Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine 28
The Rules Explained Rule 25: Abnormal Ground Conditions
lthough some may believe that a thin area in the middle of the fairway is an Abnormal Ground Condition, the Rules of Golf state otherwise! Rule 25 – Abnormal Ground Conditions consists of 19 different definitions and contains nearly 1,300 words! You will also find Embedded Ball and Wrong Putting Green under this rule. That’s a lot to comprehend!
As we head into Spring the course conditions might not be the best; Thin areas, Snow & Ice, Hole made By Greenkeeper, Material Piled for removal, Aeration holes or Animal Hoof Damage are just some of the conditions you might find on the course coming out of the Winter. We wanted to give you an overview of how the Rules of Golf could assist you if you find your ball in one of these conditions. Below are a few scenarios. Abnormal Ground Conditions (Rule 25) Scenarios: 1 - A player’s T-shot comes to rest in the fairway, it is 6 - A player’s ball comes to rest on the green and in the located on a thinly grassed area. line of the putt is Animal Hoof Damage. a) These areas are not considered Ground Under Repair. a) If no local rules are in place, the ball must be b) Play your ball as it lies played as it lies. b) However, the committee may, by local rule, 2 - A player’s second shot on a par-5 and it bounces declare damage that is clearly identifiable as having and then disappears into a snow drift. been caused by animal hoofs to be ground under repair. a) Snow & Ice - Snow and natural ice, other than frost, If there is a strong possibility that animals may cause are either casual water or loose impediments, at the hoof damage to putting greens, and the extent of the option of the player. damage could make it impracticable to take relief under b) If the player chooses to proceed under casual water, Rule 25-1b(iii). The Committee may make a Local Rule then please refer to Rule 25-1b for relief options. permitting the repair of such damage on the putting green rather than treating such damage to the putting 3 - A player plays his approach shot to a green; the ball green as ground under repair. comes to rest over the green in a trench that has been i) The following Local Rule would be freshly dug. recommended in such circumstances: "Other than on a) Hole Made by Greenkeeper - A “hole made by a the putting green, damage that is clearly identifiable as greenkeeper” is defined as usually ground temporarily having been caused by animal hoofs is ground under dug up in connection with course maintenance, such repair (Rule 25-1 applies). Such damage on the putting as a hole made in removing turf or a tree stump, laying green may be repaired (Rule 25-1 does not apply). pipe lines, etc… b) The player would then proceed under Rule 25-1b. There are a few main points that need to be remembered when it comes to Abnormal Ground 4 - A player plays a tee shot and the ball comes to rest Conditions. next to a pile of wood freshly cut. • There are three types of abnormal ground conditions: a) Material Piled for Removal – This is found under the 1) Casual water definition for Ground Under Repair 2) Ground under repair i) Ground under repair includes material piled for 3) Holes, casts and runways made by a reptiles, birds or removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not burrowing animals. so marked. Grass cuttings and other material left on the • Taking free relief from any abnormal ground condition course that have been abandoned and are not intended is a two-step procedure: to be removed are not ground under repair unless so 1) Identify the nearest point of relief and marked. 2) Drop your ball within one club-length of that point not nearer the hole. 5 - A player’s ball is in the fairway however it has come • You are not entitled to relief from an abnormal ground to rest in an aeration hole. condition if your ball is: a) Aeration Holes – When a course has been aerated, 1) In a water hazard (or lateral water hazard) a Local Rule permitting relief, without penalty, from an 2) Because your interference comes about aeration hole may be warranted. The following Local through an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or Rule is recommended: direction of play. i) "Through the green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be lifted without penalty, cleaned The secondary point in regards is: and dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay • Relief is optional. but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must • Taking free relief from any abnormal ground condition first strike a part of the course through the green. on a putting green is a slightly different two-step ii) On the putting green, a ball that comes to rest procedure: in or on an aeration hole may be placed at the nearest 1) Identify the nearest point of relief spot not nearer the hole that avoids the situation. 2) Place your ball at the nearest point of relief.