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Local OB Rule- is this allowed?


LICC

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I played at a local course yesterday. It has a long par-3 with a drop-off into a wooded area just short and right of the green. It has OB markers at that area, and the sign (picture attached) by the tee box.

Do the USGA Rules allow this? Can a course have a local rule changing an OB shot from a stroke-and-distance or two-stroke drop penalty, to a one-stroke drop penalty?

Oyster Bay sign.jpg

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6 minutes ago, LICC said:

Do the USGA Rules allow this? Can a course have a local rule changing an OB shot from a stroke-and-distance or two-stroke drop penalty, to a one-stroke drop penalty?

 

Yes.

played a few courses this past weekend where you got a non penalty 2 club relief drop for hitting into someone’s backyard.  

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USGA allows course rules committees some latitude to designate local rules. They do have a “suggested model” (read: language and application) to hopefully limit variations from facility-to-facility but I think it’s genuinely framed to committees as a suggestion. The situations I’ve encountered that make the most sense typically revolve around player safety or sensitive natural habitats. Audubon society courses are the places I’ve seen it applied most often. So to answer your question, local rules committees have more latitude to designate the area, procedure and ensuing penalty than you might initially think.

Edit: I’m guessing @DaveP043 can speak with more authority re: your specific question regarding penalty stroke(s) variation.

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27 minutes ago, LICC said:

I played at a local course yesterday. It has a long par-3 with a drop-off into a wooded area just short and right of the green. It has OB markers at that area, and the sign (picture attached) by the tee box.

Do the USGA Rules allow this? Can a course have a local rule changing an OB shot from a stroke-and-distance or two-stroke drop penalty, to a one-stroke drop penalty?

Oyster Bay sign.jpg

That rule isn't acceptable, but they can accomplish the same thing by calling the area a Penalty Area/No Play Zone, combined with Model Local Rule E-1.3 for a Mandatory Dropping Zone.  Typically the player would retain the option to take Stroke and Distance Relief, also for one penalty stroke.

22 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Yes.

played a few courses this past weekend where you got a non penalty 2 club relief drop for hitting into someone’s backyard.  

Yeah, I see that, and its not acceptable either.  Again, they can do just about the same thing by calling all of these "off the course" areas No Play Zone/ACC, which allows free relief at the Nearest Point of Complete Relief plus one Clublength, Rule 16.1f. 

You all might want to look at the Definition of No Play Zone.

 

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3 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

That rule isn't acceptable, but they can accomplish the same thing by calling the area a Penalty Area/No Play Zone, combined with Model Local Rule E-1.3 for a Mandatory Dropping Zone.  Typically the player would retain the option to take Stroke and Distance Relief, also for one penalty stroke.

Thank you @DaveP043  So if I'm playing a match against someone and they hit it in the no play zone, we can just abide by the one-stroke drop and chalk it up to semantics. It seems like this is for player safety an the Penalty Area/No Play Zone is what the were intending for all along.

Thank you @cnosil and @downlowkey for your responses too.

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23 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

You all might want to look at the Definition of No Play Zone.

Thank you as always - on your suggestion, I just revisited the NPZ definition. The PGA Professional at my club apparently needs to do the same.

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Along similar lines, I played a course in a match and our opponent (members of the club) told us we were not allowed to cut the corner on a dog leg as this was "Aerial out of bounds" and any ball which cut the dog leg was declared out of bounds, regardless of where the ball came to rest, is this allowed?

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2 hours ago, benb1989 said:

Along similar lines, I played a course in a match and our opponent (members of the club) told us we were not allowed to cut the corner on a dog leg as this was "Aerial out of bounds" and any ball which cut the dog leg was declared out of bounds, regardless of where the ball came to rest, is this allowed?


Not allowed; however courses do implement these types of rules for personal safety
 

https://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-clarifications/committee-procedures/rule-8.html#_5a807d5f-4bdf-4c01-969f-b2a488a76e54

A-4 Internal Out of Bounds

Purpose. For course design or safety reasons, a Committee can choose to specify that a particular part of the course is out of bounds during the play of a particular hole.

This is done to stop players who are playing that hole from playing to and from another part of the course. For example, on a dogleg hole, an internal out of bounds may be used to prevent a player from cutting the dogleg by playing a ball to the fairway of another hole.

But a Local Rule stating that a ball is out of bounds if it crosses a boundary, even if it re-crosses the boundary and comes to rest on the same part of the course, is not authorized.

 

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