A Course is a Course, of Course of Course
Parts of the Course: Entire Course
OGA Senior Rules Officials: Pete Scholz and Terry McEvilly
Many of the Rules prescribe different procedures depending on the location of the player’s ball. For instance, a player taking relief for interference to his stance from a sprinkler head when his ball lies on the fringe of the green must drop the ball. However, if his ball had been on the putting green he would be placing the ball. Every player should be familiar with the parts of the course and how the location of their ball will effect procedures. A thorough reading of the definitions starting on page 30 of the Rules of Golf book will point you in the right direction.
This month we look at the entire course and for the next few articles we will focus on a different part of the course each month.
Questions: True / False
- When out of bounds is marked by both stakes and a line painted on the ground, the line defines the margin of the course.
- If any part of the ball touches the out of bounds line the ball is out of bounds.
- When out of bounds is marked by only stakes, the stakes are out of bounds and the out of bounds line is formed by the course side edge of the stakes.
- Relief without penalty is always available for interference from ground under repair and immovable obstructions on the course.
- A player may declare his ball unplayable anywhere on the course.
- Out of bounds stakes must be white.
- A provisional ball may be played if the player believes his ball is lost anywhere on the course or out of bounds.
- There are only two types of hazards on the course.
- “Through the green” refers only to areas of the course cut to fairway height or less.
- A sign straddles the out of bounds line. A player has interference to his swing with the part of the sign that is out of bounds. He is entitled to relief without penalty for the immovable obstruction.
- True. The line defines the margin and the stakes serve only to identify the area as out of bounds (definition of Out of Bounds).
- False. For a ball to be out of bounds all of it must be out of bounds. It is important to remember that the line itself is out of bounds so the course side of the line defines the margin (definition of Out of Bounds).
- True. An easy way to remember what edge of the stakes to measure from is that stakes always are in the condition they define. Therefore out of bounds stakes are out of bounds and the course side of the stakes define the line. See the definition section of the Rules of Golf book for a more complete definition of out of bounds.
- False. When the player’s ball is in a water hazard he is not allowed relief without penalty from ground under repair or an obstruction. Additionally, the Committee may declare an obstruction to be an integral part of the course which would nullify free relief for the obstruction.
- False. A player may declare his ball unplayable anywhere on the course with the exception of water hazards. See Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable). If the player’s ball is in a water hazard he may either play it as it lies or proceed under one of the options available under Rule 26 (Water hazards; including lateral water hazards) but he may not declare it unplayable under Rule 28.
- False. The definition of out of bounds suggests that lines and stakes be white but it is only a recommendation. If the Committee chooses to use a different colored stake or line to mark the boundary it should be made clear to the players prior to their rounds.
- False. Rule 27-2 allows a provisional ball to be played for a ball believed to be lost outside of a water hazard or out of bounds. If the player believes the only place his ball could be lost is in a water hazard he is not allowed to play a provisional ball.
- True. Bunkers and water hazards complete the list. Lateral water hazards are included under the heading of water hazards but grass bunkers, as they are sometimes called, are not hazards but simply considered part of the rough (definition of Bunker and Hazards).
- False. “Through the green” refers to the entire course except the teeing ground and the putting green of the hole being played and all hazards on the course (definition of Through the Green).
- False. The out of bounds margin extends vertically upwards and downwards. Therefore, any part of an obstruction that is out of bounds is considered fixed and not an immoveable obstruction. In this situation, the player is not allowed relief without penalty and must play the ball as it lies or declare it unplayable under Rule 28.