Saturday, March 2, 2013

Abnormal Ground?

            Wondering what the heck just happened on the 11th hole with Luke Guthrie?  “Abnormal ground,” the announcers stated questioningly.  Guthrie’s ball came to rest in an extremely unusual lie and he called an official over.  The official determined that he did have interference from an abnormal ground condition, meaning it was one of three things: ground under repair, a burrowing animal hole or casual water.  Guthrie was given relief, and was permitted to drop his ball within one club-length of the nearest point of relief (See Rule 25-1).
            I’m not exactly sure what the condition was, but from the description I believe it may have been a burrowing animal hole.  It is also possible that the official determined that specific area needed to be ground under repair.  Decision 33-2a/2 permits an official to declare an area as ground under repair during a round in stroke play or match play.  If that was the case, the area should be marked accordingly for future players.
            As Johnny Miller noted, it was a good call to summon the official and many players would have just played hard.  For us average folk that don’t normally play with Rules officials nearby, you can always play two balls under Rule 3-3 and get a ruling from your pro or official at the end of the round.

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