Friday, 8 March 2013
Most golfers know that they may take relief without penalty from ground under repair (GUR), but do they always know what constitutes ground under repair and what does not?
Ground under repair is any part of the course so marked by order of the Committee, usually defined by stakes and/or lines. When ground under repair is defined by stakes the margin is an imaginary line between the outside points of the stakes at ground level; when defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the ground under repair. Ground under repair is an abnormal ground condition, which are covered by Rule 25-1.
So far, so good. We all recognise GUR when a white circle has been drawn around course damage, perhaps with a sign stuck in the middle, but in which of the following situation may a player take relief from GUR?
When their ball lies…
a) … in a deep tyre rut made by a course maintenance vehicle?
b) … outside of an area marked as GUR, where one foot of the natural stance is inside the margin?
c) …in a crack in parched earth behind a putting green?
d) … behind the sawn down stump of a tree?
e) … outside of an area marked as GUR but in a position where overhanging branches of a tree rooted in GUR interferes with the intended area of swing?
f) … against a pile of wood logs that have been stacked in the process of sawing the trunk and branches from a fallen tree.
g) … in a hole from where a distance post has been removed and left lying alongside.
h) … just touching a white line defining GUR.
a) No relief. Decision 25/16.
b) Relief is available. Rule 25-1a.
c) No relief. Decision 25/12.
d) No relief. Decision 25/8.
e) Relief is available. Definition of Ground Under Repair. Trees and other growing things rooted within the ground under repair are part of the ground under repair. Decision 25-1a/1.
f) Relief is available. Definition of Ground Under Repair. Ground under repair includes material piled for removal, even if not so marked.
g) Relief is available. Definition of Ground Under Repair. Ground under repair includes a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked.
h) Relief is available. Definition of Ground Under Repair. When the margin of ground under repair is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the ground under repair.
How did you do? All of the above questions and answers are covered in my eBook, “999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2012-2015”. Details can be found at this link.
Here is one final point to remember regarding GUR. Rule 25-1b states that a player may take relief from interference by an abnormal ground condition; they do not have to if they consider that the lie that they may have after taking relief could be less favourable. However, many Committees, with the intention of protecting damaged areas of the course, will introduce a Local Rule making it mandatory to take relief; so always check first.
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