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Preferred Lies

Use this section to get an answer to your rules questions.

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Preferred Lies

Postby MikeH » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:51 am

As we down under are coming into our winter we slowly see the introduction of preferred lies and would appreciate your opinion on the following LR.

Specimen LR as per pg. 143 in force with the following specified areas:-
"A ball lying on the fairway of the hole being played....... [no problem] and then....
" must place it on a spot within one club length which must be on the fairway" in other words placing into the rough even if this is within the 1 club length is prohibited.

My reading of the LR is " that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green" and no further restriction.

My question therefore... may a club add this restriction to the LR? is it covered by (specify area e.g. six inches, one club length, etc) or is this an erroneous LR?
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:48 am

The "specify area" relates to where the ball lies, not where you may replace the ball.

"Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within (specify area, e.g., six inches, one club-length, etc.) of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green." only permits the distance to be varied, not the the type of area. ie it must be anywhere TTG.

As Local Rules are Rules the restriction "which must be on the fairway" would be modifying a rule and is not permitted. Rule 33-1

See 24-2b/8 for a precedence.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:25 pm

MikeH wrote:As we down under are coming into our winter we slowly see the introduction of preferred lies and would appreciate your opinion on the following LR.

Specimen LR as per pg. 143 in force with the following specified areas:-
"A ball lying on the fairway of the hole being played....... [no problem] and then....
" must place it on a spot within one club length which must be on the fairway" in other words placing into the rough even if this is within the 1 club length is prohibited.

My reading of the LR is " that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green" and no further restriction.

My question therefore... may a club add this restriction to the LR? is it covered by (specify area e.g. six inches, one club length, etc) or is this an erroneous LR?


The suggested local rule recommends a ball lying on a closely-mown area, it does not state fairway.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby MikeH » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:04 pm

Thanks gents,

Adrian my understanding is the RB accept the first part i.e. " A ball lying on the fairway of the hole being played" due to [or specify a more restricted area] which gives clubs some leeway to restrict to certain holes only or simply the fairways of the holes being played. [however, would appreciate if anybody could verify this]

It's the second restriction I have issue with and consider this modifying a Rule and is not permitted. As Doug states it's only the distance which can be varied not the area.

Doug. I would however, have to disagree with your first line ...The 'specify area' relates to where the ball lies etc. In the LR the first part relates to where the ball lies " A ball lying lying etc [or specify a more restricted area] IMO The 'specify area' relates to where the ball is placed. i.e. within (specify area, e.g. six inches, one club length, etc) of where it originally lay.

Any further input would be appreciated.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby RJM » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:07 pm

Imo, the recommended local Rule only restricts distance from where the ball originally lay - nothing else.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:31 am

Mike

A ball lying on a closely-mown area through the green (or specify a more restricted area, e.g., at the 6th hole) may be lifted without penalty and cleaned.

Sorry, I wasn't too clear. You have misunderstood my post. I was referring to the words in red.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:35 am

RJM wrote:Imo, the recommended local Rule only restricts distance from where the ball originally lay - nothing else.


Are you saying it may be extended to balls lying outside closely mown areas?
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby MikeH » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:00 am

Doug, I have seen 'Preferred lies' TTG - which again I believe the RB approve in extreme circumstances.

I'm also not to sure on RJM's comment and would appreciate some further clarification.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:31 am

Mike

I have been told that the RBs have not approved PL TTG but their stance is becoming more relaxed. eg They have turned a blind eye to a couple of tour events.
The LR "should be used sparingly and only where absolutely necessary".
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Ron » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:58 am

Hi Doug,
Not sure if I am misunderstanding the placement of the ball within a specified distance.

As I understand the recommended LR, the requirement refers only to a specified distance from where the ball originally lay.
Accordingly, while the specified placement area may be presumed to be on a closely mown area, the LR makes no such requirement per se.

Accordingly, IMO, if the ball lies on a closely mown area, but an area NOT closely mown satisfies the specified placing distance, a player is free to place his ball there if he so wishes.

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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:39 pm

Ron wrote:Accordingly, IMO, if the ball lies on a closely mown area, but an area NOT closely mown satisfies the specified placing distance, a player is free to place his ball there if he so wishes.

Ron
That is correct and why the LR in Mike's post is wrong.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Ron » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:22 pm

Thanks Doug.
Agree re Mike's LR.

Contrary to Mike's initial post re "Specimen LR as per pg. 143 in force..." the recommended LR, I respectfully submit, is NOT in force, only a modified version of it.

IMO, It does not conform for two reasons;

(I) Since the recommended LR applies only to "closely mown areas", and includes paths cut to fairway height or less as per the attached note. Unless, of course, there are indeed no such areas on Mike's course. In which it would conform.

(ii) The restriction limiting placing the ball on the fairway. As agreed, NOT a requirement of the recommended LR.

Therefore, to conform, ALL parts of the proposed LR must be in accordance with the recommended LR, which is not the case here. Thus rendering competitions played under the proposed LR non qualifying.

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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby RJM » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:51 pm

Doug wrote:
RJM wrote:Imo, the recommended local Rule only restricts distance from where the ball originally lay - nothing else.


Are you saying it may be extended to balls lying outside closely mown areas?


I didn't phrase my response very well; it was meant to refer to the "specify area, eg. six inches....". That part of the local Rule only restricts the distance, not a part of the course where the ball can be placed, ie, the ball can be placed anywhere within the specified distance, no closer to the hole.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:28 pm

Mike,

My understanding is that the Committee can specify all of the closely mown areas or restrict to certain holes e.g. first nine or second nine, fifth and seventh holes etc. They can also specify the distance within which the ball has to be placed e.g. card length, club length etc. They are not in my opinion allowed to restrict to only fairways, a word I seem to remember is not mentioned in the rule book or if it is, it is only mentioned once. They restriction as to where the ball can be placed applies to the putting green and a hazard but does not apply to the rough.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby MikeH » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:56 pm

This is getting really interesting, as a quick Google of 'Preferred Lies' gives us quite a number of courses limiting preferred lies with 'A ball lying on a closely-mown area of the hole being played etc etc" Some of these courses are in the US and UK, as well numerous NZ courses. So have they all got it wrong??

I consider we are all in agreement with my main concern in the OP .......that a Club cannot modify the LR for "Preferred Lies" to restrict a player from placing into the rough.

However, I would now dearly love to put this 'own fairway' or 'hole being played' issue to bed now. Are we able to obtain opinion from any RBs ?
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:04 pm

MikeH wrote:However, I would now dearly love to put this 'own fairway' or 'hole being played' issue to bed now. Are we able to obtain opinion from any RBs ?



From the R&A.

It has been our position that it is permissible to limit the operation of the Local Rule for preferred lies to certain areas, e.g. specific fairways or the fairway of the hole being played.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby RJM » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:13 am

Doug wrote:Mike

I have been told that the RBs have not approved PL TTG but their stance is becoming more relaxed. eg They have turned a blind eye to a couple of tour events.
The LR "should be used sparingly and only where absolutely necessary".


The RBs are not out policing local Rules implemented by clubs or even tours. However, they will not make a ruling for local Rules which are not authorized by them. I realize that the PGA Tour has played with preferred lies through the green in very exceptional circumstances, but that does not mean it was authorized by the RB.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby MikeH » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:17 am

Doug wrote:
MikeH wrote:However, I would now dearly love to put this 'own fairway' or 'hole being played' issue to bed now. Are we able to obtain opinion from any RBs ?



From the R&A.

It has been our position that it is permissible to limit the operation of the Local Rule for preferred lies to certain areas, e.g. specific fairways or the fairway of the hole being played.



Thanks Doug, I just knew that had to be the case with so many Clubs and Tournaments using it. clap
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Ron » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:13 am

Doug,

Very surprised at the belated quote from the from the R&A. Has it been published elsewhere?

On most courses fairways parallel each other and quite possible for an errant shot to come to rest on an adjoining fairway or "any area of the course including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less" to quote the note attached to the recommended LR.

Your quote from the R&A effectively not only denies a player his right to prefer his lie in those circumstances but in addition totally contradicts the note attached to the LR. I find that very hard to comprehend.

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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:18 pm

Ron

I was given that message over 5 years ago.

The note of course only reminds us of the meaning of the words 'closely mown' and limits the LR to that extent. The LR specifically permits the area to be modified to a more constrained area but not extend the area. The message does not contradict the note but supplements it.

It may be of interest but after I had raised the question with the R&A I found a link to a post from John Paramor in 2004 saying that the PGA Tour allow the condition 'fairway of hole being played'.
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Ron » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:53 pm

Thanks for your prompt response Doug.

We clearly have a difference of interpreting the recommended LR. My examples of inequity prevailing are perfectly valid, IMO, given the very clear wording in the recommended LR in its present form.

I will leave it at that :shock:

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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Doug » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:08 pm

Ron

I'm not sure I understand you problem with a difference in interpretation.
Is your concern with the possible limitation to the player's 'fairway', the extension of the LR to areas other than closely mown or something I have missed?
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Re: Preferred Lies

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:45 pm

Ron,

JP advised the the PGA tour stipulate it must be on the fairway of the hole being played and usually it is one club length. The Europeans allow any closely mown area ( fairway, tee, etc. ) but usually only a card length.
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