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I'll start this as a new topic as I had posted in a discussion about a different rule.

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. The fact that penalty areas are part of the course and OB is not is not a meaningful distinction. If it is physically impossible to hit your ball, the effect is the same. The same swing and ball flight should not be penalized differently based on one impossible hit area being OB and the other impossible to hit area being the bottom of a pond. For decades this rule was only a stroke penalty, not stroke and distance, and many prominent people have stated through the years that this is a bad rule.

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Just my opinion, but who said golf is fair? You get penalized for well-struck shots occasionally, and you get away with poor ones from time to time. I have a buddy who’s only ace came from a bladed 9

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I'll start this as a new topic as I had posted in a discussion about a different rule.
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. The fact that penalty areas are part of the course and OB is not is not a meaningful distinction. If it is physically impossible to hit your ball, the effect is the same. The same swing and ball flight should not be penalized differently based on one impossible hit area being OB and the other impossible to hit area being the bottom of a pond. For decades this rule was only a stroke penalty, not stroke and distance, and many prominent people have stated through the years that this is a bad rule.

There are many people that feel the same about stroke and distance penalties. The difference between OB and a penalty area is that you may hit the ball from within a penalty area and OB you cannot. Perhaps it does warrant a more something more penal or since so many people are against the rule it will change one day.

I am assuming you want all stroke and distance penalties eliminated. If so, How would the rules be written for a lost ball since there isn’t a line that was crossed.
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19 minutes ago, cnosil said:


There are many people that feel the same about stroke and distance penalties. The difference between OB and a penalty area is that you may hit the ball from within a penalty area and OB you cannot. Perhaps it does warrant a more something more penal or since so many people are against the rule it will change one day.

I am assuming you want all stroke and distance penalties eliminated. If so, How would the rules be written for a lost ball since there isn’t a line that was crossed.

Don't assume that. I can see the reason for the double penalty for a lost ball, as you can't adequately determine the correct location to drop. You may be giving yourself a big advantage by dropping in a better location than where the ball actually went.

In some penalty areas you may be able to hit the ball, but in many you physically cannot, such as the bottom of a pond.

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Don't assume that. I can see the reason for the double penalty for a lost ball, as you can't adequately determine the correct location to drop. You may be giving yourself a big advantage by dropping in a better location than where the ball actually went.
In some penalty areas you may be able to hit the ball, but in many you physically cannot, such as the bottom of a pond.

Based on that it could be argued that stroke and distance is the way OB should be handled. If you want to avoid a stroke and distance penalty don’t hit the ball OB.

It is simply the way the rules are written; just like the fact you have to play from a divot. As the rules change to handle more bifurcation , mAybe they will change the rule for OB.
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Agreed! I’ve never understood why the rules change for OB vs hazard. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially considering there is a huge gray area between the definition of the two. It would knock penalty strokes off handicap golfers cards and probably help pace of play, take your drop and move on.


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I'm not a big fan of the double penalty for OB, i get the arguments for and against, so its simply my opinion. 

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2 hours ago, LICC said:

The fact that penalty areas are part of the course and OB is not is not a meaningful distinction

It definitely IS meaningful.  You're allowed to play from a penalty area, you are definitely not allowed to go into someone else's property to do so.

2 hours ago, LICC said:

For decades this rule was only a stroke penalty

Please provide references for this.  I can find instances where it was DISTANCE only, but that wasn't an effective penalty.  

20 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:

It would knock penalty strokes off handicap golfers cards and probably help pace of play

Yes, it would make golf easier, but that isn't a particularly good reason to make a change.  There are lots of ways to make golf easier, and most would be bad ideas..  It shouldn't affect pace of play, if players understood provisionals.  Pace of play is also helped out by the Local Rule for this, no need to replay the shot.  

But how do y'all feel about two-stroke penalties?  Is it too much to penalize a player two strokes for intentionally playing from a wrong place?  For asking for or giving advice?  There's a heirarchy or penalties, from least severe to most severe, its not just a random decision.  I suggest that anyone who wants to change rules should read The Principals Behind the Rules of Golf.   Its available for just a couple bucks from the USGA.

49 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Based on that it could be argued that stroke and distance is the way OB should be handled. If you want to avoid a stroke and distance penalty don’t hit the ball OB.

Exactly, if you don't want a stroke and distance penalty, hit it where you can find it.  Lost ball ON the course shouldn't be any lesser penalty for MISSING the course.

 

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57 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:

Agreed! I’ve never understood why the rules change for OB vs hazard. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially considering there is a huge gray area between the definition of the two. It would knock penalty strokes off handicap golfers cards and probably help pace of play, take your drop and move on.


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I don't think it would speed up play much at all.  99% of golf is played by amateurs in a casual atmosphere, where the stroke and distance is disregarded, most casual players, just drop 'where it went OB" and take a stroke....or in some cases don't.   

 

The other 1% pertaining to Pro and Elite level, often hit the third (assuming from the tee) shot an move on, no delay needed.  In most every case the tours have a marshal to indicate it's OB, so there is no march of shame back to the tee.   

 

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Just my opinion, but who said golf is fair? You get penalized for well-struck shots occasionally, and you get away with poor ones from time to time. I have a buddy who’s only ace came from a bladed 9 iron that hit the pin and dropped in.🤷‍♂️ I would say aim away from OB, just like you aim away from a hazard. Still too risky? Hit less club. To me this argument stems from “I should be able to birdie/par every hole” kinda place. Golf, like life, is not fair; sometimes bogey is a good score. Just like sometimes you take your licks and move on.


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2 hours ago, cnosil said:


Based on that it could be argued that stroke and distance is the way OB should be handled. If you want to avoid a stroke and distance penalty don’t hit the ball OB.

It is simply the way the rules are written; just like the fact you have to play from a divot. As the rules change to handle more bifurcation , mAybe they will change the rule for OB.

Then why don't you say if you want to avoid a stroke and distance penalty, don't hit the ball to the bottom of a pond? Why isn't that also a double penalty? In either situation, you can't play the ball. When it comes to internal OB, you are still on the course property, yet you still have a double penalty. It is illogical and a terrible rule.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Please provide references for this.  I can find instances where it was DISTANCE only, but that wasn't an effective penalty. 

Out of Bounds
The term out of bounds was first defined in 1886 Royal Isle of Wight, with a penalty of stroke and distance. R&A 1899 defined it as being outside the recognised boundaries of the course; penalty distance only.

1908 Redefined as all ground on which play is prohibited. Penalty distance only still, but may be changed to stroke and distance by local rule for both forms of play. Also, a ball out of bounds may be treated as lost by local rule, (i.e. lost hole in match play). This change was not adopted by the USGA until 1915, although the local rule adjustment was not incorporated.

1920 Stroke and distance, but now the penalty stroke may be remitted by local rule.

1947 USGA and 1950 R&A. Distance only, and no provision for change by a local rule.

1952 Stroke and distance.

1960 USGA experimentally changed to distance only.

1961 USGA back to stroke and distance. in addition, the USGA allowed an alternative procedure of stroke only - dropping a ball within two club lengths of where the ball went out of bounds on courses where the penalty of stroke and distance would be "unduly severe".

1964 USGA allowed a local rule to be adopted which allowed a stroke-only option if it was felt that stroke and distance would be "'unduly severe."
The player could drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the original ball crossed the out of bounds line. Reasonable evidence was required both that the ball had gone out of bounds and as to the point of crossing. In the absence of either, stroke and distance was the only option.
Rescinded in 1968.

27 minutes ago, Micah T said:

Just my opinion, but who said golf is fair? You get penalized for well-struck shots occasionally, and you get away with poor ones from time to time. I have a buddy who’s only ace came from a bladed 9 iron that hit the pin and dropped in.🤷‍♂️ I would say aim away from OB, just like you aim away from a hazard. Still too risky? Hit less club. To me this argument stems from “I should be able to birdie/par every hole” kinda place. Golf, like life, is not fair; sometimes bogey is a good score. Just like sometimes you take your licks and move on.


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There is a difference between unfairness in course conditions or where a ball lands, etc., and an illogical unfairness in the design of the rules.

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Then why don't you say if you want to avoid a stroke and distance penalty, don't hit the ball to the bottom of a pond? Why isn't that also a double penalty? In either situation, you can't play the ball. When it comes to internal OB, you are still on the course property, yet you still have a double penalty. It is illogical and a terrible rule.

You keep referring to this as a double penalty. There is only one penalty stroke. The type of penalty then identifies drop procedure.

If you hit the ball in a lake stroke and distance is an option. That may be the preferred option instead of dropping back on the line of relief. Only a red staked penalty area allows lateral relief.
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11 minutes ago, cnosil said:


You keep referring to this as a double penalty. There is only one penalty stroke. The type of penalty then identifies drop procedure.

If you hit the ball in a lake stroke and distance is an option. That may be the preferred option instead of dropping back on the line of relief. Only a red staked penalty area allows lateral relief.

OB is two penalties. 1-Stroke. 2-Distance. If it is your first shot, you are teeing up again from the same spot (distance penalty) and your next stroke is your 3rd (stroke penalty).

If you hit into a lake, you can drop the ball two clubs in from the spot it crossed into the lake. Therefore, no distance penalty. Only a one-stroke penalty. 

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2 minutes ago, LICC said:

Out of Bounds
The term out of bounds was first defined in 1886 Royal Isle of Wight, with a penalty of stroke and distance. R&A 1899 defined it as being outside the recognised boundaries of the course; penalty distance only.

1908 Redefined as all ground on which play is prohibited. Penalty distance only still, but may be changed to stroke and distance by local rule for both forms of play. Also, a ball out of bounds may be treated as lost by local rule, (i.e. lost hole in match play). This change was not adopted by the USGA until 1915, although the local rule adjustment was not incorporated.

1920 Stroke and distance, but now the penalty stroke may be remitted by local rule.

1947 USGA and 1950 R&A. Distance only, and no provision for change by a local rule.

1952 Stroke and distance.

1960 USGA experimentally changed to distance only.

1961 USGA back to stroke and distance. in addition, the USGA allowed an alternative procedure of stroke only - dropping a ball within two club lengths of where the ball went out of bounds on courses where the penalty of stroke and distance would be "unduly severe".

1964 USGA allowed a local rule to be adopted which allowed a stroke-only option if it was felt that stroke and distance would be "'unduly severe."
The player could drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the original ball crossed the out of bounds line. Reasonable evidence was required both that the ball had gone out of bounds and as to the point of crossing. In the absence of either, stroke and distance was the only option.
Rescinded in 1968.

As far as I can see, the "stroke only" was allowed from 1961 to 1968, as a local rule only, the basic rule was stroke and distance.   The basic rule for a ball OB was never "stroke only", based on the information you quoted.  Where are the decades you claimed earlier?

4 hours ago, LICC said:

For decades this rule was only a stroke penalty, not stroke and distance, and many prominent people have stated through the years that this is a bad rule.

Do you have all of those "prominent" testimonials, or are they just as imaginary as the "decades" of "stroke only" penalty for OB?

And while we're at it, you accept stroke and distance for a ball lost on the golf course, can you explain why the penalty for OB should be less?  One is actually on the property, one is off the property.  

4 minutes ago, LICC said:

If you hit into a lake, you can drop the ball two clubs in from the spot it crossed into the lake.

And again, this is just wrong.  if it crosses the line on the far side of a yellow hazard, you have to drop on the near side.  Not completely stroke and distance, although that's one of your options, but stroke and SOME distance.

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1 hour ago, Micah T said:

Just my opinion, but who said golf is fair? You get penalized for well-struck shots occasionally, and you get away with poor ones from time to time. I have a buddy who’s only ace came from a bladed 9 iron that hit the pin and dropped in.🤷‍♂️ I would say aim away from OB, just like you aim away from a hazard. Still too risky? Hit less club. To me this argument stems from “I should be able to birdie/par every hole” kinda place. Golf, like life, is not fair; sometimes bogey is a good score. Just like sometimes you take your licks and move on.


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Exactly. Nobody is asking the rules to say if you get a lucky bounce of a tree you need to go back to where it hit the tree. You gotta take the good with the bad

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22 minutes ago, LICC said:

OB is two penalties. 1-Stroke. 2-Distance. If it is your first shot, you are teeing up again from the same spot (distance penalty) and your next stroke is your 3rd (stroke penalty).

If you hit into a lake, you can drop the ball two clubs in from the spot it crossed into the lake. Therefore, no distance penalty. Only a one-stroke penalty. 

Here are the options for a penalty area:  https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/players-edition/rule-17.html

Stroke and distance is an option.  While the illustrations show you going back into fairway by taking the line from the hole through the spot where the ball crossed the hazard,  this isn't always the case.  It is possible that this line could take you into woods or even OB; making the stroke and distance option the preferred option.   And if the stakes are read,  you can drop 2 club lengths from where the ball crossed the line but again you need to consider options.  

Always look at your options with the rules,  sometimes stroke and distance may be in your favor. 

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49 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

And again, this is just wrong.  if it crosses the line on the far side of a yellow hazard, you have to drop on the near side.  Not completely stroke and distance, although that's one of your options, but stroke and SOME distance.

Ok, last one first, as you need very particular specifics. If you hit into a lake that is adjacent to the fairway, you drop from the point the ball crossed into the lake. 

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51 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

And while we're at it, you accept stroke and distance for a ball lost on the golf course, can you explain why the penalty for OB should be less?  One is actually on the property, one is off the property. 

Because with a lost ball, you can greatly improve your position depending on where you drop. You can't do that with OB. You know where the ball crossed and you have two club lengths.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Do you have all of those "prominent" testimonials,

Gene Sarazen, who told Golf Digest, "Golf is a game of luck. The stroke and distance penalty gives luck extra value. A guy gets into trouble at the wrong time or on the wrong hole and it is the equivalent of two strokes added to his card. The population is growing and taking up more space, so out-of-bounds holes are increasing. The double penalty rule is entirely unnecessary." 

 

The recent updates to the Rules of Golf from the USGA and R&A have gotten ASGCA Past President Rick Robbins (Robbins & Associates International) to thinking. He shared his thoughts on “one of the least understood, most severe and most ignored penalties in golf” with Golf Course Industry.

Robbins wrote an article highlighting his views on “stroke and distance” penalties for out-of-bounds and lost balls.

“The most penal rule in golf – the ‘stroke and distance’ penalty where the player hitting his ball out-of-bounds (or lost) must replay the shot from the original spot and add a stroke to the score has now evolved into a much more prevalent part of the game.

“The (current rule) is so illogical to the general golfing public that it has become a rule that is probably ignored more often than it is enforced in average weekend golf groups."

---

But then when asked is there a rule change that has not been mentioned in the recent proposals that Ogilvy would vote to alter.

“The stroke and distance penalty is far too harsh because if you hit a 300-yard drive one inch out-of-bounds and your playing partner completely misses the ball on the tee it means that the guy who hits a 300-yard drive just an inch out-of-bounds is playing his third shot from the tee, and the guy who misses hitting his ball off the tee is playing second off the tee,” said Ogilvy.

“What then is a bigger penalty in golf either hitting your ball 300-yards down the fairway and going out-of-bounds or not hitting the ball.

“So, I just think the stroke-and-distance penalty is too severe.

---

Bernard Darwin was Captain of the Royal and Ancient GC 1934-35 and chairman of the R&A’s Rules of Golf Committee that brought forth in 1950 the first rule changes since 1934, including the speeding up of play by a reversion to a penalty of only ‘distance’ rather than ‘stroke and distance’ for a ball lost or out of bounds

---

In 1951, the R & A and the USGA agreed to apply the single-stroke-and-distance penalty universally. But there was still plenty of grumbling, and in 1959 the Southern California Golf Association, with the support of 90 per cent of its members, adopted a local rule eliminating what it described as the "unfair penalty stroke in connection with ball out of bounds, lost ball and unplayable lie."

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

As far as I can see, the "stroke only" was allowed from 1961 to 1968, as a local rule only, the basic rule was stroke and distance.   The basic rule for a ball OB was never "stroke only", based on the information you quoted.  Where are the decades you claimed earlier?

My mistake. It was distance only, not stroke only. Not a big difference for the argument.

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