Monday, April 6, 2015

NCGA Publinks Qualifying: Knowing Your Options

--> A couple of good examples of how important it is to know your options came up recently at NCGA Publinks Qualifying at Rooster Run.  In both cases, players chose options that not every player is aware of.

Two tournament officials helped in a ball search about thirty yards right of the third fairway.  We eventually found the ball near a split rail fence.  The ball was about two feet on the green side of the fence, an obstruction (Rule 24-2) which interfered with the player’s swing, and about 140 yards from the green.  Since the fence line ran fairly close to perpendicular to the player’s line to the flagstick, it appeared that his nearest point of full relief was going to be behind the fence.  Since the ground in that area was thick and weedy, the player deduced that he could take full relief on the green side of the fence, IF he removed the top rail of the fence, which was easily done.  (So the fence was both a movable and immovable obstruction!) We determined that it was indeed a nearer point of relief than straight back.  He played the shot toward the green, replaced the top rail, and went on his way.

Up near the green another player had plugged his approach shot in the virtually vertical face of the bunker.  He had no stance, no shot.  We’ve all seen a player take two or more swings at a ball in a position like this without improving his position.  He asked if he could take an unplayable lie (Rule 28), and what his options were.  He chose to drop two club-lengths from where the ball lay, in a level lie in the bottom of the bunker.  His other options would have been to drop on a line from the flagstick to the ball straight back, staying in the bunker (virtually identical to the option he took), or take a stroke and distance penalty.  

For another good example of a player using his options to great advantage, read Ryan Farb's write up from The Goodwin--  The Power Line Ruling 

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