Thursday, March 14, 2013

Man Survives Sinkhole Scare on Illinois Course | Golf Channel

Man Survives Sinkhole Scare on Illinois Course | Golf Channel


            Now that we’ve all heard this amazing story, I want to cover a bit of the obvious:  What do we do if we’re playing the round and our ball – rather than ourselves – fall into the sinkhole?  Assuming the same kind of muddy floor and 10-20 foot drop, it is highly likely that the ball would be lost inside that sinkhole.  Fortunately, there’s a Rule for that.
            First, the crazy part is that the sinkhole, in and of itself, does not have a place in the Rule book.  The sinkhole does not meet the definition of abnormal ground condition or the more specific definition of ground under repair as stated in the Rules of Golf.  It is safe to assume, however, that the Committee would deem the sinkhole and the immediate surrounding area to be ground under repair.  Anytime our ball becomes lost in ground under repair, we must turn to Rule 25-1c.
            Rule 25-1c permits the player to take relief from an abnormal ground condition (which includes ground under repair) when it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is lost in the condition.  The player may (this is an important ‘may’) take relief following the procedure outlined in Rule 25-1b, except for one thing – we need to give the ball a place on the golf course.  For the purpose of applying the Rule, the ball is deemed to lie at the spot where it last crossed the outermost limits of the abnormal ground condition.  While proceeding under this Rule it may even be helpful to position a ball or tee at that spot for reference when determining your nearest point of relief.
  •   If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the condition through the green, the player may drop a ball within one club-length of the nearest point of relief. 
  • If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the condition in a bunker, the player may drop a ball within one club-length of the nearest point of relief in the bunker, or under penalty of one stroke, the player may drop outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped. (If complete relief in the bunker is impossible see Rule 25-1b regarding 'maximum available relief'). 
  • If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the condition in a water hazard the player is not entitled to relief without penalty and must proceed under Rule 26-1 (Relief for Ball in Water Hazard). 
  • If the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the condition at a spot on the putting green the player may place a ball on the nearest point of relief.
Now I said the ‘may’ is extremely important because the player does have another option.  The player may, under penalty of stroke and distance, put another ball into play as close as possible at the spot where the previous stroke was made.  So if the relief options aren’t so pleasant, the best option may be to take the one-stroke penalty and play again from the previous spot and avoid that condition as best as your game allows.
            Remember though, it must be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the condition in order to apply Rule 25-1c.  If the ball may be lost outside the condition, and it isn’t find within 5 minutes of beginning to search for it, the ball is lost and you must proceed under stroke and distance.

No comments:

Post a Comment