Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Good Afternoon The Missouri Golf Association Missouri Amateur Championship is scheduled for June 17-23 at Blue Hills CC in Kansas City. The qualifying dates and sites are below: The Falls OFallon May 21 Stone Canyon Blue Springs May 21 Jefferson City CC May 24 Twin Oaks Springfield May 27 Dalhousie GC Cape Girardeau May 29 Click here to Enter Online (if you forgot your username and password there is a link to recover your password and username using your email address and it will come to you in seconds) Thank you for your time and we hope to see you all very soon. Enjoy the week!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Often times, the term “nearest point of relief” is bantered about and many times people have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you know what the nearest point of relief is? Let’s find out a little bit more about the “nearest point of relief” and how and what it’s used for in the Rules of Golf. As usual, a good starting point is the definition. The definition states in part that “the nearest point of relief is the reference point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction (Rule 24-2), an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1) or a wrong putting green (Rule 25-3).” That being said, the first thing to notice is that the nearest point of relief is used only in taking relief without penalty; cart paths, sprinkler heads, casual water, etc.. It is not used in relief from a water hazard, an unplayable ball or any other Rule where a penalty is involved. The definition goes on to say that the nearest point of relief is “the point on the course nearest to where the ball lies: (i) that is not nearer the hole, and (ii) where, if the ball were so positioned, no interference by the condition from which relief is sought would exist for the stroke the player would have made from the original position if the condition were not there.” Additionally for clarification, the definition includes a note that is a best practice that says “In order to determine the nearest point of relief accurately, the player should use the club with which he would have made his next stroke if the condition were not there to simulate the address position, direction of play and swing for such a stroke.” That sounds complicated so let’s break it down. First, the nearest point of relief is going to be a point that is closest to where the ball originally lies. There may be many points near to where the ball lies, some good and some bad, but the nearest point of relief is going to be the closest. Remember, it’s the nearest point of relief and not the “nicest point of relief”. Secondly, the nearest point of relief can be no nearer the hole. Finally, it is the spot on the course nearest to where the ball lies that if you had theoretically placed it, you would no longer have interference from that cart path, sprinkler head or casual water using the stroke you would have made in the first place. Interference includes lie of ball, stance, area of intended stance or swing and additionally, only when your ball lies on the putting green, intervention on your line of putt. For example, if you were kneeling on the ground to hit a right handed punch shot with a 4-iron from under a tree but your knee was on a sprinkler head, you would mostly likely be entitled to relief. You would then find the spot on the course nearest to where the ball lie, no nearer the hole, that if the ball were so positioned you would no longer have interference from that sprinkler head for a right handed punch shot with a 4-iron while kneeling on the ground. Generally, there is only one spot which is the nearest point of relief. Also, the nearest point of relief may be some distance away. Don’t get fooled into thinking it is only one or two club-lengths away. If taking relief from a very large puddle of casual water, the nearest point of relief may be 30 or more yards away. Depending on the location of the ball (through the green, on a putting green, in a bunker or on the teeing ground) and the applicable Rule (24-2, 25-1 or 25-3) you would either drop the ball within one club-length of that spot (through the green or in a hazard) or place the ball at that spot (when the ball lies on the putting green). Remember, knowing and following the Rules of Golf can assist you in avoiding unnecessary penalties and help you to enjoy this great game of golf even more.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Why Can't I Use a Different Ball? In taking relief from a cart path, a player wanted to exchange his original golf ball for a different one because this one just didn’t “feel” right. Regrettably, I had to inform him that Rules would not allow him to switch to a different ball when his original was still available when taking relief from a cart path. One of the basic tenets of the game is that you start the hole with a certain ball and you finish the hole with that same ball unless the Rules allow you to substitute a ball. Once you finish that hole, you can change to a different ball to begin another hole. Some Rules, such as the Water Hazard Rule or the Unplayable Ball Rule, allow you to substitute a ball during play of a hole. This is generally done by dropping or placing a ball other than the one you played from the teeing ground of that hole. The reason being is that if your ball is in the middle of a lake or stuck up in a tree, it would be unreasonable to ask you to swim to the middle of the lake or climb the tree to retrieve your original ball. Also, at times when your original ball may not be immediately recoverable, the Rules will allow you to substitute a ball during play of a hole. For instance, in dropping away from a cart path your ball deflects off the edge of the cart path and into a water hazard or under some steps where you cannot easily retrieve it within a few seconds. You would then be allowed to substitute without penalty. Another Rule that allows substitution is Rule 5-3; Ball Unfit for Play. In that Rule, if the ball has become visibly cut, cracked or out of shape during play of a hole, you may substitute another ball. Finally, Ball Lost or Out of Bounds; Provisional Ball (Rule 27) also allows you to substitute another ball when your ball has become lost. That one makes sense for obvious reasons. If you do substitute a ball when the Rules do not allow, you incur the general penalty for the Rule that does not allow the substitution. In the first mentioned incident, you would incur the general penalty for the cart path Rule (Rule 24-2b) and would lose the hole in match play or incur a two stroke penalty in stroke play. Remember, use the definitions, index, or the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help yourself to enjoy the game of golf.