Relief from hole caused by staked tree

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hlssgc

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Opponents ball lands under an unstaked tree, when ball found it is sitting in a hole under tree which was thought to have been left when stake removed from young tree.
The ball definitely unplayable in hole, also unplayable even if not in hole.
Opponent claimed free relief saying stake caused that hole.
I believe relief should have been taken using unplayable ball.
Any views appreciated.
 

rulie

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The ball definitely unplayable in hole, also unplayable even if not in hole.
If the above statement is true, then there would be no free relief available, even if the hole had been made by a stake.
 
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The ball definitely unplayable in hole, also unplayable even if not in hole.
If the above statement is true, then there would be no free relief available, even if the hole had been made by a stake.
Does not the definition of "ground under repair" include a hole made by the maintenance team . To quote " ...where a stake has been removed ..." Thereby qualifying for free relief? (Assuming the hole is the only reason the ball is unplayable that is). Only asking and happy to stand corrected.
 

rulie

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Does not the definition of "ground under repair" include a hole made by the maintenance team . To quote " ...where a stake has been removed ..." Thereby qualifying for free relief? (Assuming the hole is the only reason the ball is unplayable that is). Only asking and happy to stand corrected.
Re-read the bolded statement, and Rule16.1a(3),
16.1a(3) No Relief When Clearly Unreasonable to Play Ball. There is no relief under Rule 16.1:

  • When playing the ball as it lies would be clearly unreasonable because of something other than an abnormal course condition (such as when a player is standing in temporary water or on an immovable obstruction but would be unable to make a stroke because of where the ball lies in a bush), or
  • When interference exists only because a player chooses a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.
 

salfordlad

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I support Rulie's guidance here. But faced with that OP, I would want to make a quick check whether the stake had simply been misplaced - is it lying around somewhere broken? are there other trees of the same height still staked? If no clear evidence it is a course marking error, tough luck, take the penalty relief.
 
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Ok - I get that. If ball is unplayable because of some reason not connected with the hole then no free relief.

So we really need to know why the OP says the ball would be unplayable? (My assumption - possibly erroneous - was that ball was unplayable solely because of the hole - even if it was not actually in the hole).
 

rulefan

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Ok - I get that. If ball is unplayable because of some reason not connected with the hole then no free relief.

So we really need to know why the OP says the ball would be unplayable? (My assumption - possibly erroneous - was that ball was unplayable solely because of the hole - even if it was not actually in the hole).
Presumably because it was "under the unstaked tree",
 

Colin L

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The OP clearly said that the ball was unplayable even if not in the hole but you've got the important bit clear: no free relief if something else makes a stroke unreasonable.
 
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Point taken.

But Ok, I'll 'fess up. Reason for my pedantry. In my experience most young trees (ie those still small enough such that they had a stake until very recently) would not be hindrance enough to make a ball unplayable. Make a stroke awkward, yes. Make it very awkward, quite possibly. Make it require an inconvenient direction, likely. But unplayable. Nah. Personally, at my place, I cant think of any young trees where, if i took the stake away, it would totally hinder me attempting a shot of some kind. So if my ball was under one, and in the ex-stake hole, I doubt I'd be declaring my ball unplayable. And I think I'd certainly challenge anyone who claimed it was unreasonable to attempt a shot of some kind.

But, obviously I don't know the circumstances of the OP. And, they said it was unplayable, so I have to accept that it was unplayable. Ergo no free relief.
 
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Point taken.

But Ok, I'll 'fess up. Reason for my pedantry. In my experience most young trees (ie those still small enough such that they had a stake until very recently) would not be hindrance enough to make a ball unplayable. Make a stroke awkward, yes. Make it very awkward, quite possibly. Make it require an inconvenient direction, likely. But unplayable. Nah. Personally, at my place, I cant think of any young trees where, if i took the stake away, it would totally hinder me attempting a shot of some kind. So if my ball was under one, and in the ex-stake hole, I doubt I'd be declaring my ball unplayable. And I think I'd certainly challenge anyone who claimed it was unreasonable to attempt a shot of some kind.

But, obviously I don't know the circumstances of the OP. And, they said it was unplayable, so I have to accept that it was unplayable. Ergo no free relief.
If I can demonstrate that I can swing a club and it connects with a staked tree then I can claim free relief. The direction and fullness of the swing I take are irrelevant. Any claims by another player that it is somehow unreasonable for me to claim that relief, either because I can make some swing not so interfered, or that the stance or swing I take to claim relief are nothing to do with the shot I’d prefer to play, as far as I am aware quite ill-founded.

But likewise. I‘d say no stake then no relief…even if every tree in the vicinity is staked. Ball in hole in the ground where a stake clearly was…I’d have struggled but would probably give relief to another player Due AGC.
 
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If I can demonstrate that I can swing a club and it connects with a staked tree then I can claim free relief. The direction and fullness of the swing I take are irrelevant. Any claims by another player that it is somehow unreasonable for me to claim that relief, either because I can make some swing not so interfered, or that the stance or swing I take to claim relief are nothing to do with the shot I’d prefer to play, as far as I am aware quite ill-founded.
I am not sure that is right. If your ball is completely playable in the direction of play with a normal stroke, then you could not try and claim relief by claiming you wished to play the shot in any other way i.e left handed.
It is also not up to other players to rule on this but your own conscious and the organising committee.
 
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If I can demonstrate that I can swing a club and it connects with a staked tree then I can claim free relief. The direction and fullness of the swing I take are irrelevant. Any claims by another player that it is somehow unreasonable for me to claim that relief, either because I can make some swing not so interfered, or that the stance or swing I take to claim relief are nothing to do with the shot I’d prefer to play, as far as I am aware quite ill-founded.
Do not agree with this.

If you had a clear unobstructed swing in the normal direction of play, I would object vociferously if you then chose an abnormal direction of play that then bought you into "conflict" with the staked tree, in order to get a drop. This is exactly the same as taking an abnormal stance that brings the staked tree "into play".

The second bullet point in post #4 makes this very clear.
 

rulefan

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If I can demonstrate that I can swing a club and it connects with a staked tree then I can claim free relief. The direction and fullness of the swing I take are irrelevant. Any claims by another player that it is somehow unreasonable for me to claim that relief, either because I can make some swing not so interfered, or that the stance or swing I take to claim relief are nothing to do with the shot I’d prefer to play, as far as I am aware quite ill-founded.
16.1a(3)/2 – Player May Not Use Clearly Unreasonable Stroke to Get Relief from Condition
A player may not use a clearly unreasonable stroke to get relief from an abnormal course condition. If the player’s stroke is clearly unreasonable given the circumstances, relief under Rule 16.1 is not allowed, and he or she must either play the ball as it lies or take unplayable ball relief.

For example, in the general area, a right-handed player’s ball is in a bad lie. A nearby immovable obstruction would not interfere with the player’s normal right-handed stroke, but would interfere with a left-handed stroke. The player states that he or she is going to make the next stroke left-handed and believes that, since the obstruction would interfere with such a stroke, Rule 16.1b allows relief.

However, since the only reason for the player to use a left-handed stroke is to escape a bad lie by taking relief, use of the left-handed stroke is clearly unreasonable and the player is not allowed to take relief under Rule 16.1b (Rule 16.1a(3)).


The same principles would apply to the use of a clearly unreasonable stance, direction of play or the choice of a club.
 
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I am not sure that is right. If your ball is completely playable in the direction of play with a normal stroke, then you could not try and claim relief by claiming you wished to play the shot in any other way i.e left handed.
It is also not up to other players to rule on this but your own conscious and the organising committee.
But who is to tell me what direction I should be hitting my ball - the only person who can do that is me. There could be many reasons why I might not want to hit the ball in the obvious direction. Is this not simply me using the rules to my advantage…i am not talking about taking an abnormal stance, or making an abnormal swing, or swinging left-handed, or indeed in the terms of the rule quoted above…an unreasonable stroke. I am talking about taking a normal stance and attempting a normal swing…just not in what might be considered by another to be the ‘obvious‘ direction.

In much the same way as I might choose to take stroke and distance from the middle of the fairway if I don’t fancy the shot I have left myself.
 

rulie

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But who is to tell me what direction I should be hitting my ball - the only person who can do that is me. There could be many reasons why I might not want to hit the ball in the obvious direction. Is this not simply me using the rules to my advantage…i am not talking about taking an abnormal stance, or making an abnormal swing, or swinging left-handed, or indeed in the terms of the rule quoted above…an unreasonable stroke. I am talking about taking a normal stance and attempting a normal swing…just not in what might be considered by another to be the ‘obvious‘ direction.

In much the same way as I might choose to take stroke and distance from the middle of the fairway if I don’t fancy the shot I have left myself.
A referee's responsibility is to apply the Rules, including 16.1a(2) and (3). If the referee determines that your stroke, stance or direction of play are unreasonable, there will be no free relief for that stroke.
As a referee, I had such a situation in a professional event last month when a player wanted relief from undergrowth under a spruce tree because his foot was touching an asphalt cart path. I considered that any stroke was unreasonable and denied relief. He then took unplayable relief.
 
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A referee's responsibility is to apply the Rules, including 16.1a(2) and (3). If the referee determines that your stroke, stance or direction of play are unreasonable, there will be no free relief for that stroke.
As a referee, I had such a situation in a professional event last month when a player wanted relief from undergrowth under a spruce tree because his foot was touching an asphalt cart path. I considered that any stroke was unreasonable and denied relief. He then took unplayable relief.
I get that. But if I choose to hit the ball in, what might appear to others to be, a curious direction - who is to say that it is an unreasonable direction. I might simple not fancy what I have to do playing in any of the other direction, or what I might have left if I did so. I should be able to do that without explaining to another player why. But if your decision with the pro was nothing to do with the nature of the stance he was taking, rather it was to do with the fact that he was choosing to take a stance for a shot that you deemed unreasonable then how did you decide that the shot he said he might choose to play was unreasonable.

I might be up against a staked tree with a clear swing to hit the ball in a direction that many if not most might choose - but I might want to play in a direction in which the staked tree impeded my swing. For reasons of my own. I explain to ref/other player why I might wish to do so and I get relief. We are now in a completely new scenario and what I now choose to do is up to me, and nothing to do with what I have just done.

I note that I am only playing devils advocate on this as I am sure I have in the past taken the sort of relief I am thinking of - and I don’t want to get it wrong or to be perceived to be a ‘fly boy’.
 
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