From Ground Under Repair
a) A ball lies in tyre tracks that
have obviously been made by a course maintenance vehicle.
May this be considered a hole made by a greenkeeper and thus
ground under repair (GUR)?
b) Are cracks in the earth, which can
occur in hot and dry conditions, ground under repair?
c) Can a ball be lost in an area
marked as GUR?
d) May a player play their ball that
lies in GUR?
a) No, tyre tracks are not holes made
by a greenkeeper. The Committee would be justified in
declaring a deep rut to be ground under repair, but not
shallow indentations made by greenkeeping equipment such as
those in the photo, Decision 25/16.
b) No. However, a player whose ball is
in a large crack would be justified in requesting the
Committee to declare the crack to be ground under repair,
and the Committee would be justified in doing so, Decision
c) Not unless it is known or
virtually certain that a ball that has not been
found lies in GUR. In this case, the player may take relief,
without penalty, under Rule 25-1c, without having found
d) Yes, Rule 25-1b states that a
player may take relief from interference by
an abnormal ground condition. Therefore, players are
permitted to make their stroke from GUR if they think that
it is in a more favourable position than where they would
have to drop their ball to take advantage of the relief
afforded. However, be aware that the Committee may have
introduced a Local Rule prohibiting playing out of GUR, so
as to protect an area of the course.
Players often complain that they
should be able to take relief from irregularities in the course,
such as tyre tracks, cracks in the ground, divot holes or spike
marks on the putting green. This is what the R&A has to say on this
One of the main features of
golf is that it tests the player's ability to execute a wide assortment of
strokes under a variety of different conditions. The skill factor in golf
would be greatly reduced if players could eliminate difficult conditions,
without incurring any penalty, rather than have to overcome them through
execution of a particular stroke. It is therefore, a traditional golfing
maxim that you should play the ball as it lies and the course as you find
it. This is encapsulated in Rule 13-1 which provides, "the ball must be
played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the Rules".
'Rhodes Rules School'
Q&A will follow next week,