here’s a thought exercise for those expecting eternally perfect fairway lies: In exchange for free fairway divot relief, would it also be reasonable for a playing partner to step on your ball that’s sitting up in the rough - to make sure you get what you truly deserve?

Life is about maintaining balance and golf is one of the few remaining activities that mimics the randomness of our journey, in 18 hole doses of good and bad breaks. I’ll continue to take the challenging path of playing the ball as it lies. Hopefully the result will be more grace in those gritty situations we inevitably encounter outside the game and also more appreciation for the occasional good breaks I didn’t deserve.

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No. We play the course as we find it with the rule variations as they exist. What then, would constitute a "divot"? Yesterdays? Three days ago? The one filled last week with sand that hasnt grown in? The one where the grass was replaced and the ball sits on the replaced grass.

If we"re going to that, why not lift, clean, and place every shot?

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Hey Guys - Quick note. First time I tried to Merge a thread - I started a very similar thread today into this one and thought I was doing it correctly, but I did it backwards (copied the OG thread, when I should have copied the new thread). Apologies to the members who were commenting on this topic previously and hopefully you can forgive the oversight as I still learn all the particular nuances of the system!

 

Regarding the topic at hand - I'm in the camp of "play it where it lies." It sucks that happened to Lee, but it could have been anybody and we all have to deal with it. I realize it's even more prevalent on the Tour given there is a "landing zone" that can get pretty chewed up by Sunday of a tournament, but that's what separates the pros from the joes - they can still get on the green from that divot while we'd be in the woods or bunker, haha!

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I’d say there is good reason that they have chosen not to make a rule change. Like a lot of proposed rule changes, it looks great on paper but in reality it just opens up a whole can of worms. You have to define a “divot” and have some sort of protocol in place for how to police it. Which, as Patrick Reed has proven, the tour doesn’t seem too concerned about policing the rules. Play it as it lies like any other situation on course and move on.

Here’s a thought... Why don’t they fill their divots in the first place? [emoji848]


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1 hour ago, LeftyRM7 said:

I’d say there is good reason that they have chosen not to make a rule change. Like a lot of proposed rule changes, it looks great on paper but in reality it just opens up a whole can of worms. You have to define a “divot” and have some sort of protocol in place for how to police it. Which, as Patrick Reed has proven, the tour doesn’t seem too concerned about policing the rules. Play it as it lies like any other situation on course and move on.

Here’s a thought... Why don’t they fill their divots in the first place? emoji848.png


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Oh man, you KNOW Reed would push the limits of that rule the first chance he gets, lol

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I’ve always said that should be a rule...during some PGA events where the fairway is sloped one direction it looks like a mine field of divots by the end of the week.

You should never be punished for hitting a drive in the middle of the fairway. If the ball came to rest on a sprinkler head you get relief, if it hits casual water you get relief...heck if it’s an ant bed you get relief!!

A fairway divot should be considered ground under repair and you should be entitled to relief. Plain and simple


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If you move your ball out of a divot, you're cheating yourself out of one of the greatest thrills in golf when you rip a low screamer with tons of spin out of an old divot.  

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12 hours ago, LeftyRM7 said:

I’d say there is good reason that they have chosen not to make a rule change. Like a lot of proposed rule changes, it looks great on paper but in reality it just opens up a whole can of worms. You have to define a “divot” and have some sort of protocol in place for how to police it. Which, as Patrick Reed has proven, the tour doesn’t seem too concerned about policing the rules. Play it as it lies like any other situation on course and move on.

Here’s a thought... Why don’t they fill their divots in the first place? emoji848.png

I agree almost 100%.  As for Reed, he was penalized (appropriately) for moving sand in a backswing, thus improving his lie.  He followed every rule during the embedded ball drama recently.  The Rule that the Tour seems not to care about is "backstopping", and that's done fairly regularly by players that are generally well liked.  And of course they're well-liked, they're leaving balls in place to help other players, when they really should be marking and lifting.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I agree almost 100%.  As for Reed, he was penalized (appropriately) for moving sand in a backswing, thus improving his lie.  He followed every rule during the embedded ball drama recently.  The Rule that the Tour seems not to care about is "backstopping", and that's done fairly regularly by players that are generally well liked.  And of course they're well-liked, they're leaving balls in place to help other players, when they really should be marking and lifting.

Those guys are better than me.  If I were playing for the kind of money they play for, I'm not liking the other players very much.  And, I'm marking my ball!!!  LOL

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10 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

If you move your ball out of a divot, you're cheating yourself out of one of the greatest thrills in golf when you rip a low screamer with tons of spin out of an old divot.  

Balls don't come out of non-sand filled divots very well with a hybrid, which I use a lot where other use irons.  I have taken an unplayable lie in the middle of the fairway.  Another reason I don't play in tournaments anymore.

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On 3/9/2021 at 8:21 PM, GolfSpy_THV said:

Oh man, you KNOW Reed would push the limits of that rule the first chance he gets, lol

Every single golfer out there would use the rule to its maximum advantage.  I know I do, I take relief when it allowed and it helps me.  That's one reason a good understanding of the rules is a real asset in playing competitively.

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Ha! When one plays a public goat ranch like I do, hitting out of a divot would be an improved lie most days! 
😂 
I could see a change needed if it happened all the time, but since it’s rare, it goes to the “rub of the green” idea for me. It’s almost like we’d also have to say, “If your ball hits a tree, and ends-up in the fairway, you have to place the ball amongst the trees.” There are good and bad breaks, but they are rare occasions.

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