Home Forums The World Am Bulletin Board Lift, clean and place

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    Louie Phipps

    When was the last time you were allowed to “lift, clean and place” in one of your tournament rounds at the World Am..? My recollection is that it was at least 2 or 3 years ago… Last year in particular I had 2 courses that should have allowed it but didn’t. It just seems that we are always playing the ball “down” under conditions that are at best, very marginal.

    Tommy Briggs

    I think every tournament prefers avoiding lift, clean and cheat whenever possible. Most people use it to just go crazy and move the ball onto a tee and play from there.

    Many players pick their ball up, clean it and place it. Under the rules of golf you cannot move an unmarked ball, you must mark it before you lift it. You also must establish an exact reference point to use so you know where you can place the ball.

    If it is that wet, it is easier to use casual water and embedded ball rules and let it go.

    Mike Cheeseman

    I agree Tommy.

    Louie Phipps

    So, both of you agree that it’s OK to play the ball down if 1) You get mud on the ball after every drive, or 2) the fairways haven’t been cut in several days (or rye grass overseed is coming up) and the ball is constantly sitting down to the point that you can’t get clean contact with the back of the ball without having grass between the club face and the ball, or 3) there is a heavy morning dew and the fairways have finally been cut after a week-long rain, leaving grass clippings all over the fairway, you have one of the early tee times and for the next 2 hours, every time you find your drive in the fairway, it is completely covered in grass clippings, or finally 4) there was a pretty strong thunderstorm last night, the course has drained well, but there is quite a bit of debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) through the green. What say you…???

    Tommy Briggs

    Louie I agree there is a need for lift, clean and cheat, MOST players do not abide by the rules when a tournament is played with L,C&P. There are very few occasions where the “normal” rules of golf do not accommodate most “abnormal conditions” you are going to encounter and if it is so bad the equalizer is the entire field is playing the same course you are.
    Your doomsday scenario implies that the course has gone for a week or more with constant rain and zero maintenance. There is a difference between the need for L,C&P and an unplayable course. You are suggesting a doomsday situation that you rarely encounter.
    What golf course is going to open after days and days of heavy rain and no maintenance?
    What tournament is going to try to play after days and days of heavy rain and no maintenance?
    Any decent course if they decide the course is playable, have faced these kind of conditions before and are allowed to identify GUR areas and mark them accordingly.
    Some of the situations you bring up can occur on a perfectly maintained dry course if during the middle of a round encounter a strong rain storm. Once you start a tournament round you cannot implement L,C&P in the middle of a round.
    Are you going to play L,C&P fairways only, or can you tee it up in the rough. (By the way if you play L,C&P through the entire course, you know everyone is teeing it up in the rough)

    1. You don’t get mud on a ball that often, and if you are getting mud on a ball that often you are probably encountering casual water and the “normal” rules allow relief from that situation, (including cleaning). Again if the entire field is playing the same course, the field is playing the same conditions. It is not perfect but I hate playing in the rain, it does not stop the tournament. I don’t think anyone enjoys playing in high winds, but you still keep playing, because the whole field
    2. At the rate grass grows a fairway would have to go days and days without mowing for it to grow to a length you are talking about. If a course cannot mow for days and days it is going to be flooded and unplayable. Again the equalizer is the entire field is playing the same course.
    3. If a course has gone days and days with constant rain and zero maintenance, it is unplayable. Clippings are not a big deal, clippings are on most courses every day. How about if your ball rolls across a green after they have top dressed the green and you ball comes to rest off the green, the sand on your ball is just as bad as mud, maybe worse.
    4. Movable obstructions are covered in the normal rules of golf and have nothing to do with lift clean and cheat.

    I hate playing in the rain, and in Florida we play many tournament rounds in heavy rain. I would rather play in the sunshine and face any situation you brought up rather than play in a downpour. Rain (without lightning) does not stop a tournament. Many things that happen on a golf course don’t seem right, but they happen.

    If players would follow the rules, L,C&P would be more tolerable, but they don’t which is why it is commonly referred to as Lift, Clean and CHEAT.

    Joe Kalil

    Obviously you didn’t have the “pleasure” of playing Lion’s Paw last year.

    Tommy Briggs

    I am not trying to be critical of anyone who feels they have encountered a course where the conditions warranted L,C&P. I agree 100% there is a time and a place for lift, clean and cheat. BUT, there is a reason WHY it is called Lift, Clean and CHEAT. I oppose it because it gives a golfer the option to move a ball from the rough to the fairway, or from behind a tree to the fairway, or from on a root to away from a root, or from a divot to a lush lie, or from the edge of the green to on the green, on and on, and I completely disagree with it for those reasons.
    I honestly think a lot of this conversation is dependent on the golfer, a low handicapper is not going to be as bothered by the things brought up. Personally I would much rather play an entire round of golf with grass clippings or mud on my ball than in a steady rain. I know how to compensate for mud on my ball, I know how to hit a shot sitting down in the rough, a higher handicapper could be stymied by those situations.
    I said before the equalizer to all of these things is; the whole field is playing the same course, regardless of the conditions, if they suck for you, they suck for everyone. You may not like playing with mud on your ball, but neither is anyone else in the field, and any condition you run into repeatedly is going to affect every other golfer in the field.
    I just personally think lift, clean and cheat should be avoided whenever possible for the reasons I listed above.

    Jim Kavanagh

    Just a comment and a couple corrections. The USGA never uses LCP for any of its national championships. I volunteered at the Womens Open in Birmingham a couple years ago and it rained all week until the event. The players were at Topgolf to practice because the course was closed. Water was evident throughout the event in fairways and elsewhere. Mud balls were the order of the week. Any other tournament would have invoked LCP, but the USGA refuses. Same thing in Florida where I am a rules guy for the FSGA. When we hold USGA qualifiers for Open, Amateur, and others, never can use LCP.

    As for corrections, it is not true that one must always mark a ball to be lifted. In fact, the player must mark only if the ball is to be replaced. Exception is the LCP rule. For some unknown reason, the ball must be marked before lifting, even though it may be placed as much as a club length away. Any other situation, such as when taking relief from immovable instructions, the ball does not have to be marked.

    When using LCP, it is rare and not recommended to permit it throughout the golf course for the reasons mentioned about obtaining relief from unpleasant situations. Usually it is reserved for “closely-mown areas” only. As for moving it from fringe to green, this is not permitted. The ball must remain in the same area of the course in which it lies, the general area. The putting green of the hole being played is not part of the general area.

    Tommy Briggs

    Jim since the subject was L,C&P, I said the ball must be marked when it is lifted DURING a L,C&P exception. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.
    Again I realize L,C&P has a place when it is reasonable, reasonable meaning closely mown areas and a scorecard relief. I once played in a tourney where they announced a scorecard relief and a player took a tri-fold scorecard and unfolded it and used the long length to take his relief. Moving a ball from the rough onto the putting collar is common, and again unless it is spelled out I have seen many players move a ball from the rough or the collar onto the green.
    When taking relief from an unplayable lie, the ball must be marked before lifted, this is another common rule players don’t follow. Often a player determines the nearest point of relief is the best lie they can find closest to where their ball is even if it is outside of two club lengths.
    By the way I play in Florida, FSGA events, and I am a course rater with Gary Donat. I am sure you have officiated some events I have played in.

    Jim Kavanagh

    I live near Jax and work mostly in the area from Daytona to Amelia Island. I have worked with Gary at state finals as he is usually the head of communications for those events.

    Actually the player does not have to mark a ball to take relief for an unplayable lie. The rule only states that the ball must be dropped within the relief area. It is a good idea to mark it, and most tournament players do so without thinking, but it is not required.

    It is legal to mov e a ball from rough to fairway and from rough to fringes of greens as that is all considered general area. The green of the hole you are playing, though, as well as tee areas, penalty areas, and bunkers are separate and not considered general area.

    As you know, the FSGA seldom uses LCP as they prefer to mimic the USGA in everything, but sometimes we have to do it. We had a US Open local qualifier last year in which we had to mark some bunkers GUR due to water. And the Temporary water standard has changed also. Previously, the player could claim water if he saw it while setting up. Now he must see it after he finishes taking his stance and it must remain visible. Seems like a petty rule change but I have had several instances of upset players when they couldn’t get out of a poor lie.

    Let me know if you enter anything in my area. Maybe I could join you in a practice round.

    Tommy Briggs

    Jim I was born and raised in Jax Beach, lived in Miami for quite a few years and I have been in Tallahassee for the last three years. I am playing a few of the One-day events in your area, including Monday at Deerwood, and most of the Amelia Island courses. I still attempt to qualify or play in some of the Men’s Championship events, but after my fair share of back surgeries my game does not hold up as well as it once did.

    Unless I misunderstood, if you declare a ball unplayable, and you do not or cannot take back-on-the-line relief, and choose not to replay the shot, I was sure to establish the “reference Point” you have to mark the ball, if you intend to take lateral relief. That was my point, players hit a ball under a bush and just pick it up and measure two club lengths from the edge of the bush, (regardless of the size of the bush), not where the ball lay. In fact I remember several occasions where two clubs would not take you out of a “unplayable” area or would force you to drop into another unplayable lie, and you would have to drop and then re-drop. Am I mistaken?

    Jim Kavanagh

    The reference point for an unplayable ball is the ball. Golf depends on the integrity (and knowledge) of players to establish the proper relief area. Again, with the LCP exception, the only time a ball must be marked is if it must be replaced.

    Here’s another silly rule that could inadvertently cause major problems. The rules also contain an optional local rule, like LCP, that is Lift, Clean, and REPLACE. I have not seen that one used yet, and I will never put it in the events that I do for colleges, etc. My guess is that it was put in the rules to satisfy the R and A guys who remain opposed to LCP in any conditions. They want everything to remain strictly to play the ball as you find it. Try to enforce that with today’s entitled tour pros.

    Good luck with that, especially in events like the World Am where most of the guys never play in any other competition and regard the rules as suggestions. I usually inform my group that I am a certified rules guy so they can ask me any questions. That saves a lot of trouble during the round.

    The relief area for going back on a line is only one club length, not two, another misconception among players.

    Tommy Briggs

    I guess that is another reason why I oppose LC&P, if you just state we are playing by the rules, the rules are clear.
    Local rules, LC&P always bring a certain subjectivity to it, and when you deviate you will always have players who take advantage and insert their interpretation.

    Tommy Briggs

    World Am Q School, day one and it is announced we are playing Lift, Clean & Cheat, through the green, one club length.

    I watched a player hit his ball into a dry river/rock bed, unplayable does not begin to describe the lie. The ball was in a rock bed creek. BUT WAIT, one club length later he is placing his ball on a nice green lush piece of turf.

    I watched another player’s ball suspended a foot off the ground deep in a palm from bush, completely unplayable, BUT WAIT, one club length later, preferred lie sitting up nicely in the first cut of rough.

    Lift, clean and cheat is pure unadulterated BS, complete BS

    adam peterson

    Damn you are a cry baby..why do you continue to play in these events? In these make believe situations you wrote about how do you know they didn’t take unplayable lies?

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