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Water Hazard/Immovable Obstruction

Yesterdays Waste Management

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#1 Sawgrass

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:36 PM

I was watching a tape of the Waste Management Tournament last night.  A player (I can't remember who) hit a tee shot on the 18th (I'm pretty sure it was 18, maybe 17) toward the end of the day that landed left of a body of water, but on the grass that was within the margin of the lateal water hazard.  It just so happend that there was a spectator fence right there (outside the margin of the hazard) that interfered with the player's swing.  The announcer said that he would get free relief from the Immovable Obstruction of the fence since the fence itself was not in the hazard.

I've got two questions about this.  First, I know that if a fence is within the  margin of a hazard that your ball lies in, you get no relief from the fence.  I've never seen the situation where a fence outside the margin of a hazard interfered with a swing at a ball that's in a hazard, but the announcer said that circumstance provided free relief.  I checked 24-2b, but at the end of it  it simply says:

Note 1: If a ball is in a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard), the player may not take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction. The player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 26-1.


Given this, I'm not sure why the player would get free relief.  The note fails to mention any distinction between an I/O that happens to be inside or outside a hazard, so what was the deal with that?

Secondly, the ball had been resting on grass in the hazard.  The announcer noted that the player would have to take his free drop inside the hazard (which makes sense if he was entitled to a free drop at all) but it occurred to me that if the player took a drop inside the hazard no closer, it was very likely that the ball would bounce in the water and closer to the hole.  I'm guessing that the player did this twice, and then got to place on the grass, but the camera wasn't following him as he took his drop.  Did anyone see if he dropped twice as I presume?  Otherwise it would have been miraculous that he ended up relatively safe like that!  (In any case, he hit a great shot to the green despite not having a good stance.)

Comments, explainations anyone?

Edited by Sawgrass, 03 February 2013 - 03:06 PM.


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#2 rogolf

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

View PostSawgrass, on 03 February 2013 - 02:36 PM, said:

I was watching a tape of the Waste Management Tournament last night.  A player (I can't remember who) hit a tee shot on the 18th (I'm pretty sure it was 18, maybe 17) toward the end of the day that landed left of a body of water, but on the grass that was within the margin of the lateal water hazard.  It just so happend that there was a spectator fence right there (outside the margin of the hazard) that interfered with the player's swing.  The announcer said that he would get free relief from the Immovable Obstruction of the fence since the fence itself was not in the hazard.

I've got two questions about this.  First, I know that if a fence is within the  margin of a hazard that your ball lies in, you get no relief from the fence.  I've never seen the situation where a fence outside the margin of a hazard interfered with a swing at a ball that's in a hazard, but the announcer said that circumstance provided free relief.  I checked 24-2b, but at the end of it  it simply says:

Note 1: If a ball is in a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard), the player may not take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction. The player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 26-1.


Given this, I'm not sure why the player would get free relief.  The note fails to mention any distinction between an I/O that happens to be inside or outside a hazard, so what was the deal with that?

Secondly, the ball had been resting on grass in the hazard.  The announcer noted that the player would have to take his free drop inside the hazard (which makes sense if he was entitled to a free drop at all) but it occurred to me that if the player took a drop inside the hazard no closer, it was very likely that the ball would bounce in the water and closer to the hole.  I'm guessing that the player did this twice, and then got to place on the grass, but the camera wasn't following him as he took his drop.  Did anyone see if he dropped twice as I presume?  Otherwise it would have been miraculous that he ended up relatively safe like that!  (In any case, he hit a great shot to the green despite not having a good stance.)

Comments, explainations anyone?

Sawgrass, I watched it also - it was 17.  The fence was classed as a temporary immovable obstruction (TIO) and the ruling falls under the TIO local Rule in Appendix I (page 131).  This local Rule provides relief for interference and intervention by a TIO including for a ball in a water hazard.  In taking relief, if your ball was in a water hazard, you must drop in the water hazard.

#3 rogolf

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

View Postrogolf, on 03 February 2013 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostSawgrass, on 03 February 2013 - 02:36 PM, said:

I was watching a tape of the Waste Management Tournament last night.  A player (I can't remember who) hit a tee shot on the 18th (I'm pretty sure it was 18, maybe 17) toward the end of the day that landed left of a body of water, but on the grass that was within the margin of the lateal water hazard.  It just so happend that there was a spectator fence right there (outside the margin of the hazard) that interfered with the player's swing.  The announcer said that he would get free relief from the Immovable Obstruction of the fence since the fence itself was not in the hazard.

I've got two questions about this.  First, I know that if a fence is within the  margin of a hazard that your ball lies in, you get no relief from the fence.  I've never seen the situation where a fence outside the margin of a hazard interfered with a swing at a ball that's in a hazard, but the announcer said that circumstance provided free relief.  I checked 24-2b, but at the end of it  it simply says:

Note 1: If a ball is in a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard), the player may not take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction. The player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 26-1.


Given this, I'm not sure why the player would get free relief.  The note fails to mention any distinction between an I/O that happens to be inside or outside a hazard, so what was the deal with that?

Secondly, the ball had been resting on grass in the hazard.  The announcer noted that the player would have to take his free drop inside the hazard (which makes sense if he was entitled to a free drop at all) but it occurred to me that if the player took a drop inside the hazard no closer, it was very likely that the ball would bounce in the water and closer to the hole.  I'm guessing that the player did this twice, and then got to place on the grass, but the camera wasn't following him as he took his drop.  Did anyone see if he dropped twice as I presume?  Otherwise it would have been miraculous that he ended up relatively safe like that!  (In any case, he hit a great shot to the green despite not having a good stance.)

Comments, explainations anyone?

Sawgrass, I watched it also - it was 17.  The fence was classed as a temporary immovable obstruction (TIO) and the ruling falls under the TIO local Rule in Appendix I (page 131).  This local Rule provides relief for interference and intervention by a TIO including for a ball in a water hazard.  In taking relief, if your ball was in a water hazard, you must drop in the water hazard.

Regarding the drop, the clever player would drop it very close to the edge so the ball would roll nearer the hole and force a redrop.
There was a referee there (as there is on nearly every TIO situation) so I'm sure everything was done correctly.

#4 Sawgrass

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:17 PM

Ahhh, the old TIO trick!

Thanks, that explains it all.  There's a big difference between an I/O and a TIO!

Once again, the TV announcers failed to explain things adequately, and misinformed thousands of golfers who will go to their graves thinking they know the fine points of this rule.





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