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    Tommy Briggs

    By the way Jeffrey to be clear I am saying a player or group of players do not have the right to designate an unmown area as abnormal ground conditions, whether they think it should be or not, whether it should have been marked or not. Only the rules, a rules official or the course can designate those areas.

    A player could ask for a rules official and request the area in question be ruled abnormal ground conditions.

    A player could play a second ball and request a ruling at the end of the round.

    However a player or group of players simple cannot arbitrarily designate GUR or abnormal course conditions.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Tommy Briggs.

    Why would you have to ask for a rules official if you already know the course and know that it can’t handle the 24″ of rain we have had the last month? I already know that this part of the course would be mowed to rough height on a normal golf day as it is right before the fairway. And I’ve played this course for 20+ years. They don’t normally have a swampy area right there when I play it during a dry year. Hmmmmmm? We have a course here that got a lake of water in the middle of the fairway after a hard rain and it was over a foot deep. I guess Tommy would also have that a lost ball if you didn’t go in and find it even after seeing the splash and seeing a ball 20 feet away in the puddle. You have to be All Time Rules Nazi! Congrats! I’m sure there will be plenty of players happy to play with you hovering over their every move. For those in my flight, I’d give them the 95% if we all seen and agree. If it’s toward an out of bounds or way into the trees, well, that’s a stretch.

    Tommy Briggs

    Why would you ask for a rules official, “BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE UP THE RULES AS YOU GO”

    Jeffrey first you insult me because you said I did not know the rules
    Then you insult me because I know too much about the rules
    Then you call me names, you will excuse me if I question your maturity
    A player cannot designate an area as GUR or AGC when the course or the committee has chosen not to

    RULE #1 Play the course as you find it and play your ball as it lies

    Don’t be disingenuous we are discussing one basic issue. You claim a unmown area that is rough can be designated BY YOU as AGC even though the rules do not allow for it or the course has chosen not to. So it is obvious the rules only apply as long as they do not inconvenience you. It does not matter if the area should be designated as GUR or AGC, it does not matter if the course meant to do it, YOU do not have the right to. The course has to do it, you simply cannot.

    If your Sunday group wants to accept the things you are talking about it as exceptions to the rules that is one thing. We are in a tournament forum, discussing tournament rules with tournament players and the rules used in tournament play. And any way you slice it, a player does not have the right to designate an area as GUR or AGC because they think it should be.

    Have a nice life


    Play the course and the ball as it lies? Your an idiot. When the courses are flooded you want to play it like it lies. You’ve got to be the dumbest golfer on the planet. Even the pros don’t play it as it lies when they get wet conditions on the course.

    This my friends is exactly why you get together as a foursome to come up with an accurate rendering of the ruling, which cover this kind of circumstance, and don’t let Tommy be the Nazi in the group. He’s way off base and totally wrong and nobody should ever be penalized for hitting the ball into the flooded part of a hole especially when everyone knows about where it is. Guys like Tommy enjoy seeing guys have to go back to the tee box to hit again. I’m sure Tommy would watch the ball plunge into the muck and then make you go back again when you don’t find it within 3 minutes. Good luck to those who have to play with Tommy. We had a guy like you at the last tournament I played. The guy was over trying to give his playing partner bad rules decisions. When they got back to the clubhouse the pro sided with the player not the rules Nazi. Better yet is the player placed in the flight and the Nazi ended up behind him out of the money. That’s Awesome!


    BTW Tommy, no course will ever go out and mark all the bad spots on course for GUR. Not in this tournament or any other. They just don’t have that kind of time or that much paint. That’s why we have to use a sound mind when something like this happens. And yes, it does happen. It happened to me once at the WA. Thankfully the guys I played with were all pretty cool and they came up with the same rendering of the rule as I did. You shouldn’t be penalized for hitting a ball in the middle of the fairway and not finding it because it plugs too deep. We shouldn’t even be playing a course when it becomes unplayable. And yet we all have if we played in the World Am over the past 15 years.

    Tommy Briggs


    You said:
    The course was unable to mow the rough, THE ROUGH, the course did not mark the area as GUR/AGC, the course did not make any announcement that the area was GUR/AGC. You then said you believe you have the right to declare it as GUR / AGC and take free relief. In tournament play you know a player is not allowed to take such liberties.

    “Play the course as you find it” means: the COURSE designates what is out of bounds, the COURSE designates and marks penalty areas, the COURSE identifies GUR or AGC and you play the course as you find it. If the course does not designate it, you play the course according to the rules whether you agree with THEIR decision or not.

    If you or one of your friends hit a ball into the rough, do you discuss it and take free relief because your group decides the fairway is too narrow?
    If one of your friends hit the ball into a penalty area, do you discuss it and take free relief because your group decides the course cut the grass to short which encouraged the ball to roll into the penalty area.
    If you or one of your friends hits a ball into a sand trap, do you discuss it and take free relief because your group decides there is too much sand in the bunker?

    Lets make this real simple show me (us) a rule or a decision that says, during tournament play a player has the right to declare an area as GUR/AGC, even though it does not meet the standard the USGA has established in its rules, even though the course has not identified it or marked it as such, even though the committee has not identified it or marked it as such, or stop with the immature name calling. You know you are wrong, name calling does not make you right.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Tommy Briggs.
    Tommy Briggs

    Jeffrey we are talking about one single statement you made, one single example you provided. I agree common sense prevails in circumstances you encounter during tournament play. We are talking about the one single statement you made about the rough not being mown and you declaring it as GUR/AGC. In tournament play you cannot claim the rough is too thick and take free relief, period. I agree in the example you used rain caused the inability to mow the rough, but in many tournaments the course allows the rough to grow on purpose to make the course more challenging. Even if our whole group decides it is unfair and should have been marked, if it does not meet the criteria, we have to play it. You always have the right to play a second ball and ask for a ruling after the round. If the course made a mistake how do other groups play the course. All golfers must play the same course, if any single player declares GUR/AGC, OOB, Penalty areas it affects the course everyone else is playing.

    I am not a rules Nazi, (Which by the way I am sure our Jewish friends would not appreciate the reference) I am talking about the single statement you made that you have the right to declare an unmown area as GUR/AGC even though the course did NOT.

    The rules establish what is GUR/AGC, any areas that meet the rules do not require marking, the group in those cases can declare an area as such, whether it is marked or not, provided it meets the criteria.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Tommy Briggs.

    Funny, Tommy, I don’t see anywhere in the ruling that you can’t as a player following the rules can’t declare an obvious area of the course where they didn’t mow because they have the common sense not to bury their lawn mower in the OBVIOUS too wet condition. The rules of golf are common sense. Obviously not high on your list. There is a big difference between a LOST BALL and a ball lost in an abnormal condition. Not a water hazard or grass plant. An Abnormal Condition.

    And I really don’t think we need to bring the Jews into the Rules Nazi issue. My grandpa killed many a Nazi during WWII. He came in on the 2nd wave of Normandy thankfully. My dad asked him one time if he ever killed anybody over there. He said, “I killed a lot of people.” And that’s all he said about that. He was a machine gunner on a half track. And from what I heard they didn’t have a very long combat mortality rate in those things. But he made it back.

    Rick Kimbrell

    Ok, ok guys…lay off us Jews. 🙂

    Tommy Briggs

    Jeffrey lets end this once and for all. You might actually be a nice guy and the name calling and all that was a result of you having a bad day. Are you a betting man? Pick an amount, $100, $500, $1,000 dollars. I’ll meet you at the 19th hole and we will find a rules official and each of us hand him the money. We will ask him the question and winner takes all.

    By the way before you jump in, I spoke to a USGA rules official, and he brought up these points for you to consider before you make a wager.

    The USGA does not define the length of rough, so the rough cannot by definition be too long, regardless of how it came to be “too long”. (The mower could have been broken, the area could have been to wet to mow, how does the tournament field know?)

    How do players who have never seen a course until they play it in a tournament know an area is normally mown? (You are applying local knowledge which is not available to everyone playing in a tourney)

    How do I know they could not mow the area, but would have if they were able to?

    How does a course when they create local rules / deviations to be used in the tournament completely ignore an area you claim is so blatantly in violation of the rules? (It is easy to add a local rule, and inform the committee, “Due to inclimate weather some areas of the course ……)
    How does the tournament / committee when they create rules sheets completely ignore an area you claim is so blatantly in violation of the rules? (It is easy to add to the rules sheet, “Due to inclimate weather some areas of the course ……)

    I really think you are confusing how the local members should / would play the course versus how a tournament should play the course. YOU KNOW the course, YOU KNOW the area and what it SHOULD look like and how it SHOULD be maintained. Maybe it SHOULD have been marked, maybe the course SHOULD have made a local rule, maybe the committee should have identified it when they walked the course. However in a tournament unless the course announces either verbally or in a rules sheet a local rule / deviation to the USGA Rules of Golf, the Rules of Golf apply.

    And here is the kicker no one can argue and deflates your argument. Once everyone tees off you cannot retroactively amend a rule that affects a hole that has been played by any portion of the field, no matter how egregious the condition.

    The length of the rough is not addressed in the rules of golf. The length of the rough is not a condition that allows a course / committee to designate it as AGC. The length of the rough does not fall under Ground Under Repair which is the closest argument you have to claiming it is AGC.

    Again I know I am being redundant but you continue to refer to the long thick rough as an obvious AGC area, how is it obvious to me or to the field if we have never played the course?
    Like I said show me a rule that says if the rough is too long or too thick a player can declare it as GUR.

    Meet me at the 19th hole and I’ll buy you a drink and we can ask a rules official for fun, but if you still think you are right, we can place a wager. And by the way I almost always advise a player if they have broken a rule. I rarely charge a player with a penalty, unless they repeat the same infraction after being informed. And I always encourage a player to play two balls if they think I am wrong and let the committee decide after the round what was the correct play.

    Have a great day, see you in August

    Bob Newman

    I really do not understand how this went from being about “Known or Virtually Certain” to this. But in a nutshell, the Player must play the course as you find it and the Ball as it lies. It is the Committees responsibility to “mark the Course and define the rules of competition. A course can not arbitrarily make a local rule that the USGA has not approved. The players cannot decide that an area should have been marked and proceed that way. The only thing a player can do is announce he is playing 2 balls under 20.1c(3)— while you are reading that Rule also read 20.1c(1) NO RIGHT TO DECIDE RULES ISSUES BY AGREEMENT. You can call in a Rover Official (which we do not have in WA) or call for a Committee member, and also can not Unduly delay.. There is also a .procedure to follow in playing under 20.1c(3) and failure to report to committee is DQ.
    Do not bet on this Jeffery, you will NOT Win.

    john wolf

    I still say just hit it where you can see it…..hahaha


    Talked with a friend of mine who played on the Malone College Championship Golf team and who’s coach is also a rules official. If the committee has deemed the “plugged ball rule” to be played “through the green ” which we always seem to have during the World Am and you have an instance like this my friend said they played it as all in agreement that you do indeed get a free drop. If every player in your foursome agrees it’s deep in the ground and there s no way your going to find it without the use of a shovel or backhoe you get your relief. Why else would they put this RULE in the book? And for your info Tommy, it doesn’t matter if it happens in the rough or the fairway. There’s parts of our fairways right now that they can’t mow. My home course right now has been turned in a 9 hole course. 1-6 then you play 11, 18 and then 9. e other holes are under water. My wife drove by one of the courses I play and all she could see is the top of the flag stick. Under water! The course I played yesterday was lucky enough to only have 1 hole that had any problem. a 400 yard par 4 down hill that the water started from the 150 yard mark to within 20 feet in front of the green. So a lay up puts you on a significant downhill lie. The smart play is just hit it in the water to take your free drop closest to the 150 marker. A little flatter. My nephew took a 10 on the hole. You had to drive around the woods to get to the 13th tee box to get to the green on 12. And no, there wasn’t ever a lake on this hole. So Bob, play it as you find it doesn’t always apply. Not here in Ohio this year yet. Our courses are taking a beating this year. Playing golf, whether here or during the WA, you get torrential down pours and they have CPO in place you will have the potential for this to happen. And the answer is still NO Tommy. You aren’t going to find many if any courses in the WA interested in marking up all the bad spots for the WA which they could really care less that we are playing in. You as a player are going to have to make common sense decisions as you would all see them hopefully and keep the game moving. They have made the rules changes in the book to express common sense. Act accordingly.

    Bob Newman

    Jeffery, I typed out a detailed response and then hit an incorrect button and it was gone. I am not going into detail again but will simple say. Your friend is wrong. What can be done in tournament golf and casual golf is entirely different. I would love to catch up with you at the 19th hole to discuss this and maybe even get Lew, the head of Rules at WA (at least he use to be), or submit this to USGA and see their response.

    Tommy Briggs

    Jeffrey your arguments are all over the place and now you are bringing a whole new argument to the table. I said you were wrong when you said, “A player hits his ball into the rough which has grown excessively long because the course was unable to mow it”. The course did not declare the area as Abnormal Course Condition / Ground Under Repair. You said because you know the rough is normally shorter you could arbitrarily declare the area as ACC / GUR and take free relief. I said you could not. That is the argument we have been debating. Nothing else is being debated.

    You said, “the ball was lost in the unmown thick rough and you declared the area as ACC becasue the rough was longer than normal. (rule 16.1) Now you argue “the ball is embedded (plugged) in the thick rough and rule 16.3a applies”. However, in order to invoke rule 16.3a your ball must NOT be embedded in an area that is not cut to fairway height or less, UNLESS the course / committee declare a local rule in play, which you originally said the course / committee did not mention anything about this area. I said the course / committee can designate an area (areas) and invoke a local rule YOU CANNOT.

    Rule 7.3 If a ball might be yours but you cannot identify it as it lies, you may lift the ball to identify it. But the spot of the ball must first be marked, and the ball must not be cleaned more than needed to identify it. YOU HAVE TO IDENTIFY YOUR BALL IN ORDER TO TAKE RELEIF.
    I said the course/committee can designate an area (areas) as ACC/GUR and invoke a local rule YOU CANNOT.

    Playing in Florida it is common to hit balls into palm trees and the ball gets lodged and stays in the tree. If you can identify the ball is yours, you can drop and play it as an unplayable lie. IF YOU CANNOT ABSOLUTELY IDENTIFY THE BALL IS YOURS, it is lost, even if you can see a ball that you believe is yours. You can always try to climb the tree to retrieve it. Even if everyone says they saw it hit the tree and everyone agrees the ball has to be lodged in the tree. This exact situation happened many times during WGC at Trump Doral.

    Rule 16.4 If you reasonably believe that your ball lies in a condition where free relief is allowed under the Rules, but you cannot decide that without lifting your ball, you may mark the spot and lift the ball to see if relief is allowed. The lifted ball must not be cleaned

    Rule 18.2? If a ball is found within the three minute time but it is uncertain whether it is the player’s ball:
    The player must promptly attempt to identify the ball (see Rule 7.2) and is allowed a reasonable time to do so, even if that happens after the three-minute search time has ended.
    This includes a reasonable time to get to the ball if the player is not where the ball is found.
    If the player does not identify his or her ball in that reasonable time, THE BALL IS LOST.

    Before you said the committee does not have the time to mark every area or bring it to the field through an announcement or inclusion in the rules sheet, now you are saying “If the committee has deemed . . . . “. You originally said you had the right even if the course/ committee ignored the condition OR AREAS to arbitrarily ON YOUR OWN invoke the Abnormal Ground Condition rule. I said numerous times, before the tournament begins it is easy for the course to announce, “because of abnormal weather conditions . . . .”. I also said the committee could include in their rules sheet, “because of abnormal weather conditions . . . . “. So now you agree with me, the committee has to be involved?

    Jeffrey Like I said it is all good. We are debating a rule about a lost ball and your ability as a player to designate an area or areas abnormal course condition.
    Lets stick to one single argument and if you still think you are right stop changing your position, lets meet at the 19th hole, bring cash ($1,000.00 okay with you?) and we will resolve this once and for all winner takes all. I will still buy you a drink. As Bob said we can find Lew and clear this up easily.

    Or just let it go and I’ll meet you at the 19th hole and buy you a drink anyway, but you will not win the original argument.

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