Home Forums The World Am Bulletin Board Lost Ball In Abnormal Ground Condition

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    This Rule covers free relief that is allowed from interference by animal holes, ground under repair, immovable obstructions or temporary water.

    These are collectively called abnormal course conditions, but each has a separate Definition.

    This Rule covers free relief that is allowed from interference by animal holes, ground under repair, immovable obstructions or temporary water.

    These are collectively called abnormal course conditions, but each has a separate Definition.

    Examples of Abnormal Ground Conditions
    Let’s break down that rule book definition. Abnormal ground conditions are:

    Casual water: Any temporary accumulation of water on the course, for example, puddles of water left after a rain. You must be able to see water either before or after you take your stance to get relief from casual water. Snow or natural ice can be considered casual water. (Casual water does not apply to water hazards.)
    Ground under repair: Exactly what it sounds like. If the course superintendent or maintenance staff are working on a part of the course turf, that area is called “ground under repair” and should be designated as such (white lines on the ground, or staking or roping off the area). Any hole dug by greenskeeping staff or piles of material left for removal are GUR even if not marked as such.
    Burrowing animal holes: Holes made by burrowing animals, reptiles and birds are abnormal ground conditions, as is the dirt thrown out of the holes in their digging.

    And Some Things That Are Not Abnormal Ground Conditions
    Grass clippings left in place after mowing (i.e., not piled for removal).
    Wet ground, spongy ground, mushy ground that does not have any water showing above ground even after you take your stance.
    Dew or frost on the ground.
    Any hole dug by an animal that is not burrowing, unless a local rule covering such a thing is in place. A dog is not a burrowing animal, for example, so if a dog runs onto the course and digs a hole, and then you hit your ball into that hole, it doesn’t qualify as an abnormal ground condition. (But it does qualify as really rotten luck!)
    Holes made by worms and insects also don’t count as AGC.
    Aeration holes on putting greens are not covered by the phrase “holes made by greenkeepers” as mentioned in the definition of ground under repair, and, therefore, are not AGC.

    The governing bodies go over many other scenarios (some you’ve probably never even thought of) in their Decisions on Rule 25-1 (Abnormal Ground Conditions).

    Had to dig a little for this one, Tommy. Although in the circumstance that I brought up earlier I’m pretty sure that you would have been drawing water had you taken your stance. I didn’t go over there since my ball wasn’t anywhere near there. Finding it would require a shovel and 3 minutes if you can’t draw water. Do I agree with the rule? Not totally. Mud covering your shoes should be included. I think I have only had this happen to me once in 20+ years that I have been playing in tournaments. It was pretty bizarre to see it happen to two guys in front of me on a weekend golf round that we happened to be playing behind a group of guys playing in some kind of tournament. And if your statements about your golf game are correct, you would have been right there where these guys were since I don’t think they could hit it anymore than 220 off the tee.

    And no I didn’t write this out myself. Thanks to copy and paste!

    Jim Kavanagh

    There have been a few significant changes to this rule. You copied and pasted from the old decisions book that is now outdated.

    Under the new 2019 Rules of Golf, the player may take relief from any hole dug by an animal. The requirement that it be a burrowing animal had been removed.

    Temporary ( casual) water is a temporary accumulation of water. When the player takes a stance, the water must still be visible at his feet in order to take relief. If the water is absorbed back into the ground after the player takes a stance, then the player is no longer standing in temporary water. The old rule required that the water be visible either before or after taking a stance.

    Mud itself is not considered temporary water. I think that it is too subjective to include it. When is it no longer mud? How wet does the ground have to be to be considered mud? That rule is not likely to be altered. The good news is that the Committee that is running the tournament has the right to declare such an area to be an ACC and put a white line around it.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Jim Kavanagh.

    This has been our worst year for golf in Northeast Ohio. We had about 5″ of rain in a couple day span this last week and I had to put a lot of cable drops up and cut a lot of trees off the lines. Some pretty big trees came down from a micro burst. Our area for golf has been hit hard this year. My home course was flooded and only had 9 holes that you had to walk open for about 2 weeks. My old home course has had water laying across 4 holes in the low area that all you see is brown dead grass and it’s pretty much mud there. I can’t remember when we had this much rain all through the summer up until this point. We should be at our best with dry conditions being the norm right now. Not happening. I played a tournament last weekend that we finally got a few dry days there. Storms missed them thankfully. Manakiki is a Cleveland Metroparks course in Willoughby,OH about 1 hour 15 minutes north of my place. It drains well except for a few holes. great course if your ever near there.

    Most of the courses by my house have lost a ton of revenue due to rain and flooding. With as many courses that are closing down for good it definitely has our concern. It’s not like they are going to get that money back.

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