Embedded ball - what would you have done?

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JezzE

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Played my first comp for about 4 months today, with the course in surprisingly decent condition but a little soft around the edges, and managed to plug it in the rough twice on approach shots.

I didn't know whether there was a Local Rule in force extending relief to through the green, so on both occasions played a second ball, with a view to finding out for sure later. Neither of my fellow-competitors were sure, although other players we asked out there all seemed pretty sure you did get relief.

When we got back to the clubhouse we asked in the pro shop and he too was pretty sure there was something up on the noticeboard, but we couldn't find anything.

I was beginning to think I was going to have to sign for the two higher scores, even though everyone else out there was clearly taking relief under similar circumstances, and that would probably have made the difference between buffer zone or not.

Fortunately, we managed to get hold of the chairman of greens on the phone who confirmed that there was a Local Rule in force, so the lower scores stood.

But if we hadn't been able to get hold of him, it would have been pretty galling having to sign for the higher scores, knowing that 90% of the field was taking relief under similar circumstances.

What would you have done? :)
 

chrisd

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Probably the same as you Jezz if I hadn't known, luckily someone asked me recently about the same situation and I took the precaution of checking in case it should happen.

My experience is that most players guess at the rules and sign the card though!
 

Imurg

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What's the phrase..?
Play the ball as it lies, if you can't then do what is fair and to know what's fair know the rules....or something like that.
To my mind, it's not fair to have to play your ball if it's plugged, even in the rough. I think it's reasonable to expect your ball to not plug. Some clubs have the local rule, some don't...why isn't it simply a rule..?

To answer your question Jezz, I'd have done the same as you..
 

rulefan

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Plugged ball in the rough is one rule I wish they'd change
Who are "they"? Why change the rule?

The Rules give the Committee full discretion to judge the conditions and make an appropriate decision. The R&A/USGA don't know what the state of the ground is so can't decide for them.
 

Region3

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Who are "they"? Why change the rule?

The Rules give the Committee full discretion to judge the conditions and make an appropriate decision. The R&A/USGA don't know what the state of the ground is so can't decide for them.
I'm probably missing something obvious, but I don't understand why the ground conditions matter.

If it's soft enough to plug the rule should be in place.
If it's not soft enough to plug then it doesn't matter if the rule is in place or not.

Where's the harm in having the rule in force if it doesn't need to be?
 

KenL

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Who are "they"? Why change the rule?

The Rules give the Committee full discretion to judge the conditions and make an appropriate decision. The R&A/USGA don't know what the state of the ground is so can't decide for them.
At this time of year yes but after the end of April approval for preferred lie and relief from an embedded ball in the rough is required from your local association.
Not anything to do with the R&A.
 

atticusfinch

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To my mind, it's not fair to have to play your ball if it's plugged,
Fair in golf parlance does not mean "I get to ignore my bad luck for free" it means everyone plays by the same rule.

Besides you do not have t play it, the rules offer you (and everyone,,,hence fair...) the same opportunity to play an unplugged ball. It just costs something. Should you be allowed to change the lie your last shot gave you without paying for it? What's fair about that?
 

Foxholer

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Fair in golf parlance does not mean "I get to ignore my bad luck for free" it means everyone plays by the same rule.

Besides you do not have t play it, the rules offer you (and everyone,,,hence fair...) the same opportunity to play an unplugged ball. It just costs something. Should you be allowed to change the lie your last shot gave you without paying for it? What's fair about that?
I agree. But the whole field knows that the course was not meant to be that way and if it was (perhaps only a little) worse, then you could be allowed relief under Abnormal Ground Conditions!

I'm for allowing lift, clean and drop as per the specimen LR all year round if it's actually plugged in its own pitch-mark! That would also apply to everyone, so also 'fair to all'!
 

rulefan

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I agree. But the whole field knows that the course was not meant to be that way and if it was (perhaps only a little) worse, then you could be allowed relief under Abnormal Ground Conditions!

I'm for allowing lift, clean and drop as per the specimen LR all year round if it's actually plugged in its own pitch-mark! That would also apply to everyone, so also 'fair to all'!
It doesn't really satisfy the principle of 'Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it'.
Perhaps some people believe that problems shouldn't exist on a golf course.
 

rulefan

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At this time of year yes but after the end of April approval for preferred lie and relief from an embedded ball in the rough is required from your local association.
Not anything to do with the R&A.
Outside the prescribed dates approval is required for Preferred Lies but not for Embedded Lie Through the Green.
 

KenL

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It doesn't really satisfy the principle of 'Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it'.
Perhaps some people believe that problems shouldn't exist on a golf course.
Didn't know that.

Can there be such a rule in place for embedded ball in the face of a bunker throughout the year?
 
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JezzE

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Some interesting reading here with the various viewpoints.

At the end of the day, if I hadn't got clarification, I would have insisted on signing for the higher scores even to my cost... but in the slightly uncomfortable knowledge that 90% of the field wouldn't have done so!

The problem with leaving this to the discretion of a committee with a perhaps slightly lax or not-quite-on-the-ball attitude is that golfers supposedly playing under the same CONGU handicap umbrella actually end up playing under completely different rules.

Adopting the second ball rule, I was a shot worse on each occasion between playing it as it lies and taking a drop, which is quite a big percentage playing off 5.

As it transpired, I will have made buffer at worse, but wouldn't have done so if no free relief.

I know absolute equity from one club or course to another is not possible, but to play exactly the same round at two different courses and end up with two very different results because of the adoption or otherwise of a certain Local Rule would leave a slightly sour taste for me
 
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JezzE

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Fair in golf parlance does not mean "I get to ignore my bad luck for free" it means everyone plays by the same rule.

Besides you do not have t play it, the rules offer you (and everyone,,,hence fair...) the same opportunity to play an unplugged ball. It just costs something. Should you be allowed to change the lie your last shot gave you without paying for it? What's fair about that?
As per my other response, the problem with this is, if one club adopts the Local Rule and another with very similar ground conditions doesn't, where is the fairness in that?
 

Imurg

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It doesn't really satisfy the principle of 'Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it'.
Perhaps some people believe that problems shouldn't exist on a golf course.
And yet we get Winter Rules on the fairway where we can clean mud from the ball and move it from a divot with a clump of grass behind that means you can't get to the ball....maybe problems don't exist....
If you're entitled to a decent lie on the fairway - which "pick'n'place gives you - why not a similar leniency when you are unlucky enough to find a soft patch of rough which may only be a yard off the fairway...
 
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