In previous articles, we looked at relief from temporary water and for an embedded ball. There is another situation one finds quite often at the beginning of the season: ground under repair.
Often GUR is clearly marked by green stakes, roped areas, chalk, or signs. However, there are other parts of the course that may be subject to relief under GUR, without penalty. Here are some examples:
A. A hole made by the Committee or the maintenance staff
-when a yellow or red stake is removed, the hole that remains is considered GUR.
-a hole made by removal of sod, a tree stump, or in making drainage ditches is also GUR.
B. Piles of grass clippings or aeration plugs
-when grass clippings, aeration plugs, and so on are piled for removal, they are considered as GUR and a player can take relief without penalty.
-if piles of grass clippings, and so on, are in wooded areas where there is no intent to remove them, there is no relief without penalty. A player may move the clippings because they are considered loose impediments, but the ball must not move in doing so.
HOW TO TAKE RELIEF:
Step 1: Determine the nearest point of complete relief (reference point). It is where the ball is closest to the original position and where there is no longer interference from the condition, with regard to the lie of the ball, the stance, and the swing.
Step 2: Drop the original ball or another ball within one club length of the reference point.
Step 3: The ball that is dropped must stay within the relief area (area determined in step 2) and must be played from this spot.
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF A TREE THAT GROWS WITHIN GUR?
-this also applies to any part of a tree that overhangs the GUR.
SPECIFIC REQUESTS BY PLAYERS
Sometimes a ball comes to rest in an area of light damage or wear. Some competitors will ask a referee for relief under GUR. Normally, if the ball is in the cut portion of the course (fairway), relief without penalty will be granted. If the ball is in a damaged area in the uncut portion of the course (rough) or in a deep depression, a player may be granted relief without penalty.
On the other hand, I will never grant relief if the player’s ball is in the uncut portion of the course (rough) that has suffered damage or is worn.