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In-Depth-Articles

Rules: Immovable obstruction on putting green

WHAT are there options when there is an immovable obstruction, such as a tarp, on the putting green?

WHEN putting greens are damaged, greenkeepers often have to protect the repaired area until growth returns and the surface is suitable for putting again.

Of course, the protective netting is an immovable obstruction on the putting green, as it is not intended that players should move it to give themselves a clear path to the hole.

Rules January

In the photo above, I have positioned five balls (A to E) at different positions on and around the putting green. These are the various rulings. under Rule 24-2b(iii) unless otherwise stated:

 •    Ball A lies off the putting green and the netting is on the player’s intended line of play to the hole.

There is no relief available, as the netting does not interfere with the player’s stance or area of intended swing and intervention on the line of play is not interference under Rule 24-2a. The player must pitch over, or play around the netting.

 •    Ball B lies on the netting on the putting green. If the player chooses to take relief, they must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard for their intended stroke to the hole. In some circumstances the nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.

 •    Ball C lies on the putting green and the netting does not intervene for a left-handed player, so they must play their next stroke from where the ball is at rest.

There is no relief for mental interference from the netting. Because the netting does interfere with the stance of a right-handed player, they may take relief by lifting the ball and placing it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief for their intended stroke to the hole that is not in a hazard. Sometimes the nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.

•    Ball D lies on the putting green and the netting does not intervene for a right-handed player. This time a right-handed player is not entitled to relief, but a left-handed player may take relief; it is the converse of the situation with ball C.

•    Ball E lies on the putting green and the netting intervenes on the intended line of putt, so the player may take relief, without penalty, by lifting the ball and placing it at the nearest point of relief for their intended stroke to the hole that is not in a hazard. Sometimes the nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.

The above rules are also relevant to other immovable obstructions on the putting green, such as artificial hole plugs, which I covered in this blog last year.

PETER KNIGHT SHOWS OFF THE BASEBALL DRILL:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

15 Barry Rhodes & Claret Jug

Barry is the author of ‘999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf' (including the January 2016 changes), and '999 More Questions on the Rules of Golf (newly published in January 2016).

He believes that these books provide the easiest and most enjoyable way to absorb and understand the Rules. Barry is an enthusiastic, high handicap golfer, resident in Dublin, Ireland, who developed an interest, then a fascination, and now an obsession with the Rules of Golf.

Barry’s relationship with the Rules began in 2000 with his participation in the inter-club Rules of Golf quiz competitions, organised by the Royal & Ancient for Golf Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

This then led to him writing articles, running quizzes, and delivering presentations on the Rules at a variety of golf clubs and corporate functions.

In March 2008, Barry became the first person to achieve a 100% correct mark on the public Advanced Rules of Golf Course examination, run by the PGA in their headquarters at The Belfry, West Midlands, UK, and in April 2015, Barry received a ‘Pass with Distinction’ in the R&A’s Level 3, Tournament Administrators and Referees School examination, the highest certification awarded.

Barry is author of the eBook, ‘999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2016’. To purchase the eBook, click here.

He writes a weekly web blog, containing interesting content for anyone who wishes to improve their knowledge and understanding of the Rules of Golf. To visit the blog, click here.

Barry Rhodes