Aprons / fringes can get worn and some areas may get marked as GUR before a big competition. This gives us a few learning points:
- For the players – what to do if:
- your ball or your feet are in it, or
- it is on your line of play
- For those setting up the course:
- How best to mark it
This particular situation occurred at the Rose Series earlier this year. The player was on the apron of the green, quite close to the hole, and the normal shot would have been to use a putter – however I couldn’t give her any relief from this situation as while the GUR was on her line of play, it was not interfering with her lie, stance, or area of intended swing (Rule 16.1a). She accepted this graciously and thankfully got up and down for her par.
This will be the same for any “Abnormal Course Condition” (animal hole, temporary water, immovable obstruction, GUR) on your line of play although many courses will have Model Local Rule F-5 in place which does allow line of play relief under certain conditions for immovable obstructions (usually sprinkler heads) close to putting greens (check your local rules)!
The lessons for those preparing a course are to:
- If there is a choice, position the hole well away from such areas to minimise the chance of such an event happening, and
- Enlarge the marked area of GUR so that it reaches back to the longer grass from which a player is unlikely to choose to putt the ball (so this ball would then have been within the GUR and relief could be taken).
If the GUR does interfere with your lie, stance, or area of intended swing then you may (unless it is a No Play Zone in which case you must) take relief as usual – i.e. find your nearest point of relief which is not nearer the hole and in the general area, and then drop within 1 club length of that point (and not nearer the hole than that point). Do remember though that your relief area must also be in the general area so you cannot take relief onto the putting green.