Monday, 2 April 2012

Gopher, Crawfish, Half-Eaten Pear and Poison Ivy

Gopher – a small burrowing rodent endemic to North America

There are many unusual references in the Rules of Golf and the Decisions on the Rules of Golf and for no particular reason I am listing some of them here;

Gopher - Part of the Definition of Burrowing Animal:
A “burrowing animal” is an animal (other than a worm, insect or the like) that makes a hole for habitation or shelter, such as a rabbit, mole, groundhog, gopher or salamander.

Crawfish - Decision 25-1b/18:
Q. When a crawfish digs a hole it creates a sizable mound of mud. If such a mound interferes with a player's stance or swing, does he get relief under Rule 25-1b?
A. Yes, provided the player's ball does not lie in a water hazard - see first paragraph of Rule 25-1b. A crawfish is a burrowing animal.

Half-eaten Pear – Decision 23/3:
Q. A half-eaten pear lies directly in front of a ball in a bunker and there is no pear tree in the vicinity of the bunker. In the circumstances, is the pear an obstruction rather than a loose impediment, in which case the player could remove it without penalty?
A. No. A pear is a natural object. When detached from a tree it is a loose impediment. The fact that a pear has been half-eaten and there is no pear tree in the vicinity does not alter the status of the pear.

Poison Ivy – Decision 1-4/11:
Q. According to Decision 1-4/10, a ball lying near a live rattlesnake or a bees' nest is a "dangerous situation" and relief should be granted in equity.
If a player's ball comes to rest in or near an area of plants such as poison ivy, cacti or stinging nettles, should the provisions of Decision 1-4/10 apply?
A. No. The player must either play the ball as it lies or, if applicable, proceed under Rule 26 (Water Hazards) or Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable). Decision 1-4/10 contemplates a situation which is unrelated to conditions normally encountered on the course. Unpleasant lies are a common occurrence which players must accept.

Saliva – Decision 25/6:
Q. What is the status of saliva?
A. In equity (Rule 1-4), saliva may be treated as either an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1) or a loose impediment (Rule 23-1), at the option of the player.

Plumb-Line – Decision 14-3/11:
Q. Is a plumb-line, i.e. a weight suspended on a string, an artificial device within the meaning of the term in Rule 14-3?
A. Yes. If a player uses such a device to assist him in his play he is in breach of Rule 14-3.

Parked Car
– Decision 24/8
Q. A player's ball lies under a parked car. What is the procedure?
A. If the car is readily movable, it should be treated as a movable obstruction and moved - see Rule 24-1.
If the car is not readily movable, it should be treated as an immovable obstruction and the player is entitled to relief as provided in Rule 24-2b.

Unlike the Rules of Golf booklet the Decisions on the Rules of Golf are interesting and are easy to read and understand. An excellent index makes it easy to reference situations that you may experience on the course, or discuss in the bar. I strongly recommend that all golfers with an interest in the Rules purchase this book for only £9.89 from Amazon at this link, if not for yourself then for your Club. If you do purchase the Decisions book, or anything else from Amazon, using this link I make a few cents affiliate commission, but it does not cost you any more.

Good Golfing

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