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Is A Ball Oob Always Oob?


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#1 333pg333

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 12:45 PM

Was playing behind a group the other day when one of them hit their drive straight right into a canal that at that part of the course is OB. However the flow of the water was such that apparently it moved back into bounds within a short period of time. They asked if they could retrieve the ball and continue playing adjacent to the hazard with a penalty of 1 stroke. I said I doubt it. Once ball is OB (without ricocheting back In bounds) you can't just wait for the water to carry it back into play. I asked someone else who I know is pretty good with the rules and he said yes, you can do this. I've since tried looking this up online without success. Am I right or wrong? 



#2 OldBogey

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 02:17 PM

Provided that you do not delay play in waiting for the ball to come back inside bounds, it is no longer OOB. Whether it rolls back in off an embankment, deflects off a tree, or whatever, the reason for it naturally returning into play is irrelevant.

The reference point from where to resume play IS relevant - where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, now 'penalty area', not where it finished up.

I'm fairly sure there was a Decision in the old rules describing a similar occurrence.

Edited by OldBogey, 15 July 2019 - 02:19 PM.

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#3 ColinCL

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:48 PM

Provided that you do not delay play in waiting for the ball to come back inside bounds, it is no longer OOB. Whether it rolls back in off an embankment, deflects off a tree, or whatever, the reason for it naturally returning into play is irrelevant.

 

 

What is the basis in the rules for saying that? See Rule 18

 

When a ball is lost outside a penalty area or comes to rest out of bounds, the required progression of playing from the teeing area to the hole is broken; the player must resume that progression by playing again from where the previous stroke was made.

 

The key phrase is comes to rest.  If your ball is deflected from an out of bounds area  on to the course while still moving from your stroke, it's in play.  If your ball comes to  rest in an out of bounds area it is not in play and  any later movement of the ball back on to the course makes no difference.

 

In the situation described by the OP,  the ball is in play if it was brought back on to the course by the water and did not at any point come to rest out of bounds and then move off again.

 

I'd suggest that referencing back to the pre-2019 Rules and Decisions is likely to confuse and mislead - even when, as in this case, nothing has changed. 


Edited by ColinCL, 15 July 2019 - 03:58 PM.


#4 languid

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 04:56 PM

I had a look at the 2016-17 Decisions and could not find a Decision covering these circumstances.

It is a very interesting question, though.
There is uncertainty about whether the ball ever came to rest Out of Bounds.

From any distance and with lack of clear sight lines it could be uncertain whether a ball clearly going over the boundary actually came to rest OOB, then moved kindly in Bounds by natural forces. Water is included in the Definition of Natural Forces.

If the ball ends up in bounds, whether in a Penalty Area or anywhere on the Course it is speculation that it came to rest OOB before moving onto the course and coming to rest there.

Of course a witness could help resolve the matter.

I think it would be “hard line” ruling to assume a ball found in bounds was ever at rest OOB, without good evidence.

The facts in this case involve a canal and apparently clear sight to the canal. Even then if the water is moving swiftly as it seems, it is unlikely the ball actually came to rest in the canal.

Old Bogey points out that where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area is problematic.
More questions? There are obvious edges on the sides of the canal. In the unusual case where the penalty area (canal) ends at the boundary is there an edge there?

Even if there is that could be difficult to find a reference point for relief under Rule 17 Penalty Areas.

Without a Referee to provide a ruling it would be reasonable for the player to play 2 balls. Obviously one is the “hard line” stroke and distance, the other would be penalty relief using an ‘equitable’ reference point for the ‘edge’ of the Penalty Area.

That point should reference the likely spot relating to the canal/OOB.

The Committee would be referring to Rule 20-3 Situations Not Covered by the Rules.




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#5 AAA

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 05:01 PM

The reference point from where to resume play IS relevant - where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, now 'penalty area', not where it finished up.

 

In this case it is particularly significant as it might be awkward to determine just where that is. 



#6 golfguy33

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:02 PM

Unless the whole episode could be monitored and seen in it's entirety, I think it would be only conjecture that the ball had never stopped in its travels during the time of going OOB and then with the constant movement via the water, to bring it back into play !

Jon...   



#7 333pg333

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 12:50 PM

Yeah, I didn't actually see the whole event so can't comment precisely. I spoke to a mate who is pretty up to date on the rules and he even contacted someone on the rules committee for NSW Golf. Apparently the take is that as long as it doesn't hold up play then it is permissible to continue playing (with penalty). In this case there is a footbridge which crosses the canal and this is where the OB changes into a hazard. In other words the whole canal is not OB. So we think the ball can be retrieved and played adjacent from where it is retrieved or going back in line with the flag. If I recall, you don't have to go and play it adjacent where you first crossed because the ball is in play so you treat it as if you just plonked the thing into the hazard and disregard the initial OB. Note...a reasonable length of time is not to be confused with e.g. searching for a ball. It would be more akin to waiting for a ball on the edge of the hole to drop or not. So I guess you could walk to this ball and then wait a few more seconds if it were clearly moving quickly back in bounds. Another part of the decision is based on a natural cause ie wind, water etc. As these forces of nature can also take a ball OoB which is bad luck. Out of curiosity I then proposed the situation where a canal might be damned or gated and therefore the flow of the water is artificially manipulated? I didn't get a reply to this. 


Edited by 333pg333, 17 July 2019 - 12:51 PM.


#8 ColinCL

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 04:15 PM

I think you are over complicating this.  A ball is out of bounds when it comes to rest out of bounds. A ball still in motion afer a stroke in an out of bounds area - which includes being carried along by water - is not out of bounds until it comes to rest out of bounds.  If it comes back on to the course without stopping, it is in play.

 

 In the situation you describe, the ball either came to rest out of bounds or kept moving.  if it is not known either way what happened, there is a judgment call to make.  My own view is that in the absence of clear evidence of the ball's continuous movement from the moment it went into the water  (i.e someone has seen  all the way that it never stopped)  it should be ruled out of bounds. 

 

I don't know where the "not holdiing up play" comes from in the Rules.  If your ball  is moving on the course after a stroke, you have to wait till it comes to rest.  If you clearly see your ball enter an out of bounds  flow of water and continue moving in such a way that it could return to the course, I see nothing in the rules to limit  the time taken.  Maybe I'm missing something. 

 

To my mind, the likelihood of having the evidence of continuous movement after entering the water is slight. It would really require someone on the spot to observe it entering and being able to see  it all the way from there back on to the course.  Any doubt I would resolve against the player - but that is an opinion.


Edited by ColinCL, 17 July 2019 - 04:17 PM.


#9 iRON MiCK

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:18 PM

I once hit a ball oob and wished it would come back. It didn’t. Feels bad.

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#10 OldBogey

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:55 PM

Unless the whole episode could be monitored and seen in it's entirety, I think it would be only conjecture that the ball had never stopped in its travels during the time of going OOB and then with the constant movement via the water, to bring it back into play !
Jon...

  

I think you are over complicating this.  A ball is out of bounds when it comes to rest out of bounds. A ball still in motion afer a stroke in an out of bounds area - which includes being carried along by water - is not out of bounds until it comes to rest out of bounds.  If it comes back on to the course without stopping, it is in play.
 
 In the situation you describe, the ball either came to rest out of bounds or kept moving.  if it is not known either way what happened, there is a judgment call to make.  My own view is that in the absence of clear evidence of the ball's continuous movement from the moment it went into the water  (i.e someone has seen  all the way that it never stopped)  it should be ruled out of bounds. 
 
I don't know where the "not holdiing up play" comes from in the Rules.  If your ball  is moving on the course after a stroke, you have to wait till it comes to rest.  If you clearly see your ball enter an out of bounds  flow of water and continue moving in such a way that it could return to the course, I see nothing in the rules to limit  the time taken.  Maybe I'm missing something. 
 
To my mind, the likelihood of having the evidence of continuous movement after entering the water is slight. It would really require someone on the spot to observe it entering and being able to see  it all the way from there back on to the course.  Any doubt I would resolve against the player - but that is an opinion.


You blokes just like penalising players whenever possible.

The term "canal" was used. Such structures are usually made with smooth surfaces and a ball being moved by flowing water will probably continue to do so until the flow decreases. If it is still moving you have to wait for it to stop.

On the other hand a creek typically has a somewhat uneven base and a ball caught in the current is likely to undergo a stop-start journey.

One would have to see this canal and the water flow at the time to make any judgement.
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#11 ColinCL

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 10:47 PM

On the contrary, I like helping players to avoid penalties whenever possible.

 

If you read my posts again, you should see that I've been careful, I hope, not to make any judgment about the particular situation described but rather have aimed to set out what is involved in arriving at a judgment.  



#12 golfguy33

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:23 PM

  
You blokes just like penalising players whenever possible.

The term "canal" was used. Such structures are usually made with smooth surfaces and a ball being moved by flowing water will probably continue to do so until the flow decreases. If it is still moving you have to wait for it to stop.

On the other hand a creek typically has a somewhat uneven base and a ball caught in the current is likely to undergo a stop-start journey.

One would have to see this canal and the water flow at the time to make any judgement.

So if you're right and you could prove the non stop motion of the ball, where would you give relief ?

Remembering that you can make a stroke at a ball in motion in a penalty area as long as it keeps moving, without delay ?

Jon...



#13 AAA

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:05 AM

So if you're right and you could prove the non stop motion of the ball, where would you give relief ?

Remembering that you can make a stroke at a ball in motion in a penalty area as long as it keeps moving, without delay ?

Jon...

By estimating the point at which is crossed from the canal to the penalty area. Presumably upstream or downstream from the footbridge (we aren't told where the OB margin is exactly).



#14 OldBogey

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:21 AM

So if you're right and you could prove the non stop motion of the ball, where would you give relief ?

Remembering that you can make a stroke at a ball in motion in a penalty area as long as it keeps moving, without delay ?

Jon...

It's not about proving, or disproving, whether the ball had stopped at any point.  Much of golf is based on a fair judgement call, such as going back to drop a ball after losing one and estimating the place to drop.


Edited by OldBogey, 18 July 2019 - 10:22 AM.

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#15 Weetbix

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:47 PM

Well Colin says assume it's bad unless you can prove it's good

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