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


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I was listening to PGA Tour radio today and they were suggesting that OB stakes only be used to delineate private property and that all other stakes be red. That would be an interesting change... though I don't know if that technically falls within a rule change or left to the owners/superintendent of the course?

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Since we are wanting golf to be so fair how about a rule that says that if I hook a ball that is heading out of bounds but hits a tree or some other object and stays in bounds I must proceed as if it

Not to be a pain but I don't think it is so easy as you do - I live in a place where golf is played year round.  In order to keep conditions as playable as possible grasses are changed over in Novembe

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 tes

I was listening to PGA Tour radio today and they were suggesting that OB stakes only be used to delineate private property and that all other stakes be red. That would be an interesting change... though I don't know if that technically falls within a rule change or left to the owners/superintendent of the course?


I have always said that OB should be used for property borders and everything else be a hazard, it could definitely speed up play and make the game a little easier.

Although the course I play the most winds through a neighborhood so almost every hole has OB on at least 1 side


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On 3/21/2021 at 12:51 AM, fixyurdivot said:

I was listening to PGA Tour radio today and they were suggesting that OB stakes only be used to delineate private property and that all other stakes be red. That would be an interesting change... though I don't know if that technically falls within a rule change or left to the owners/superintendent of the course?

Technically, marking the course falls to "the Committee".  Depending on the course, its likely done by the head pro and/or the superintendent and/or a committee of members.  For more detail you can refer to Section 2A under Committee Procedures:

 https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=cp&section=rule&rulenum=2&subrulenum=1

The second part of that, "all other stakes be red" would imply that lateral relief is available, even for penalty areas that have traditionally been yellow.  

I don't know how much impact the first part is, although it would disallow internal OB, which got a little publicity at the Players.  Usually internal OB is established for safety reasons, so I'd hate to remove that option.  As for all stakes being red, I don't think that's a great idea, there are some penalty areas that you SHOULD be required to clear.  

I'm wondering, which radio personality at PGA Tour radio was suggesting the changes, and why?  Some of those guys don't know the rules any better than the TV commentators, which is to say they don't know them very well at all.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Technically, marking the course falls to "the Committee".  Depending on the course, its likely done by the head pro and/or the superintendent and/or a committee of members.  For more detail you can refer to Section 2A under Committee Procedures:

 https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=cp&section=rule&rulenum=2&subrulenum=1

The second part of that, "all other stakes be red" would imply that lateral relief is available, even for penalty areas that have traditionally been yellow.  

I don't know how much impact the first part is, although it would disallow internal OB, which got a little publicity at the Players.  Usually internal OB is established for safety reasons, so I'd hate to remove that option.  As for all stakes being red, I don't think that's a great idea, there are some penalty areas that you SHOULD be required to clear.  

I'm wondering, which radio personality at PGA Tour radio was suggesting the changes, and why?  Some of those guys don't know the rules any better than the TV commentators, which is to say they don't know them very well at all.

I don't recall who it was but they were doing a recap of The Players. His key point was that OB should only be used to protect private property and keep players from hacking divots out of someone's backyard... but no one would do that...right? 🤣

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8 hours ago, TBT said:

I have always said that OB should be used for property borders and everything else be a hazard, it could definitely speed up play and make the game a little easier.

Great point.  They did not mention pace of play and most agree that needs to be improved on.  A good many courses I play have private property along part of the periphery and those boundaries are typically white staked.  Presuming this did become a rule change (or unofficial preferred marking standard), can any of you think of situations at your courses where this would improve pace of play?  It might actually have the opposite effect - folks walking into hazard areas in search of that $4 Pro V1.

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On 3/16/2021 at 5:30 AM, PMookie said:

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.

A ball hits a tree and ends up in the fairway??  🤣🤣🤣

That's as likely as an Irishman walking out of a bar; but I suppose it could happen.

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19 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

I don't recall who it was but they were doing a recap of The Players. His key point was that OB should only be used to protect private property and keep players from hacking divots out of someone's backyard... but no one would do that...right? 🤣

The only things that would really keep players from doing that are a fence and a big mean dog.  

The Players Championship got some publicity when they created internal OB left of the lake on the 18th hole.  Apparently with no grandstands, that side of the lake offered a much less dangerous tee shot than the actual 18th fairway does.  It was a big deal, reported to be an effort at anti-Brysoning the course, even though there was internal OB at Bay Hill just a week before.  The PGA Tour press release says it was specifically a safety issue, it would put players and spectators at the 9th hole in danger of being hit from the 18th tee.

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On 3/8/2021 at 12:22 PM, RickyBobby_PR said:

I have lots of courses here that have spots where grass is designated to be but there isn’t any and some courses the fairways may not even be grass. 
 

If anyone wants to have a clean lie they should play indoors

Paige and @DiscipleofPenick are exactly right. The course isn't designed to play in divots in the fairway. Those are man made alterations that require repair. 

The argument that you can't tell what is and isn't a divot doesn't hold much weight. If there is missing grass and the ball sits below the intended fairway, and it is apparent it was caused by a prior golf stroke, it's a divot. I can tell you 100% of the time if something is a divot or not. Judgement is needed to call a ball embedded, so the same can be said for divots.

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On 3/22/2021 at 1:48 AM, TBT said:

 


I have always said that OB should be used for property borders and everything else be a hazard, it could definitely speed up play and make the game a little easier.

Although the course I play the most winds through a neighborhood so almost every hole has OB on at least 1 side


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The double penalty for OB is one of the worst rules in golf. OB should be treated the same as a penalty area- drop based where it entered OB and play from there with one stroke added for the drop. It is illogical to treat hitting a ball past an OB stake differently than hitting a ball into the bottom of a pond next to the fairway.

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55 minutes ago, LICC said:

I can tell you 100% of the time if something is a divot or not.

OK, write it down.  Put it in writing how can we ALL agree that something is NOT a divot hole today when yesterday it justified free relief.

 

54 minutes ago, LICC said:

It is illogical to treat hitting a ball past an OB stake differently than hitting a ball into the bottom of a pond next to the fairway.

Not going down this particular rabbit-hole, you've said this enough in other threads.

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17 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

OK, write it down.  Put it in writing how can we ALL agree that something is NOT a divot hole today when yesterday it justified free relief.

If the grass is back and it is back up to the level of the fairway, it is no longer a divot hole.

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If the grass is back and it is back up to the level of the fairway, it is no longer a divot hole.

It is about grass height? Grass grows in holes and when cut can be fairway height but the ball can sit below the edge of the divot. For non Bermuda courses where the turf is replaced and grass still exists; if the ball sits
In a depression between the edge of the replaced divot and the fairway am I in a divot? Should I be allowed to move my ball off the pelt of grass and turf; it isn’t attached to anything? Is a bare spot with no grass a divot that hasn’t recovered?

Probably still need more detail
In your written rule.
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16 minutes ago, cnosil said:


It is about grass height? Grass grows in holes and when cut can be fairway height but the ball can sit below the edge of the divot. For non Bermuda courses where the turf is replaced and grass still exists; if the ball sits
In a depression between the edge of the replaced divot and the fairway am I in a divot? Should I be allowed to move my ball off the pelt of grass and turf; it isn’t attached to anything? Is a bare spot with no grass a divot that hasn’t recovered?

Probably still need more detail
In your written rule.

Show me a picture and I'll tell you if it is a divot.

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Show me a picture and I'll tell you if it is a divot.

If you get to the point of needing pictures, the rule isn’t written clearly enough as there is too much interpretation. It isn’t that people disagree with your perception, the hard part is writing the rule with enough clarity.
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Show me a picture and I'll tell you if it is a divot.

But here is a picture. Is the one on the left a divot?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kao364t9DVI/U_NkjGZyRaI/AAAAAAAAAhs/F1xua_S7Q8E/s1600/Divot%2B1.jpg

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28 minutes ago, LICC said:

Show me a picture and I'll tell you if it is a divot.

These are Rules of Golf, written in words, not comic books.  An effective rule needs to define the characteristics which justify relief,, and to define when those characteristics no longer justify relief, so we all interpret it the same.  You might want to review the current definitions in the Rules of Golf, to see how clearly they are written.  Yes, there are illustrations in the rules, but they serve to clarify, the actual words are what matters.  

As an example, many courses use a sand/seed mix to fill divots.  Initially, a divot hole might be filled perfectly smooth with the surrounding turf.  Based on your "definition" that would qualify for relief, there's no grass.  Then little wispy tendrils of grass start growing.  The ball still plays as if it was on sand, but there IS grass, and the grass IS at the level of the surrounding turf.  Playability unchanged, but by your definition its no longer a divot hole as soon as the first bit of green shows.  Is that what you're picturing?  Or does the grass need to be back to the consistency of the surrounding turf?  Or somewhere in between, we need to call you to make the decision?  Or maybe you want your playing partner to decide for you.  If its your friend, you get one answer, if the guy hates you, its a different answer.  You need to define it so there's no individual judgement required.

 

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Learn to hit the ball out of a divot!!!!  It's really not the end of the world.  In most cases, it's no more difficult than being in the rough.

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2 hours ago, cnosil said:


If you get to the point of needing pictures, the rule isn’t written clearly enough as there is too much interpretation. It isn’t that people disagree with your perception, the hard part is writing the rule with enough clarity.

The embedded ball rule used an illustration. I think it is clear as I stated it. If it has grass and is at fairway level, it is no longer a divot.

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