Nearest the pin marker

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Is there a penalty if your ball hits a 'nearest the pin' marker that is stuck in the green?
Does it make a difference if you're playing a shot from on/off the green.

Played an event yesterday and the NTP marker was so close to the hole it was making the target bigger, or providing a backstop, or getting in the way (depending on the direction of the putt).
 

Colin L

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Is there a penalty if your ball hits a 'nearest the pin' marker that is stuck in the green?
Does it make a difference if you're playing a shot from on/off the green.

Played an event yesterday and the NTP marker was so close to the hole it was making the target bigger, or providing a backstop, or getting in the way (depending on the direction of the putt).
It's a movable obstruction. There is no penalty for hitting it from on or off the green. Play your ball as it lies but if it's in the hole, the job's done.

As it is a movable obstruction you could shift it before playing but obviously for the sake of the competition, you should mark it first and replace it. You don't have to move it. If it's going to help you, it can be left where it is.
 

Imurg

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We use a normal ball marker to mark the position of the NTP marker and then take it out.
Play out and replace..saves any aggro.
Obviously you've got to e close to the green so if you're some distance away then take your medicine...Good or bad
 

Steven Rules

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Is there a penalty if your ball hits a 'nearest the pin' marker that is stuck in the green?
Does it make a difference if you're playing a shot from on/off the green.

Played an event yesterday and the NTP marker was so close to the hole it was making the target bigger, or providing a backstop, or getting in the way (depending on the direction of the putt).
No penalty in either scenario but as it is a movable obstruction Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b is relevant if playing a shot from on the green:

Exception 2 – When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green: The stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2)

There are two exceptions to this exception but they are not relevant to this scenario.

It is a movable obstruction. If it is in the way, you can move it out of the way and then replace it afterwards.
 
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salfordlad

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No penalty in either scenario but as it is a movable obstruction Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b is relevant if playing a shot from on the green:

Exception 2 – When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green: The stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2)

There are two exceptions to this exception but they are not relevant to this scenario.

It is a movable obstruction. If it is in the way, you can move it out of the way and then replace it afterwards.
I support this general response - accidental contact with this movable obstruction means stroke does not count and must be replayed. But there is another interesting special case (other than the 2 exceptions in 11.1b's Exception 2 that Steven refers to) in which a putt from on the green strikes the movable obstruction but the stroke counts and the ball must be played as it lies: - the circumstance is where the movable obstruction is in a position to assist the player, eg as a backstop, and the player deliberately leaves it in place to benefit from contact if the ball strikes the movable obstruction. In this scenario, 11.1b Exception 2 does not apply, ie the player doesn't get to exploit this rule to get another bite at the cherry. This is a public ruling by the USGA on their Facebook rules page.
 

Steven Rules

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This is a public ruling by the USGA on their Facebook rules page.
Ok. Thanks. I hope all these public and private rulings make it into the next edition of the Rules of Golf. It baffles me why they are not issued as clarifications and leaves me wondering what are the criteria for determining what gets to be issued as a clarification. (I am not on Facebook and nor am I under the jurisdiction of the USGA so I am obviously missing out on a lot of key rulings.)
 

rulie

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An object can have more than one status under the Rules.
What is the purpose of the NTP marker, ie, why is it there at all? Is it marking the position of a ball? Who put it there?
 
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salfordlad

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Ok. Thanks. I hope all these public and private rulings make it into the next edition of the Rules of Golf. It baffles me why they are not issued as clarifications and leaves me wondering what are the criteria for determining what gets to be issued as a clarification. (I am not on Facebook and nor am I under the jurisdiction of the USGA so I am obviously missing out on a lot of key rulings.)
It is not at all common that USGA responses to questions on that site break new ground, but it does occur on occasion. The specific one I'm referring to above is:

Question:
Interpretation 11.2a/1 allows a player to leave a rake, without penalty, left by a preceding group that might stop his downhill putt. What if a putter (or the rake) had been left on the green. Can the player leave it below the hole to potentially stop his putt if he misses? If he accidentally hits it (by missing putt) does the stroke count? I'm confused by, what seems to me, to be conflicting language in 11.1 vs 11.2a/1.

USGA RESPONSE

If the player knew his ball may hit the rake or putter that had been left behind by a preceding group, exception 2 to Rule 11.1b does not apply and because the object was not deliberately put in place by the player, Rule 11.2 does not apply. The ball must be played as it lies, because the player played the course as he found it.

The USGA subsequently added:

In your post above, the player is intentionally leaving the rake on the putting green because it might stop the ball. This is no longer an accident and why Exc 2 to 11.1b cannot apply. Since the player is not the one who left the rake/club there, 11.2 doesn't apply either. This is different from a player seeing the rake/club left behind thinking they're not likely in play, putting and then accidentally hitting one of them.
 

Steven Rules

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An object can have more than one status under the Rules.
What is the purpose of the NTP marker, ie, why is it there at all? Is it marking the position of a ball?
It is not (or at least it does not meet the definition of) a ball-marker in that it is not used to mark the position of a ball to be lifted.

Each club will have it's own way of doing things but, from the original post, in this case I am assuming some sort of metal spike stuck into the green, possibly with some sort of paper or note pad affixed to the top.
 

rulefan

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An object can have more than one status under the Rules.
What is the purpose of the NTP marker, ie, why is it there at all? Is it marking the position of a ball? Who put it there?
Marking the finishing position of the last drive from the tee that was at that time the nearest to the hole.
 

rulie

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Ok. Thanks. I hope all these public and private rulings make it into the next edition of the Rules of Golf. It baffles me why they are not issued as clarifications and leaves me wondering what are the criteria for determining what gets to be issued as a clarification. (I am not on Facebook and nor am I under the jurisdiction of the USGA so I am obviously missing out on a lot of key rulings.)
There are numerous rulings made by both ruling bodies during the time the current Rule book is in effect. There is also collaboration between the two ruling bodies on the answers to questions so that the same answer is given by both. I also suspect that there is a database of questions and answers that they can refer to. What actually gets into to Rule book or issued as Clarifications is decided by the Joint Rules Committee (JRC).
 

rulie

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It is not (or at least it does not meet the definition of) a ball-marker in that it is not used to mark the position of a ball to be lifted.

Each club will have it's own way of doing things but, from the original post, in this case I am assuming some sort of metal spike stuck into the green, possibly with some sort of paper or note pad affixed to the top.
Our club puts that object beside the green and provides a tape measure and pencil so the the player can measure the distance from the hole and record his name and the distance. The metal sign is never put on the green itself, and moving it is not an issue.
 

Colin L

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No penalty in either scenario but as it is a movable obstruction Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b is relevant if playing a shot from on the green:

Exception 2 – When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green: The stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2)

There are two exceptions to this exception but they are not relevant to this scenario.

It is a movable obstruction. If it is in the way, you can move it out of the way and then replace it afterwards.
Why do I forget about Exception 2 when answering forum questions when I don’t forget it on the course, I wonder?
Just as well it’s that way round. Called in on Sunday by a player whose putt had hit a ladybird.
 

Steven Rules

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Our club puts that object beside the green and provides a tape measure and pencil so the the player can measure the distance from the hole and record his name and the distance. The metal sign is never put on the green itself, and moving it is not an issue.
That is how we do it too. But obviously not how it is done at the clubs of LincolnShep or Imurg.
 

Steven Rules

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- the circumstance is where the movable obstruction is in a position to assist the player, eg as a backstop, and the player deliberately leaves it in place to benefit from contact if the ball strikes the movable obstruction.
This has got me wondering. Are you aware of any equivalent ruling preventing leaving a fallen tree branch (or similar loose impediment) in place behind the hole to serve as a backstop? Not something placed there deliberately by any player of course but, rather, just recently fallen from a tree or blown there by the wind. (i.e. are you aware of any rulings that change the intent of Interpretation 8.1d(1)/2?)
 

salfordlad

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This has got me wondering. Are you aware of any equivalent ruling preventing leaving a fallen tree branch (or similar loose impediment) in place behind the hole to serve as a backstop? Not something placed there deliberately by any player of course but, rather, just recently fallen from a tree or blown there by the wind. (i.e. are you aware of any rulings that change the intent of Interpretation 8.1d(1)/2?)
No. But, IMO, you have to get a little concerned when an Interpretation begins with "Generally speaking, a player is entitled..." and then doesn't provide any examples of when there is no entitlement. That Interpretation is also problematic in referring to loose impediments or movable obstructions in the context of the CATS when they are not part of the CATS at all. The only valid element of the Interpretation is it's intent to preserve the old equity principle of a player being entitled to the conditions that the stroke gave you.
I'll be interested to see what part of this Interpretation survives the 2023 revision process.
 
Thread starter #18
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It is not (or at least it does not meet the definition of) a ball-marker in that it is not used to mark the position of a ball to be lifted.

Each club will have it's own way of doing things but, from the original post, in this case I am assuming some sort of metal spike stuck into the green, possibly with some sort of paper or note pad affixed to the top.
That's exactly what it is: a spike supporting a metal plate, with a notepad mounted to the plate.
 
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