11th @Brokenhurst – Out of Bounds

The 11th is a fairly straightforward Par 4 – just over 400 yards from the white tees and 363 from the red markers. It often plays a bit shorter than its length as the prevailing south-westerly wind is helping and it also runs slightly downhill. Bunkers on the left to avoid off the tee, trees on the right with out of bounds beyond onto the practice fairway. The bunker on the left of the green is very deep so best avoided.

Precisely where is the line defining Out of Bounds and precisely when does a ball become Out of Bounds?

Out of Bounds is normally defined by either:

  • A set of white posts, or
  • A white line painted on the ground, or
  • A physical feature, such as a wall, fence, or ditch

Where posts or a fence is used, the boundary is defined as the straight “line between the course side points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level (excluding angled supports)”. This means that the stakes and fence posts are, by definition, out of bounds.

When a painted line is used the boundary is “the course-side edge of the line”, so the line itself is out of bounds.

If other physical features are used then pay attention to the precise wording which should be in the local rules. For example, if your ball lies in a ditch at the edge of the course check if the definition is “beyond the ditch” or “in or over the ditch” – it makes a big difference!

For a ball to be out of bounds, the whole ball must come to rest beyond the defined boundary. Or looking at it the other way, if there is any part of the ball which is in bounds, then the whole ball is in bounds. Also, it is only when the ball has come to rest – so it doesn’t matter if it flies over and/or lands in the out of bounds area and then comes back on to the course. (However if it does come to rest out of bounds and is thrown back to you by a friendly passer by then it is still out of bounds).

Also, the posts, fences, walls etc which are used to define an out of bounds are “Boundary Objects”. As such they are defined as “Immovable Obstructions” and you may not move them even if they are easily moveable.

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