No.88 Integral to the Course

A Committee has declared that the shelter in the photo is an integral part of the course, as per Rule 33-2(iv).

Question 1:
A player's ball comes to rest against the wall of the shelter. How should they proceed?
Answer 1:
The player must either play the ball as it lies, or deem it unplayable and take one of the relief options under Rule 28, with a penalty of one stroke.


The photo is of the 17th at St Andrews, known as 'The Road Hole', possibly the most famous hole in golf. Old Course Trustees have declared the tarmac road to be integral to the course.

Question 2:

Having played their ball from point X a player's ball came to rest on the road at point Y. May the player...
a) ... play their ball as it lies at point Y?
b) ... drop the ball at the nearest point of relief, point Z, without penalty?
c) ... drop the ball at the nearest point of relief, point Z, for a penalty of one stroke?
d) ... drop the ball at point X for a penalty of one stroke?

Answer 2:
a) Yes.
b) No. There is no relief without penalty from the road, because it is integral to the course.
c) No. Even if the player deems their ball unplayable this is not one of the available options under Rule 28.
d) Yes. A player may always play a ball under penalty of stroke and distance. Rule 27-1a.

Note: As the shelter in the first photo and the tarmac road in the second have been declared integral to the course, relief from an immovable obstruction under Rule 24-2b is not available.

Rule 33-2;

The Committee must define accurately:...
 ...(iv) obstructions and integral parts of the course.

Question 3:
In the photo of 'The Road Hole' there is a stone boundary wall to the left side of the road. If a player's ball lies so close to the wall that they cannot make a stroke towards the green, may they play the ball against the boundary wall in the hope that it will rebound to the green?

Answer 3:
Yes. Here is a link to a short video of Miguel Ángel Jiménez making just such a stroke in the 2010 Open Championship.

Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
Good golfing,
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