Taking relief from a movable obstruction

rulefan

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I assume - but could be wrong - that rulefan is thinking of:

Loose Impediment/2 - When Loose Impediment Becomes Obstruction
Loose impediments may be transformed into obstructions through the processes of construction or manufacturing.
For example, a log (loose impediment) that has been split and had legs attached has been changed by construction into a bench (obstruction).

It is not clear to me that the mere act of sawing up a log meets the test of 'construction or manufacturing'. Hence my inclusion in #5 of the possibility that the tree offcuts are loose impediments.

But, as many have said on this thread, the best course of action is to get the Committee to clarify the status of these objects.
You are correct and I agree with Colin's later assessment.
 
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rulefan

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This is my view also. Simply cut up wood stays at the LI end of the spectrum. But when it is purposed as a permanent path/road border it has migrated to something artificial and an obstruction, meeting that example in the definition cited in #14 above.

Categorizing mulched wood out on the course, if no local rule explains, is more problematic. You get to an unfamiliar course and find some off fairway area that has some pine mulch around a tree base and things are murky. The individual pieces remain loose impediments but is the collective product an obstruction or just some spread out loose impediments like spread grass clippings? The Committee needs to guide or there is every chance a field of visiting players are going to make varied choices.
Do you think that recognisable woodchip paths should be specifically mentioned/identified? We have a number of such paths and and players simply treat them in the same way as gravel paths. As it happens only one is close to an area that would normally be in play.
 

chrisd

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The Committee needs to guide or there is every chance a field of visiting players are going to make varied choices.

In my experience, that happens on a day by day basis even with our own club members. We have a golf committee where those on it openly tell me that they dont have a scooby doo knowledge of the rules. That's why some times I get asked to give a view on a rule matter and I know that , if stumped, I can get an opinion from you guys (thankfully)
 

Steven Rules

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Do you think that recognisable woodchip paths should be specifically mentioned/identified?
I have seen PGA Hard Cards include the following under the Immovable Obstructions heading:

Roads or paths surfaced with woodchip or mulch. Individual pieces of woodchip are loose impediments.

If it is good enough for the PGA to provide this level of clarity for its tournaments then I see no harm in local clubs doing likewise.
 

rulefan

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I have seen PGA Hard Cards include the following under the Immovable Obstructions heading:

Roads or paths surfaced with woodchip or mulch. Individual pieces of woodchip are loose impediments.

If it is good enough for the PGA to provide this level of clarity for its tournaments then I see no harm in local clubs doing likewise.

Yes, just remembered this is on the England Golf Hard Card
All artificially surfaced roads and paths on the course, including those covered with woodchip or mulch. Individual pieces of woodchip are loose impediments.

I suspect that PGA tour and elite competition courses will encounter gravel paths far more frequently than woodchip. On the other hand many 'ordinary' parkland clubs will have free access to wood chips as part of their woodland maintenance whereas gravel comes at a cost.
 
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salfordlad

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In my experience, that happens on a day by day basis even with our own club members. We have a golf committee where those on it openly tell me that they dont have a scooby doo knowledge of the rules. That's why some times I get asked to give a view on a rule matter and I know that , if stumped, I can get an opinion from you guys (thankfully)
Or, even worse, they DO have Scooby Doo's knowledge of the Rules.
 

jim8flog

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Do you think that recognisable woodchip paths should be specifically mentioned/identified? We have a number of such paths and and players simply treat them in the same way as gravel paths. As it happens only one is close to an area that would normally be in play.

We had one path that was wood chip covered, we checked with the R.& A. and they considered it to be artificially surfaced.

At one time we had wood chips round quite a few of the trees and had a local rule for relief for ball in the mulch but no relief for stance.
 

salfordlad

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Do you think that recognisable woodchip paths should be specifically mentioned/identified? We have a number of such paths and and players simply treat them in the same way as gravel paths. As it happens only one is close to an area that would normally be in play.
I think a constructed path with introduced materials, whether that is wood chip or gravel meets the definition of immovable obstruction, with individual woodchip/gravel as loose impediments. But I would encourage any Committee to post clear information about the status of their roads/paths. Some clubs seem to try very hard to say as little as possible on their local rules boards and I think that does not serve the interests of the majority of players.
 

MiurasFan

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I think a constructed path with introduced materials, whether that is wood chip or gravel meets the definition of immovable obstruction, with individual woodchip/gravel as loose impediments. But I would encourage any Committee to post clear information about the status of their roads/paths. Some clubs seem to try very hard to say as little as possible on their local rules boards and I think that does not serve the interests of the majority of players.
Seems the best option to me! And the comment on the card etc should include 'including any wood border' or equivalent to allow relief from them as well.
 

LizAig

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I’d suggest the Committee needs a local rule with a free drop if the logs interfere with swing or stance - whoever decided to leave the logs there likely hadn’t considered that this would make the hole harder especially for higher handicappers.
 

rulefan

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'If the logs were positioned properly and 'tied' together with the woodchip path as one IO it may stop the usual problem with woodchip (and gravel) of lots of loose chips translocating to the adjacent general area.
 
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rulefan

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We have a fence around a quarry. They used to be part of the course, so no relief, but changed at some point to immovable obstructions. Could the large tree offcuts be part of the course if they haven't been defined as obstructions?
Is the quarry out of bounds?
Are the tree offcuts part of the fence? Are they the posts?
Are the posts joined by wires or a wire fence?
 
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Colin L

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We have a fence around a quarry. They used to be part of the course, so no relief, but changed at some point to immovable obstructions. Could the large tree offcuts be part of the course if they haven't been defined as obstructions?

The fence is an obstruction by the Definition of an obstruction in the Rules; nothing more needs to be said and relief from interference is available unless it is marking a boundary or defined by a local rule as an integral part of the course. Similarly the offcuts used as some form of edging or decoration are obstructions by Definition. In short anything that meets the Definition of an obstruction is an obstruction and that cannot be changed.
https://www.randa.org/rog/definitions#definition-O

WHen you say the fence used to be "part of the course", perhaps it was defined in a local rule as an integral part of the course? That would mean it was an obstruction but that no relief was allowed.
 

salfordlad

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WHen you say the fence used to be "part of the course", perhaps it was defined in a local rule as an integral part of the course? That would mean it was an obstruction but that no relief was allowed.

Pedantry warning: That would mean it was NOT an obstruction but an artificial object from which no relief was allowed. (But I know what you meant.)
 
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