First, let me summarise what the Definitions say about margins;
- The margin of ground under repair (GUR) extends vertically downwards, but not upwards.
- The margin of a bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards.
- The margin of a (lateral) water hazard extends vertically upwards and downwards.
- The line of play extends vertically upwards from the ground, but does not extend beyond the hole.
Ground Under Repair (GUR) Margin:
A ball lies against the root of a tree that is growing inside GUR, but the root is outside the white line margin.
Ruling: There is no relief available, without penalty, because the margin only extends downwards.Although a player is standing well outside an area of GUR there is still interference to their swing from on overhanging branch of a tree that is rooted in GUR.
Ruling: As the tree is growing in GUR it is part of GUR and because the margin does not extend upwards the player may take relief without penalty.Bunker Margin:
A ball enters a burrowing animal hole in a bunker and rolls underneath and past the margin of the bunker.
Ruling: The ball is not in the bunker because the margin only extends downwards. The player may take relief, without penalty, from the abnormal ground condition outside the bunker.A ball lies on the edge of the bunker overhanging, but not touching the sand.
Ruling: The ball is not in the bunker, because the margin does not extend vertically upwards.(Lateral) Water Hazard Margin:
A ball lies in the branches of a tree inside the margin of a (lateral) water hazard.
Ruling: The ball is in the water hazard, even if the tree is rooted outside it, because the margin extends upwards.A ball enters a burrowing animal hole and comes to rest underground, but within the margin of a (lateral) water hazard.
Ruling: The ball is in the hazard, because the margin extends downwards.Line of play Margin:
A player’s ball lies a few yards away from a tree which has mosses hanging from its branches that are directly in the line of play.
Ruling: The player may not move the mosses, which are considered to be part of the tree (Decision 13-2/37), as this would improve their line of play, which extends vertically upwards.Good golfing,
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