A message from the Club Committee



Dear Member,

As there have been several changes to the Rules of Golf this year and various questions have been asked of committee members after competition rounds, it was agreed at a recent committee meeting that we would address some of the more common scenarios that occur when playing the Indiana Course, with a series of regular Rules Newsletters, of which this is the fourth in the series.

Part 1 (for those who missed it) can be found here Part 2 here and Part 3 here

Now the eleventh, said the Oldest Member, that could be a story all by itself.

Our group drove off on 11, and John´s ball again flared off to the right, “Drat!” he exclaimed, “I think that will be on the desert area, but, I´d better play a Provisional Ball, just in case it´s Lost or Out of Bounds, it´s better than having to walk all the way back to the tee.” Careful to declare clearly that the second tee shot was a provisional ball, he did so and sent this one down the fairway.

Chris and Bob both drove safely down the fairway also and they went to see where John´s ball had finished.

There was no obvious sign of John´s ball in the open desert area, so they looked under the various bushes and trees, but there was still no sign of the ball, until eventually, just within the 3-minute limit, Chris spotted John´s ball lying in the trees at the right edge of the desert area.

“It´s here, John” he called out. “If this had been me, I´d a been in real trouble, but, you´re much luckier than me, and I think you´re going to be standing on a rabbit scrape”.

John came over, checked that it was his ball and that his identifying mark was on it, then took a stance and noted that Chris was absolutely right. Although his ball was not affected by the rabbit scrape, and he could make a reasonable stroke at the ball, he was standing on the scrape and entitled to relief from the Abnormal Course Condition under Rule 16.1.

John and Chris first worked out where the nearest point was that provided complete relief from the Abnormal Condition and was no nearer the hole.

“Now, you get a Relief Area that is one club length from that spot” `explained Chris. “As before, the ball has to land and stay in that area” he continued. “Are you clear?”

”Yes” said John. “I can see the flag clearly now. Thanks”.

“Not quite what I meant” thought Chris to himself as he tromped off back to his own ball, “Some folk have all the luck”.

Back at his ball, Bob and Chris played up towards the green, with Bob´s ball heading a little left towards the greenside bunker and Chris´ heading to the right of the green.

“*********” said Chris, again. “I´m not sure whether that´s reached the penalty area or not. My turn for a provisional ball”.

After he´d played the provisional, and hit it on the green (as always, noted the Oldest Member wryly), they walked up to the green to meet John, who´d been fortunate enough to hit the green from his shot from the trees and desert.

“Chris is right and I´m left” commented Bob.

“Politically speaking, I presume” enquired John?

“No, you daft ha´porth” said Bob. “I meant our balls”.

They went to search for Chris´ ball first and found it quite quickly just by the edge of the Penalty Area, resting against the Red stake marking the boundary of the Red Penalty area and sitting partly on the red line that was marked faintly on the ground.

“Well, that´s just typical” grumbled Chris. “Because I´m part on the line, that means I´m deemed to be in the Penalty Area, not in the General Area of the course. Now I have to proceed just like you did on number 6, John.”

“However, I think I can play that as it lies, rather than taking penalty relief. I´ll just pull that stake out”.

“Can you do that” asked John?

“Oh, aye, lad” said Chris. “it´s a Moveable Obstruction, because it´s obstructing me and I can move it, unlike your cage back there!”

With that he pulled the stake out, and as he did so, the ball toppled over gently.

“It´s not a problem” said Chris, “as it´s a Moveable Obstruction, not a Loose Impediment under Rule 15.2, I just have to put the ball back where it was, without penalty. If it had moved when I touched a Loose Impediment, it would have been a penalty shot, you know.”

He did so and played up onto the green, quite close to the hole.

While Chris played, John and Bob walked up to the bunker area to find Bob´s ball, which they also found quickly, where it had come to rest against the rake, just outside the bunker.

“Oh”, said John, “I guess that must be a Moveable Obstruction also”.

“It is” replied Bob “and I can move it also, but it´s stopped my ball running into the bunker, so when I move it, I´m going to have to stand all the way down in the bunker to play my chip; some of us really are unlucky!”

He moved the rake, played up to the hole and they putted out, with John´s lucky par matching Chris, and Bob making a rather unlucky 5.

Diagram for relief options for Abnormal Course Conditions.