We are all happy to see our golf courses open again. Most of the golfers are following the Health guidelines. Here are a few comments and findings that I have received from players.
Because of social distancing, every golf courses have starting times that are in longer intervals. Most of the golf courses found out in the last weeks that the rounds are taking less than 4 hours. I often try to explain to golf courses that starting times in 7 or 8 minutes do not help Pace of Play. Today we see many courses with 9, 10 and even 12 minutes intervals….and everybody is very happy.
Most of the golf courses in Quebec have adopted the special local rule allowing players to use the preferred lie rule for a ball in a bunker. I heard some players argue that the player is not allowed to use that rule when the lie is good. This is completely false. When the preferred lie rule is in effect, the player is the only judge for using that rule. The other players don’t have anything to say.
BALL BOUNCES OFF THE PIN
Some players came to me to have the possibility of considering a ball holed the minute it touches the pin even if it does not go in the hole. My answer is NO. It is always possible to turn the pin with a club to make sure the extra pin is not in the way.
I would never suggest considering the ball holed if it is not in the hole.
Golf courses should make sure the holes are cut on level. If it is not done properly, it might cause a problem depending on the direction of the putt.
With the Covid-19 local rules in effect, we are not allowed to move small objects (ropes, stakes, signs). They are considered immovable obstructions. Many players contacted me to say it is not fair to have a movable obstruction on our line of play and not being authorized to move it. Some golf courses have distance markers in the middle of the fairway, and it is not fair to have that post in our line of play. The Clubs must put into effect a local rule to consider those obstruction as Temporary Immovable Obstructions (TIO). Then it is possible to take a free relief for the line of play.
We can see that problem when a ball lies in a penalty area and a red or yellow stake is on our line of play. In the Rules of Golf, it is not possible to take relief from an immovable obstruction when our ball lies in a penalty area, but we may move a movable obstruction. For now, with Covid-19, it is not possible to move those objects. The only solution is to have that local rules saying they are Temporary movable obstruction and we may have a relief for line of play.