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


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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 went out of bounds?  Stroke and distance for me. 

 

Golf is not fair in that you do not always get the results that you would normally expect out of every shot.  Sometimes you hit a perfect putt and it catches something that you missed on your line and kicks just off or the cup is cut funny.  Sometimes you pull or push your putt but since you miss read it, it goes in.  Sometimes you hit a terrible drive into a fairway bunker but the bunker is flat and you get a great lie, sometimes the ball  plugs in a lip.  How about the drive that I striped down the middle but it stopped on the down slope of a fairway mound because it they had just turned the sprinklers off and it was wet?

 

I play in a league that simply says play by the rules, play them down, putt them out unless its cart path only and then it's lift clean and place through the green.  I play in another league where its roll them in the fairway or move them if they are by a tree root - and since it's match play there are give me's. Ironically that league plays on a course with better conditions than the one that has the play it down/putt it out rule.

 

I don't see anyone being able to devise a "fair" divot rule.  What seems clear to you might not be to be and certainly won't be under the heat of competition when someone needs a break and will call it into question.  I'm not fond of divots anymore than the next guy.  But, I also know that I've received plenty enough good breaks to more than offset those few times that I end up in a divot.

 

Good luck fighting this one, it's always fun each time we have the discussion - I've been here 10 years and seen 10 or so of these.  Nothing has changed in the rule book yet though. 🙂

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3 minutes ago, revkev said:

ce 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 went out of bounds?  Stroke and distance for me. 

That is a whole other topic!

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26 minutes ago, revkev said:

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 went out of bounds?  Stroke and distance for me. 

 

Golf is not fair in that you do not always get the results that you would normally expect out of every shot.  Sometimes you hit a perfect putt and it catches something that you missed on your line and kicks just off or the cup is cut funny.  Sometimes you pull or push your putt but since you miss read it, it goes in.  Sometimes you hit a terrible drive into a fairway bunker but the bunker is flat and you get a great lie, sometimes the ball  plugs in a lip.  How about the drive that I striped down the middle but it stopped on the down slope of a fairway mound because it they had just turned the sprinklers off and it was wet?

 

I play in a league that simply says play by the rules, play them down, putt them out unless its cart path only and then it's lift clean and place through the green.  I play in another league where its roll them in the fairway or move them if they are by a tree root - and since it's match play there are give me's. Ironically that league plays on a course with better conditions than the one that has the play it down/putt it out rule.

 

I don't see anyone being able to devise a "fair" divot rule.  What seems clear to you might not be to be and certainly won't be under the heat of competition when someone needs a break and will call it into question.  I'm not fond of divots anymore than the next guy.  But, I also know that I've received plenty enough good breaks to more than offset those few times that I end up in a divot.

 

Good luck fighting this one, it's always fun each time we have the discussion - I've been here 10 years and seen 10 or so of these.  Nothing has changed in the rule book yet though. 🙂

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21 hours ago, cnosil said:

So you get relief from areas on the fairway that have no grass and aren't divots?  How much grass is necessary to no longer consider it a divot.   

Make the rule Patrick Reed proof. 

It is no less vague than half the current rule book. As I guessed you still have issue with it because it differs from your opinion.  I am just trying to take some of the luck out of the game and reward good shots in the "fair"way

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23 hours ago, FrogginBullfish said:

What about if your ball comes to rest on the pelt of grass from a divot that's been recently replaced in the divot? The ball's not in a depression but it's still in a divot. By your rule, there's no relief allowed for that.

If the grass pelt was put back that is way better than a divot.  the ball can settle in the front of the divot where it does not have free passage out, not so if the grass is there.  Also the ball is much less likely to stop on than exact square than it is in an unrepaired or poorly filled divot.

Golf without a cigar has not been a good use of time.

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1 hour ago, revkev said:

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 went out of bounds?  Stroke and distance for me. 

 

Golf is not fair in that you do not always get the results that you would normally expect out of every shot.  Sometimes you hit a perfect putt and it catches something that you missed on your line and kicks just off or the cup is cut funny.  Sometimes you pull or push your putt but since you miss read it, it goes in.  Sometimes you hit a terrible drive into a fairway bunker but the bunker is flat and you get a great lie, sometimes the ball  plugs in a lip.  How about the drive that I striped down the middle but it stopped on the down slope of a fairway mound because it they had just turned the sprinklers off and it was wet?

 

I play in a league that simply says play by the rules, play them down, putt them out unless its cart path only and then it's lift clean and place through the green.  I play in another league where its roll them in the fairway or move them if they are by a tree root - and since it's match play there are give me's. Ironically that league plays on a course with better conditions than the one that has the play it down/putt it out rule.

 

I don't see anyone being able to devise a "fair" divot rule.  What seems clear to you might not be to be and certainly won't be under the heat of competition when someone needs a break and will call it into question.  I'm not fond of divots anymore than the next guy.  But, I also know that I've received plenty enough good breaks to more than offset those few times that I end up in a divot.

 

Good luck fighting this one, it's always fun each time we have the discussion - I've been here 10 years and seen 10 or so of these.  Nothing has changed in the rule book yet though. 🙂

Trees and bunker lips are part of the course. The rules were recently changed to allow tamping down of greens, so if you don’t, that is on you. Divots are man made damage to the course. Easy to justify the distinction. 

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16 hours ago, LICC said:

Trees and bunker lips are part of the course. The rules were recently changed to allow tamping down of greens, so if you don’t, that is on you. Divots are man made damage to the course. Easy to justify the distinction. 

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 November and then the Bermuda grows back in late April early May.  During those times of the year - this time of the year specifically it is very difficult to distinguish between what might be a healing divot and what might be bermuda starting to over run the dying overseed.

I'd just assume live with hitting the ball out of a divot every other year or so when I'm in a competition and happen to get in one rather than have a rule that will surely add to lengthy discussions about what may or may not be a divot at a stage where relief would be allowable.

I will continue to maintain that breaks such as landing in a divot occur and that breaks such as hitting trees happen also.  In the course of one round a person may get more bad or good breaks.  Over time they even out.  How one handles the bad breaks is also a part of the challenge.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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This discussion comes down to how you individually view the game.  If you are playing in an organized, sanctioned event then by all means  hit out of the divot, and meticulously adhere to the USGA rulebook.  The point is that so few people who play golf are ever going to play in a sanctioned event of any kind that it really shouldn't  matter to most people me included.  Or if you view the entirety of the USGA rulebook as the 11th commandment, then again by all means hit out of that divot in the middle of the fairway you find yourself in on your weekend round. I'm not going to.

I've eluded to this many times, play to have fun.  I was glad to see in the March 2021 Golf Magazine that they are beginning to make mention of this theme.  It was 20 things to love....  

16. You can play by your own rules

It was great when the USGA decided to roll back the Rules of Golf a bit in 2019. Take it as a hint: Golf doesn’t have to be played by the book every single time! Hit it where you can’t find it? Feel free to drop wherever, even in the middle of the fairway. Want to make this par 4 even more drivable? Bounce around between tee boxes. Unless you’re playing in an event, feel free to make this game even more your own.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Very old argument,will continue well past I am dead. I replace divots, even partial ones, drilled into me by the starters and senior golfers I played with as a junior.  I learned to carry sand n seed bottles to fill the h(M)oles still left, have cultivated flat bottoms for the bottles to insure the sanded divot is level with the playing surface, my course is rather hilly (250+ elevation change) and someone whose ball is expired or about to expire at my divot will roll onto grass most of the time. We play at a country club who has a membership that has "sand parties" to fill divots, assigned a hole per week, in season, the junior golfers also are assigned a hole per week during their summer league. I also fill divots on the hole I live adjunct to if I am enjoying a non golf walk of my back yard from the 100 yard marker to the 150 yard markers as that is the span of my yard. If it is a habit, it is not a chore, minor effort over time yields major results. Hit em on the short grass and enjoy the cathedral that is the great outdoors.

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