1st Hole @BrokenhurstGC – Abnormal Course Condition on the line of my putt

A short par 4 with a generous fairway to get us underway. Long hitters may be having a go for the green in pursuit of a birdie to start with. Be wary of the firm green however as you need to strike the ball precisely to get it to stop. Over the back is a tricky up and down, while leaving yourself short of the bank at the front of the green isn’t so easy either.

On the green I’ve found myself with a small drain cover on my line – what can I do about it?

It would be the same procedure for any Abnormal Course Condition – for example an Animal Hole (and don’t forget it is now any animal – not just “burrowing” animals), Ground Under Repair, or Temporary Water. If there is water lying on a green after a heavy downpour you may not be able to get complete relief but can instead go to the point of maximum relief again on the green or in the general area.

Note that you must place (not drop) the ball at your nearest point of complete or maximum relief which is not nearer the hole – this is a specific spot and must be on the green or in the general area, so you may end up placing the ball off the green. In unfortunate circumstances it is even possible for this point to be in the rough.

5 thoughts on “1st Hole @BrokenhurstGC – Abnormal Course Condition on the line of my putt

  1. Good video on putting, reminding players to ‘place’ the ball. Many clubs have local rule F-5 in place, which would get relief for your second ball (providing it is within 2 club lengths)


    1. Had a scare reading F-5 in full ! Thankfully, the clarification (12/2018) verifies the original rule so many were used to 🙂


    2. Thanks for bringing up the local rule for immovable obstructions close to the putting green – as you say many clubs will have this in place. This would apply when your ball is in the general area and within 2 club lengths of the immovable obstruction and the immovable obstruction is within 2 club lengths (or indeed on) the green. I didn’t measure, but while the second ball was definitely within 2 club lengths of the green it was further than 2 club lengths away from the drainage point.

      I wonder why this model local rule was limited to immovable obstructions and not all abnormal course conditions – what is the fundamental difference between having a sprinkler head on your line rather than a puddle or animal hole?


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