Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Winter Rules (Again)

I am pleased to be able to report that the ‘Search This Blog’ feature has been restored on every page of my blog site. If you have any query on the Rules of Golf Just enter a short search term in the box (at the top right corner) and then click on the title of the blog that seems to be most relevant to your query.

For example, if you search “Winter Rules / Preferred Lies” you will receive 10 links to previous blogs of mine that contain relevant information on this subject, the first of which, at this link, contains this important paragraph (particularly for Golf Club Committee members);

It is definitely not good enough to post a notice that says ‘Winter Rules’, Preferred Lies’ or ‘Lift, Clean and Place Everywhere’. Wherever possible, it is recommended to reproduce one or more of the specimen Local Rules that are provided in Appendix l, Part B, section 4 of the Rules book.
So, whilst it is OK to draw players’ attention to the fact that a temporary Local Rule has been introduced to protect the course, or to promote fair and pleasant play, this must be backed up with a detailed Local Rule, preferably worded exactly the same as the specimen(s) in the Appendix l, Part B. Otherwise, there could be confusion amongst players on many matters, including the following;

•    Whether the temporary Local Rule permits placing a ball that lies through the green or just on a closely mown area.
•    How far the player is allowed to place their ball from where they picked it up (e.g. 6 inches, the width of a score card, or a club-length).
•    Whether a ball that is lying in the rough can be placed within the permitted distance on the fairway and vice versa.
•    Whether a ball must be marked before it is lifted, cleaned and placed within the permitted distance.
•    Whether a ball that has been placed is in play, so that it may not be replaced if it subsequently moves off its spot, or if it has not been cleaned or aligned to the player’s satisfaction (this should always be the case).

Players should be able to play in competitions, even those that are not counting for handicaps, in the knowledge that all competitors are playing to the same Rules.

Good golfing,


 


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7 comments:

GregH said...

Hey Barry, Many thanks for continuing educational blog.
Where do players stand when clubs simply refuse to define using appendix as you have outlined
& simply put on the board "preferred lie"

GregH said...

Hi Barry, We, a bunch of rules geeks, are trying to establish a guide line regarding what constitutes "mud adhering" or just a "dirty" ball.
We assume that mud adhering must have some sort of lumpy, globular nature that effects the ball rolling uniformly, & if so, then how much?
Are there any guidelines in this regard or is it just a consenus within the group?
Do then different groups of friends play with cleaner balls than others?

Barry Rhodes said...

Greg,

What can I say? Any competition that is run with that single notice is obviously not being played under the Rules of Golf and certainly cannot count for handicapping purposes. This quote, taken from an earlier blog of mine (6th January 2013), is from from the Chairman of USGA Rules of Golf Committee in 1948;

"And out on the course half a hundred golfers were playing in a tournament; and no doubt half a hundred different interpretations of ‘Winter Rules’ were being effected, some leaning backward to take no unfair advantage and some using ‘Winter Rules’ as a license to cut many strokes from their normal scores. This situation doubtless is duplicated at any clubs all over the country."

Your Committee should either do their job properly, or resign and let someone else take over the responsibility for properly run golf competitions!

Barry

Barry Rhodes said...

Greg,

I am at a loss to know why there is any requirement for any golfer to have to clarify the difference between mud adhering to the ball and a dirty ball. There is no Rule of Golf that requires such clarification and nor should there be any Local Rule. A ball may either be cleaned under a Rule, or Local Rule, or it may not.

Barry

Andy said...

Hi all,

I have a question regarding Preferred Lies relief in conjunction with other relief.

My ball was on the fairway and Preferred Lies was in place. I lifted, cleaned an placed my ball. I then took my stance and realized that some holes made by a burrowing animal was interfering with my stance.

I wanted to take relief from the burrowing animals holes under 25-1 but my playing partner said I could not take relief as my ball was back "In Play" after I had first taken the Preferred Lies relief.

Was my playing partner correct or was I actually allowed to take relief?

As an aside to this, is there an order in which relief (if relief under multiple rules could be taken) has to be taken?

Many thanks in advance,
Andy

Barry Rhodes said...

Andy,

The answer to your first question depends on the wording of the Local Rule permitting 'Preferred Lies'. A well written Local Rule, i.e. one that follows the specimen provided in Appendix l, Part A, will state;

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4).

I am not sure that I understand your second question. If a ball lies in a place where there is interference from an immovable obstruction and GUR they may choose which to take relief from first. If when they have dropped a ball under the Rules there is interference from another condition under which they wish (or must) take relief then they repeat the procedure.

Barry

Barry Rhodes said...

Andy,

Your follow-up is too long for the comments section of this blog. Please email me direct (rules at barry rhodes dot com). I will say that the Local Rules are very poorly written and probably not consistent with the policy set forth in Appendix I. I do not understand why some Committees insist on changing the specimen wording provided in the Rules book.

Barry