Red penalty areas - relief options.

backwoodsman

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In setting this out, forgive me for 'paraphrasing' which is not necessarily good in a rules thread.

Current (ie post-2019) relief options for a red penalty area are a) where previous shot was made, or b) within 2 club lengths of point of entry, or c) back on a line from point of entry. These were in place prior to 2019, and back then, there was also another option of dropping 'on other side, equidistant from hole'.

Since 2019 this latter option has been removed from the general rules and is not generally allowed - but it is still available in circumstances/locations if specifically set out by local rule. (We have this in place on a couple of holes). Given that the 'back on a line' option for relief might well turn out to be on the far side of a penalty area, at our place, the question has been asked - is there any need for this local rule for 'opposite'- side relief' ?

Off hand, I can't immediately think of a good reason for it to be in place - but can anyone give examples or situations where it would/could be needed over and above the three main options?
 

rulefan

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The 'counter' arguments given by the RBs are all I can think of.

Assessing the relief option for opposite side relief can take considerable time and so eliminating this option should benefit pace of play.

This change will also help avoid any concern that, with the expanded use of red penalty areas, a player might be able to use the opposite side option to drop on the green side of the penalty area, thereby avoiding the challenge of having to play over the penalty area.
 

backwoodsman

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On the face of it, I'm quite content with dropping the local rule where it's in place. And can't think of a reason not to. But just wanting to make sure that doing so wouldn't, (in possible circumstances unknown to me), 'rob' us of a valuable option?
 

salfordlad

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It's a good question for consideration by those responsible for marking a course. Ultimately, it is for the Committee to decide what they consider the golfing challenge of the particular hole to be and to mark the hole in the way they believe helps set the challenge appropriately (having considered all the usual subjects - fairness, safety, pace of play, wear and tear on the course/maintenance issues etc). In my experience, the considerable majority of the time, there is no need to consider providing this opposite side relief option - there is simply no valid case there. However, there are situations on some courses where there is a reasonable case for provision and there can also be situations where the absence of opposite relief can cause rule compliance, fairness and safety issues. As an example of the latter, picture a narrow stream running between parallel holes and low cut grass either side. Large trees are interspersed on both sides of the stream and much of the area that can be hit from the tee on one of the holes is only partially visible to players on that hole. In this situation, tee shots heading toward the stream are either found in or very highly likely lost in the stream (KVC generally can be ascertained) but the player may have no accurate knowledge of the point of last crossing or even which side the point of last crossing occurred. The absence of opposite side relief in that case means there will be many times when player estimates of point of last crossing may be incorrect or if there is accurate knowledge there may be tree interference on that side that is not an issue on the other side. In this scenario, IMO, the interests of assisting player compliance with the rules, fairness/consistency of outcomes and even safety are enhanced by providing opposite side relief.
 

Steven Rules

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the player may have no accurate knowledge of the point of last crossing or even which side the point of last crossing occurred.
This example is aligned with one of the two examples/reasons/scenarios given in Committee Procedures 8B-2. The other example is:

Where a boundary coincides with the edge of a penalty area down the side of a hole such that if a ball last crossed into the penalty area on the boundary side, the player would be likely to have no realistic relief option other than to play again under stroke and distance.
 

rulie

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This example is aligned with one of the two examples/reasons/scenarios given in Committee Procedures 8B-2. The other example is:

Where a boundary coincides with the edge of a penalty area down the side of a hole such that if a ball last crossed into the penalty area on the boundary side, the player would be likely to have no realistic relief option other than to play again under stroke and distance.
Agree, but it is a very rare situation and event! If "either side" local Rule was contemplated, it can be applied to specific holes. Imo, the ruling bodies were correct in moving it to a local Rule and leaving it to the Committee at the course or competition to decide. The 2019 Rules and Official Guide permitted (assigned?) much more responsibility to the local Committees. These Committees need to make many more decisions that prior to 2019, but some seem unwilling to accept that responsibility, wanting "others" to lead and decide.
 

backwoodsman

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Thanks to Steven Rules for mentioning Cttee Procedures 8B-2 - I hadn't been aware of it.

Overall, I'm now thinking that while we have a couple of holes where 'opposite side relief' is available by local rule, it is (in our case) not necessary. In none of our instances can I think of any benefit (as regards safety and/or time saving) in having opposite side relief. And the 8B-2 examples don't fit our situation.

Our H&C committee are consulting the membership on a few 'rules' changes of which this is one. I think I will support their recommendation to do away with this particular local rule.
 

Swango1980

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We have a hole, our 10th, where not having opposite side of relief is a big disadvantage compared to having it.

To the right side of tee box is a dyke, and that runs in front of tee box, and all the way up the left side of the fairway. To the left of the dyke is dense trees and rough. It is a horrible hole for anyone with a slice, as they often hit it left of dyke, it hits trees and enters the dyke penalty area. They never enter the penalty area from the right hand side (fairway side). Therefore, if they were to drop the ball, if must be done within the undergrowth. It is basically impossible to play a shot from there, so their only option is to take stroke and distance, and drive again. They could take back in line relief, but as dyke runs just in front of tee box, they'd just be dropping in on the front of tee box anyway.
 

Colin L

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That took my old brain a bit of time to grasp but I think I've got it. The problem is for the chronic slicer who starts his ball way left with the intention that his "power fade" brings it back to the fairway but who is sometimes thwarted by a tree someone thoughtlessly planted years ago on what would be his line of play? The PA is presumably to the right of the dyke?
 

Swango1980

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That took my old brain a bit of time to grasp but I think I've got it. The problem is for the chronic slicer who starts his ball way left with the intention that his "power fade" brings it back to the fairway but who is sometimes thwarted by a tree someone thoughtlessly planted years ago on what would be his line of play? The PA is presumably to the right of the dyke?
Sorry, the dyke IS the penalty area. Fairway to right of it (as you look from tee box), trees and jungle to the left.
 

CountLippe

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We have a hole, our 10th, where not having opposite side of relief is a big disadvantage compared to having it.

To the right side of tee box is a dyke, and that runs in front of tee box, and all the way up the left side of the fairway. To the left of the dyke is dense trees and rough. It is a horrible hole for anyone with a slice, as they often hit it left of dyke, it hits trees and enters the dyke penalty area. They never enter the penalty area from the right hand side (fairway side). Therefore, if they were to drop the ball, if must be done within the undergrowth. It is basically impossible to play a shot from there, so their only option is to take stroke and distance, and drive again. They could take back in line relief, but as dyke runs just in front of tee box, they'd just be dropping in on the front of tee box anyway.

If the dyke is less than 2 club lengths wide, wouldn't they be able to drop from the other side anyway?
 

Colin L

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Sorry, the dyke IS the penalty area. Fairway to right of it (as you look from tee box), trees and jungle to the left.

A ?moment.

I was taking dyke to refer, as it generally does in Scots, to a stone wall, not a ditch. I've seem some impressive dry stane dykes but none that were 4 to 5 metres wide. ?
 

Swango1980

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A ?moment.

I was taking dyke to refer, as it generally does in Scots, to a stone wall, not a ditch. I've seem some impressive dry stane dykes but none that were 4 to 5 metres wide. ?
Perhaps our terminology is different where we are, or mine.

If it was full of water, I guess I'd call it a river, or stream. But it is pretty dry, and full of weeds, so we refer to it as a dyke. Perhaps a ditch would be more appropriate, but a red staked ditch nonetheless
 

rulefan

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A ?moment.

I was taking dyke to refer, as it generally does in Scots, to a stone wall, not a ditch. I've seem some impressive dry stane dykes but none that were 4 to 5 metres wide. ?
It seems to mean many things to many people.

The first is what I understand - as seen in Holland and the boy who put his finger in a hole in a dyke https://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/why-the-little-dutch-boy-never-put-his-finger-in-the-dike/

1. (Civil Engineering) an embankment constructed to prevent flooding, keep out the sea, etc
2. (Civil Engineering) a ditch or watercourse
3. (Civil Engineering) a bank made of earth excavated for and placed alongside a ditch
4. (Civil Engineering) Scot a wall, esp a dry-stone wall
5. a barrier or obstruction
6. (Civil Engineering) an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course
7. (Civil Engineering) (tr) to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke
 

Colin L

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Perhaps our terminology is different where we are, or mine.

If it was full of water, I guess I'd call it a river, or stream. But it is pretty dry, and full of weeds, so we refer to it as a dyke. Perhaps a ditch would be more appropriate, but a red staked ditch nonetheless

As Rulefan mentions, the word carries several meanings including a ditch. I, typically, took the wrong one.

Now I've got the picture, it does seem to be a good candidate for allowing relief on the opposite side.
 
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