September - 2016

What a funny game we play.

So many things happen that are beyond our control, and the things that we can control while playing golf, can be a mystery, as in "Hey, I didn't know you could do that!"

If the hole is damaged, what do I do?

In 2009, I wrote about the Rule that covers a hole that's damaged, and how to proceed.

16-1a/6 Damaged Hole; Procedure for Player

Q. Prior to putting, a player discovers that the hole has been damaged. What is the proper procedure?
A. If the damage is not clearly identifiable as a ball mark, then:

(a) If the damage is such that the proper dimensions of the hole have not been changed materially, the player should continue play without repairing the hole. If he touches the hole in such circumstances, a breach of Rule 16-1a occurs.

(b) If the proper dimensions of the hole have been changed materially, the player should request the Committee to have the hole repaired. If a Committee member is not readily available, the player may repair the damage, without penalty.

If a player repairs a materially damaged hole when a Committee member is readily available, he incurs a penalty for a breach of Rule 16-1a.

If you are unsure that the hole has been damaged materially, wait until everyone finishes putting, and then as a courtesy to all the players behind you, fix the damage.

Another interesting Rule that doesn't come up very often, but I have seen this happen, is the hole liner not being sunk deep enough, or has moved after the grounds crew set up the course for the day.

You probably never think about this, but the hole itself must be set up under uniform conditions from course to course, so as to keep the equity of playing conditions the same for all players.

(Definition of Hole)
The "hole" must be 4 1 4 inches (108 mm) in diameter and at least 4 inches (101.6 mm) deep. If a lining is used, it must be sunk at least 1 inch (25.4 mm) below the putting green surface, unless the nature of the soil makes it impracticable to do so; its outer diameter must not exceed 4 1 4 inches (108 mm).

Under 16/4, a (Revised) Rule covers the possibility of the hole itself not being set up properly, or has become damaged and does not meet the requirements to be playable under the Rules of Golf.

16/4 Hole-Liner Not Sunk Deep Enough
Q. A player discovers that a hole-liner is not sunk at least one inch below the surface as prescribed in the Definition of "Hole." What should he do?

A. The player should request the Committee to adjust the hole-liner. If a member of the Committee is not readily available, the player may, without penalty, push down or otherwise move the hole-liner and repair any damage (e.g., raised turf around the hole) caused by the hole-liner being out of position or being moved. In view of the potential for damage, a player should adjust a hole-liner only as a last resort and should take great care in doing so. (Revised)

Now you know…

      Derek Duesler