During the third round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens on February 25th , many spectators witnessed Rickie Fowler receiving a very nice relief from the rules official. His tee shot on # 17 stopped short of the green in a bad lie in long grass. But…
But he asked for a ruling from the official and after determining his nearest point of relief, he dropped a ball and the ball rolled on the short grass where he had a much easier shot to the pin. He made his next shot with a putter.
The ruling was based on the following considerations:
- A general rules of competition for all the PGA Tour events covers a ball resting in seams of cut turf. The ball is considered resting in ground under repair. if a ball lies in a seam, relief is available without penalty.
- The ball must lie in the seam
- We must find the nearest point of relief. From that point. We must drop the ball inside one club-length from that point. (usually we mark that point with a tee)
- The ball may roll up to 2 club-length from the spot where the ball struck the ground without any consideration of the type de grass (short or long grass).
- If the ball did not roll closer to the hole, it is in play.
- If the ball rolls in a bunker or a water hazard, it must be re-dropped again.
The ball must lie in the seam…
During the broadcast, it was said that the Committee should have circled the area with a white line as it is done when we have an area of ground under repair or abnormal ground conditions. They did not know that the free relief is not available if the seam interferes only for the stance.
Unfortunately many players don’t read the notices to competitors nor the general Local rules. In some cases we also have former professional golfers working for a network and they don’t always understand the rules.
At Golf Quebec. we use the same rule.
NOTICE TO CLUB CAPTAINS: This rule is in effect in all the Golf Quebec Tournaments and should also be implemented in all the golf courses of the province.