The divot analogy was used to describe a scenario where the rules are written in such a way to prevent possible "grey" situations in which a player may take improper advantage of the rule or players may argue over the intent of the rule, In order to curb this behavior the rules don't permit relief. When it comes to OB, the rules is doing the same thing. Anything less than stroke and distance leaves open the "grey" in the rules where intent comes into play
How could the intent of the rule come into play at all? The only "grey" area is determining where the ball crossed OB, which is similar to what is done for hazards. If leaves too much room for interpretation, then why do this for a hazard? If you truly believe that drop would be too much grey area, do you also believe a hazard or unplayable should be stroke and distance?
When the USGA explored this possibile penalty in the early 60's the rule described a situation where the player could drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the original ball crossed the out of bounds line. Reasonable evidence was required both that the ball had gone out of bounds and as to the point of crossing. In the absence of either, stroke and distance was the only option. While it seems rather straightforward, the USGA deemed it anything but and restored the rule back to stroke and distance.
Any idea what wasn't straightforward about "drop where the ball crossed into OB"? It is done all the time for balls hit into a hazard, so I am not sure why it would suddenly become so complex when dealing with OB. Not saying the USGA didn't have a good reason, but short of hearing that reason, I'm not really willing to blindly take their word for it.
Why is it more accurate. In the scenario where out of bounds is dangerously close to the line of the play, isn't in the skill of the player to properly avoid the out of bounds, as it is on both the tee shot and approach into the 17th at St. Andrews?
I ask again: If a fair punishment for hitting it into a bad spot is stroke and distance, why not make that the penalty for a hazard as well? If I hit it into an "unplayable" spot, why should I be rewarded with distance? Could it be because OB is supposed to be far from the normal field of play, but that simply isn't the case anymore?
I'd argue that the developer/architect is placing the green among condos to sell condos, not as a hazard.
The most likely scenario is that the developers realized that if they used the land near the green for condos instead of a sand trap/pond/etc, they could make money off the condos while simultaneously making the hole more difficult. Win/win for them. And honestly, when the only trouble around a green is OB....they knew what they were doing.
An additional tee shot among a group of 4 will take less than a minute to hit. If the player in question is unable to keep their golf ball on the course with the driver then it would be in their best interest to hit a club off of the tee that will put them in play. At the same time, since the handicap system included per hole maximums if a player hits multiple shots out of play they would be better off picking up with their maximum. Pace of play in this situation has nothing to do with how the rules are written but rather the individual.
You are telling me that you honestly believe that anywhere near the majority of golfers will be able to 1.) have a second ball ready, tee it up, get set and hit in less than a minute, 2.) make the smart but conservative decision to stop hitting their driver, and 3.) stop playing a hole and take a max score per handicap rules?
I would love if the USGA would start bringing pace of play concerns into rules decision, at least at the amateur level. Seems fairly important in growing the game. I know it won't happen, but I can dream.