2nd Hole @BrokenhurstGC – Staked Trees

The second at Brokenhurst is a well designed risk and reward Par 5. A drive down the right might allow you to go for the green in two by going over or around the stand on pine trees. Beware however as there is a ditch short and left while thick rough and out of bounds await you if you are long or right.

A little left off the tee might be safer but there is another ditch lurking to catch the unwary and it also makes the lay up trickier as the gap between the fairway bunker and the trees narrows. After a successful lay up you need a very precise pitch shot to set up a birdie as the raised green sheds any inaccurate shots.

Most clubs will have a local rule to protect young trees. This should be based on Model Local Rule E-10. This designates the area where the tree interferes with the players’ stance or swing as a No Play Zone. As its name implies you are not allowed to play from a No Play Zone and will be penalised for breaching the rule if you do. Free relief must be taken in the same area of the course (normally the general area, but if you are in a penalty area then in that penalty area, if in a bunker then in that bunker). The reference point is the nearest point of relief which is not nearer the hole and your relief area is within one club length of, and not nearer the hole than, that reference point.

The tree and its supports effectively become an immovable obstruction and so while you will get free relief if the tree or its supports interfere with your stance or swing, you would not normally get any relief for line of play only. However, Brokenhurst have put in a temporary local rule (probably only for 2020) for this purpose for these trees between the 2nd and 4th holes which requires the player to use the nearest drop zone. These drop zones have also been added as an additional relief option from the ditch.

For members and anyone playing at Brokenhurst this year, here are the temporary additional local rules.

Whenever you play another course it is well worth checking the local rules to confirm how young trees are identified – often, but not necessarily, by stakes. This is a double win as your shot will probably be easier and you won’t get a penalty for playing from the No Play Zone.

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