Suggestion Box October 2021

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Morning Tony
Regarding winter rules there is no mention of plugged balls?
Also I am interested to know what is the rule regarding taking relief from mole hills which have been flattened by the green staff? They are still caused by animals and not fully repaired.

Regards
Colin

Tony Walker

Hi Colin

Many thanks for your email query.

  1. Our full Winter Rules were published as part of our updated Temporary Local Rules and circulated to members on 12th October (copy attached for ease of reference).

You are quite right, however, that they do not specifically mention ‘plugged balls’. This is because relief is available for plugged balls under the standard Rules of Golf, though it refers to them as ‘embedded balls’. Rule 16.3 allows free relief when a player’s ball is embedded in the General Area, as long as the ball is embedded in its own pitch-mark made as a result of the player’s previous stroke, and part of the ball is below the level of the ground (in other words a plugged ball).

Free relief under this Rule is permitted by dropping the ball in the relief area. The relief area is within one club length of the spot right behind where the ball was plugged, not nearer the hole.

Of course, whilst we have our winter Temporary Local Rules (TLR) in place, you may feel it is a better option at the moment to take relief under TLR 1 or 2 (see above).

  1. Regarding mole hills flattened by the green staff, these are still mole hills or, under the Rules of Golf, an ‘animal hole’and can still be considered as an Abnormal Course Condition. Free relief is available under Rule 16.1, as long as:
  • the player’s ball touches or is on the flattened mole hill, and
  • the flattened mole hill interferes with a player’s area of intended stance or intended swing.

Free relief is permitted under 16.1 by dropping the ball within one club length of the nearest point of complete relief, not nearer the hole.

This scenario is also covered under one of our ‘permanent’ Local Rules (Local Rule 4d).

I hope this helps to answer your query but please do get back to me of you need any further clarification.

Regards

Tony

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