Bridges & Penalty Areas

Artificial objects on the course which cannot be moved without unreasonable effort (such as bridges, roads, and buildings) are "Immovable Obstructions" (a type of "Abnormal Course Condition") unless they have been defined under the local rules as "integral parts of the course". You may take relief under Rule 16 from these Immovable Obstructions if they … Continue reading Bridges & Penalty Areas

Scottie Scheffler: “Pine Straw” at the Masters

I've been asked a few questions about the rulings Scottie Scheffler received during the Masters last weekend. At the 18th on Saturday he took an unplayable lie from deep in a bush after his drive. He then asked for confirmation that he could remove the pine needles that Augusta put under the trees before dropping. … Continue reading Scottie Scheffler: “Pine Straw” at the Masters

Preferred Lies

As we (in the northern hemisphere) move into the colder months and courses can't be maintained in peak summer conditions "Winter Rules" are often brought into play on the 1st of October. Probably the most common of these is a preferred lie rule which should be based on the model local rule E-3. This is … Continue reading Preferred Lies

Put Your Own Markings on Your Ball

Just unpacked my referee's bag after the Hampshire Open last week (Pro's & elite amateurs) and noticed that 3 of the 7 decent balls (there were a couple of others that I wouldn't expect these players to be using in a competition) that I found on the course during the day do not have specific … Continue reading Put Your Own Markings on Your Ball

Ball Embedded in the Face of a Bunker

More common in the winter when the ground is a bit softer. It is possible for a ball to embed (plug) in a steep soil or stacked turf face above a bunker. Depending on how you proceed you may be able to leave yourself a much easier shot than if you took relief without thinking. … Continue reading Ball Embedded in the Face of a Bunker

Embedded Ball

This should be easy - Rule 16.3 allows you to take relief whenever your ball lies in its own pitchmark in the general area. "Embedded" means that part of the ball is below the level of the ground (so not if is just "sitting down" in a grassy lie. The reference point is immediately behind … Continue reading Embedded Ball

The Referee Gets in the Way

A true tale from a recent competition. When refereeing a stroke play (or matchplay) competition you do your best to keep out of the players way and not to interfere unless you are called in or spot a situation where a player may need a bit of help to apply the rules correctly. It doesn't … Continue reading The Referee Gets in the Way

Saving Strokes 5: Consider all your options & keep a clear head

I'm sure you remember Jordan Spieth on the 13th at Birkdale in the 2017 Open. Way off line and in a bush he had possibly just lost his chance of winning. However with David Bonsall, Chair of the R&A Rules Committee as the referee for his match he was in very good hands to be … Continue reading Saving Strokes 5: Consider all your options & keep a clear head

Saving Strokes 4: When you have a choice on which condition to take relief from

This is a bit involved so quite a long video. In summary, if your stance and / or area of intended swing is interfered with by more than one condition from which you could get free relief you may choose which condition you take relief from first. This decision can lead to very different places … Continue reading Saving Strokes 4: When you have a choice on which condition to take relief from

Saving Strokes 3: Abnormal Strokes

Most of the time you may not take up an unusual stance or attempt an abnormal stroke in order to get free relief from, for example, an Abnormal Course Conditions (e.g. temporary water, GUR, an immovable obstruction, or an animal hole) or a Dangerous Animal Condition. However, there are situations where an abnormal stroke is … Continue reading Saving Strokes 3: Abnormal Strokes