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Another rules query

  • 18-10-2021 11:25am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,550 ✭✭✭

    So I was playing golf Saturday morning, hit my drive on the 13th and happened to connect with it really well (a bit to well) and with the wind a my back the ball carried down to about 60 yards from the front of the green but because the fairway begins to turn right towards the green it carried into the rough on the left hand side of the fairway. I know there is a few young trees been planted down there but there are still very small so I was not overly concerned. Anyway as we are getting down towards my ball I can see my ball is direly behind one of the trees, about maybe 3 feet away so not enough space for me to clear it even though the tree is no more than 4 feet tall. My next option would be to normally just punch a low one underneath the tree towards the green but in the instance the stake supporting the tree had fallen and was lying perfectly across the front of it ruling out my low punch option. So i just took my medicine and hit horizontally out back onto the fairway.

    When I eventually got onto the green one of my playing partners questioned why I hit that shot and had I no line at all in the direction of the green, so I just explained to him about the stake. He said I should have taken free relief away from the stake as I was entitled to it. I was under impression that I would have only been entitled to free relief it if my ball had basically rested against the stake and Id no shot at all. Should have I been entitled to a free drop in that instance?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,480 ✭✭✭✭callaway92

    Only relief you would get is if it impeded your actual swing. From what it sounds like, you were just unlucky it was lying the way it was lying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 841 ✭✭✭Ronney

    Think it would have to be a Local Rule.

    The question is could you take a full swing/shot , if the staked tree was simply in your line of sight and not impeding your swing then no relief


    Protection of Young Trees

    Purpose. To prevent damage to young trees when a player makes a stroke, a Committee can choose to designate them as a no play zone so that:

    • If a player has any type of interference as defined in Rule 16.1 from such a tree designated as a no play zone, he or she must take relief under Rule 16.1f.
    • If the player's ball lies in a penalty area, he or she must either take free relief under the Local Rule within the penalty area or proceed with penalty under Rule 17.1.

    Such trees should be identified by stakes, ribbons or in some other clear way.

    When the tree has matured and no longer needs this protection, the Committee should withdraw the Local Rule and/or remove the identifying stake or ribbon from the tree.

    Model Local Rule E-10

    "The young trees identified by [identify markings] are no play zones:

    • If a player's ball lies anywhere on the course other than in a penalty area and it lies on or touches such a tree or such a tree interferes with the player's stance or area of intended swing, the player must take relief under Rule 16.1f.
    • If the ball lies in a penalty area, and interference to the player's stance or area of intended swing exists from such a tree, the player must take relief either with penalty under Rule 17.1e or with free relief under Rule 17.1e(2).

    Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a."

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,534 ✭✭✭blue note

    You get relief if the staked tree impacts your stance or swing. But check the scorecard too - I played somewhere recently (I think it was Gold Coast) and there was no relief from staked trees.

    They must lose a few trees because of this, but there were so many I could see why that was the rule.

    In relation to the stake - you can remove anything that is dead. So I reckon you'd have been able to move the stake if it wasn't actually supporting the tree.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭spacecoyote

    That last point is what i was going to make @bluenote . Wonderig why, if the stake had fallen down why you either didnt just move it or replace it back in ita hole alongside the small tree?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,550 ✭✭✭Ottoman_1000

    That is what I thought alright and judging by the comments I assumed correctly...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,550 ✭✭✭Ottoman_1000

    Because it was still strapped to tree even tho it had fallen down. I made an effort to remove it but I would have had to unwind all the wires, plus it was also covered in sh** from the earlier rain and my score was not going to be anything hectic. Playing out just seemed the least hassle free option.