in response to a question from a member.....
Newcastle MBA Golf Club
ph 02 4947 1078
fax 02 4947 1088
RULE 24 ~ OBSTRUCTIONS.
24-2 - Immovable Obstruction
Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. If the player’s ball lies on the putting green, interference also occurs if an immovable obstruction on the putting green intervenes on his line of putt. Otherwise, intervention on the line of play is not, of itself, interference under this Rule.
(See FAQ #2)
See also Definitions ~ Obstructions....An "obstruction" is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured ice, except:
a. Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;
b. Any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds; and
c. Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course. An obstruction is a movable obstruction if it may be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. Otherwise it is an immovable obstruction.
Note: The Committee may make a Local Rule declaring a movable obstruction to be an immovable obstruction.
Except when the ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, a player may take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction as follows:
(i) Through the Green:
If the ball lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not be in a hazard or on a putting green. When the ball is dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the immovable obstruction and is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.
(ii) In a Bunker:
If the ball is in a bunker, the player must lift the ball and drop it either:
(a) Without penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above, except that the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker; or
(b) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped. (iii) On the Putting Green: If the ball lies on the putting green, the player must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief may be off the putting green. (iv) On the Teeing Ground: If the ball lies on the teeing ground, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above.
The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule.
(Ball rolling to a position where there is interference by the condition from which relief was taken – see Rule 20-2c(v))
A player may not take relief under this Rule if (a) interference by anything other than an immovable obstruction makes the stroke clearly impracticable or (b) interference by an immovable obstruction would occur only through use of a clearly unreasonable stroke or an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.
Note 1: If a ball is in a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard), the player may not take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction. The player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 26-1.
Note 2: If a ball to be dropped or placed under this Rule is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.
Note 3: The Committee may make a Local Rule stating that the player must determine the nearest point of relief without crossing over, through or under the obstruction.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.
One of the most welcome amendments to the Rules of Golf, effective 1st January 2012, is the new definition of addressing the ball. It might help to look first at both the old and the new definitions;
Previous Definition of Addressing the Ball;
A player has “addressed the ball” when he has taken his stance and has also grounded his club, except that in a hazard a player has addressed the ball when he has taken his stance. Current Definition of Addressing the Ball; A player has “addressed the ball” when he has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance. You will see that there are two main differences; the removal of stance as a requirement and the introduction of the word “immediately”.
With the benefit of hindsight, the removal of the stance prerequisite now seems an obvious simplification to the Rules in that most players do not ground their club for a stroke until they have completed their stance. Note that when a player’s ball lies in a hazard they are now not going to address their ball at all (in the vast majority of cases) as stance is no longer a requirement and you may not ground your club in a hazard (bunker or water hazard). I say the vast majority of cases because you are permitted to ground your club on an immovable obstruction situated in a hazard (e.g. a bridge in a water hazard, Decision 13-4/30), and you are permitted to ground your club outside of a hazard if your ball lies just inside the margin of the hazard.
It is less obvious why the second change to the definition has been introduced and it has already created much discussion and disagreement between Rules experts. How far is “immediately” in the phrase “has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball”? Does two inches (5 centimeters) qualify, or does it mean “any closer and it would be touching the ball”, as has been suggested by authoritative sources connected with the USGA? In their opinion, the player in the photo above has not grounded their club “immediately” behind their ball and so they have not addressed their ball. This is bound to cause a lot of arguments and it is very surprising that the Ruling Bodies did not clarify the introduction of the word “immediately” with a relevant Decision.
A related change to the new Definition of Address is the revised Rule 18-2b, Ball Moving after Address;
If a player’s ball in play moves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke.
The ball must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.
Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply. A principle behind this Rule was that it was more than coincidence if a ball moved after the player had taken the action of addressing it. They were penalised on the assumption that either the placing of their feet or the grounding of their club was the cause of the ball moving, without any external factors being taken into account. There have been several high-profile incidents over the past four years where it was blatantly obvious that it was wind that caused a ball to move and not the player. This inequity has now been resolved. However, note that the amendment to the Rule is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card; it must be known or virtually certain that the player did not cause their ball to move.
From: N.MBA.GC [mailto:N.MBA.GC@idl.net.au]
Sent: Sunday, 6 May 2012 8:10 PM
To: Selected Members
Subject: N MBA Golf Club ~ Website
I have been working on a website for N MBA GC, and have reached the stage where I need to test it on a wider variety of computers, operating systems and internet browsers. The Beta version is on line @ ....
Could you please take the time to run through the various pages and report on any obvious irregularities or malfunctions. There are a couple of feedback forms (next event registration, & sponsor enquiries) that need testing as well. Your assistance would be much appreciated.
Please feel free to pass on any comments, recommendations or other feedback that you consider relevant....
Newcastle MBA Golf Club
ph 02 4947 1078
fax 02 4947 1088