Thursday, April 25, 2013

New on FarbTalk, and Practice Between Holes

   For the avid readers I want to give a quick update as to the happenings on FarbTalk.  I have added updated videos where possible to aid in visualizing past Rules situations.  Feel free to go back and review old articles, or Comment with links to videos that are still missing.

   Found a great article explaining the Tiger ruling from former USGA Director of Rules John Morrissett.  It's on the Erin Hills Facebook page and you can get the link from the Top 10 Tiger Rulings article below.  His is the only other article besides FarbTalk that mentions Committee Error and Decision 34-3/1, and I have to admit it was worded far better.

   For those trying to dig into the Rules and grasp more and more of the intricate concepts, please visit the new Exceptions and Notes page linked on the right hand side.  It will take you through all the Exceptions and Notes in the Rules and explain their significance.

Discussion of the day:  Practice Putting Between Holes

   The discussion came up amongst a few officials this morning, and I think it is important to go over the significance of Note 2 to Rule 7-2.  The Note permits the Committee to prohibit practice putting or rolling a ball on the putting green of the hole last played.  In NCGA events and USGA events the Committee has NOT put this local Rule into effect.  On the PGA Tour, however, the local Rule IS in effect and is on the hard card for all events. 
   I get the question frequently, however, about practicing on the practice putting green between the 9th hole and 10th tee when there is a backup at the turn. The answer is yes, practice putting or chipping on or near any practice putting green between holes during a round is permitted.  Anytime, any event.  The Committee is not allowed to prohibit practice putting or chipping on or near any practice putting green or the teeing ground of the next hole (hence the game "poison" enjoyed by many juniors).
   There is an unwritten understanding on the Tour, however, that in general players will not practice putting between holes on a practice putting green either.  Do not mistake this for the Rule, or for a local Rule put in effect.  The PGA Tour hard card is in accordance with USGA Rules and only prohibits practice putting on the putting green of the hole last played. 
   This has also arisen during collegiate events that I have run, because the Local Rule is on the NCAA/GCAA hard card as well.  Much to some coaches' and players' surprise I permit players to practice on a practice putting green while waiting at the turn.  I've been confronted with, "the hard card prohibits this! They can't practice putting between holes!"  And I always respond, "On the putting green of the hole last played.  Practice putting on any practice putting green is always permitted between holes so long as it does not unduly delay play."

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