Course Update - 4th Hole Fencing Rule

General Club Noticeboard : Course Update - 4th Hole Fencing Rule

Please see below the clarifying rule regarding the 4th fence / temporary immovable obstruction. The rule regarding this stands and relief maybe taken under the rule below.

F-23

Temporary Immovable Obstructions – 4th Hole Temporary Fence

Purpose. When obstructions are temporarily placed on or next to the course, the Committee should specify whether they are movable obstructions (see Rule 15), immovable obstructions (see Rule 16) or temporary immovable obstructions ("TIOs").

TIOs (such as a grandstand or a tent) are not normally present and are not considered to be part of the challenge of playing the course. Because of their temporary nature, this Local Rule provides an additional relief option that is not allowed from immovable obstructions, although the player can still choose to treat the TIO as if it were an immovable obstruction and use the relief procedures available in Rule 16.

The additional relief provided by this Local Rule includes the ability for a player to take relief when the TIO is located on the straight line between his or her ball and the hole (known as "line of sight relief") by moving sideways, keeping the same distance from the hole, so that the TIO is no longer between the player's ball and the hole (also known as moving along the "equidistant arc").

When a player takes relief from a TIO, whether under this Local Rule or the relief procedures in Rule 16, the player is guaranteed complete relief from physical interference. But only when relief is taken using the additional relief option under this Local Rule will the player be guaranteed complete relief from the TIO being on his or her line of sight.

Model Local Rule F-23.

"Definition of TIO: A temporary immovable obstruction (TIO) is a structure that is temporarily added on or next to the course, usually for a particular competition, and is fixed or not readily movable .

Examples of TIOs are temporary tents, scoreboards, grandstands, television towers and toilets.

TIOs include any supporting guy wires connected to them, except when the Committee decides the supporting guy wires are to be treated as immovable obstructions.

The outermost edge of the TIO is used in determining whether a ball is under the TIO or whether the TIO is on the player's line of sight between the ball and the hole.

Lines or stakes may be used to define the edges of a TIO or to connect multiple TIOs into a single, larger TIO.

A TIO is different from an immovable obstruction and this Local Rule provides additional relief from interference by a TIO. This means that the player can choose to take relief by using either:

  • The procedure for taking relief from an abnormal course condition in Rule 16 as if the TIO were an immovable obstruction (this relief is also available when the ball lies in a penalty area or when the TIO is out of bounds), or
  • The additional relief option available under this Local Rule.

a. When Relief Is Allowed

Relief from a TIO is normally allowed when there is physical interference or line of sight interference from the TIO.

Interference under this Local Rule means that the player has:

  • Physical interference,
  • Line of sight interference, or
  • Both physical and line of sight interference.

(1) Meaning of Physical Interference by Temporary Immovable Obstruction. Physical interference exists when:

  • The player's ball touches or lies in or on a TIO, or
  • The TIO interferes with the player's area of intended stance or area of intended swing.

(2) Meaning of Line of Sight Interference by Temporary Immovable Obstruction. Line of sight interference exists when:

  • The player's ball touches or lies in, on or under a TIO, or
  • The TIO is on the player's line of sight to the hole (that is, the TIO is located on the straight line between the ball and the hole), or
  • The ball is within one club-length, measured on an equidistant arc from the hole, of a spot where the TIO would be on the player's direct line of sight to the hole (this one club-length wide area is commonly referred to as the "corridor").

(3) When No Relief Is Available Despite Having Interference. If the ball touches or is in or on the TIO, relief is always available.

But when the ball neither touches nor is in or on the TIO, there is no relief under this Local Rule if any of the following applies:

  • From either physical interference or line of sight interference:
    • There is no relief when playing the ball as it lies would clearly be unreasonable because of something other than the TIO (such as when the player is unable to make a stroke because of where the ball lies in a bush outside the TIO), and
    • There is no relief when interference exists only because the player chooses a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable under the circumstances; and
  • From line of sight interference:
    • There is no relief when it is clearly unreasonable for a player to play the ball far enough that the ball will reach the TIO, and
    • There is no relief when the player cannot show that there is a stroke that he or she could reasonably play that would both (a) have the TIO (including the corridor) on the line of that stroke, and (b) result in the ball finishing on a direct line to the hole.

b. Relief from Interference for Ball in General Area

If the player's ball is in the general area and there is interference by a TIO (including a TIO located out of bounds), the player may take free relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

  • Reference Point: The nearest point of complete relief where both physical and line of sight interference no longer exist.
  • Size of Relief Area from Reference Point: The entire area within one club-length from the reference point, but with these limits:
  • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
    • Must be in the general area,
    • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
    • There must be complete relief from both physical and line of sight interference by the TIO.

If the player has physical interference from the TIO, instead of using this relief procedure he or she may choose to take relief using the procedure for taking relief from an abnormal course condition in Rule 16.1b, treating the TIO as if it were an immovable obstruction. The relief procedure under Rule 16.1b is also available when the ball lies in a penalty area or when the TIO is out of bounds. See Clause f of this Local Rule for how to take relief.

c. Relief from Interference for Ball in Bunker or Penalty Area.

If the player's ball is in a bunker or a penalty area and there is interference by a TIO (including a TIO located out of bounds), the player may take either free relief or penalty relief:

(1) Free Relief: Playing from Bunker or Penalty Area. The player may take free relief as provided in Clause b, except that the nearest point of complete relief where interference no longer exists, and the relief area must be in that bunker or penalty area.

If there is no such point in that bunker or penalty area where interference no longer exists, the player may still take this relief as provided above by using the point of maximum available relief in the bunker or the penalty area as the reference point.

(2) Penalty Relief: Playing from Outside Bunker or Penalty Area. For one penalty stroke, the player may drop the original ball or another ball in and play it from this relief area:

  • Reference Point: The nearest point of complete relief not nearer the hole where both physical and line of sight interference no longer exist that is outside that bunker or penalty area.
  • Size of Relief Area from Reference Point: The entire area one club-length from the reference point, but with these limits:
  • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
    • Any area of the course other than in that bunker or penalty area or on any putting green,
    • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
    • There must be complete relief from both physical and line of sight interference by the TIO.

If the player has physical interference from the TIO, instead of using this relief procedure he or she may choose to take relief using the procedure for taking relief from an abnormal course condition in Rule 16.1b, treating the TIO as if it were an immovable obstruction. The relief procedure under Rule 16.1b is also available when the ball lies in a penalty area or when the TIO is out of bounds. See Clause f of this Local Rule for how to take relief.

d. Relief When Ball in TIO Not Found

If the player's ball has not been found but is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in a TIO:

  • The player may take relief under this Local Rule by using the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the TIO on the course as the spot of the ball for purposes of finding the nearest point of complete relief.
  • Once the player puts another ball in play to take relief in this way:
    • The original ball is no longer in play and must not be played.
    • This is true even if it is then found on the course before the end of the three-minute search time (see Rule 6.3b)

But if it is not known or virtually certain that the ball came to rest in the TIO, the player must play under penalty of stroke and distance (see Rule 18.2).

e. Committee Authority to Modify TIO Relief Procedures

When adopting this Local Rule, the Committee may modify the relief procedures in Clauses b and c in either or both of the following ways: 

(1) Optional or Mandatory Use of Dropping Zones. The Committee may permit or require a player to use a dropping zone as the relief area for taking relief under this Local Rule. When doing so, the Committee may add the dropping zone for relief from only physical interference or only line of sight interference or it may be used for relief from both types of interference.

(2) "Either Side" Relief Option. The Committee may permit the player the option to take relief on the other side of a TIO in addition to the relief options allowed under Clauses b and c of this Local Rule. But the Committee may provide that either side relief is not allowed if the player is taking relief using the procedures in Rule 16.1.

f. Player May Proceed Under Other Relief Rules

(1) Taking Relief by Using the Procedures in Rule 16.1 or this Local Rule. If a player has physical interference from the TIO as defined in Clause a, the player may either:

  • Choose to use the relief procedures in Rule 16.1 or
  • Use this Local Rule.
  • But may not take relief under one of these options and then take relief under the other.

If the player chooses to use the procedure for taking relief from an abnormal course condition in Rule 16.1, he or she must treat the TIO as if it is an immovable obstruction and take relief based on where the ball lies:

  • In the general area using the procedures in Rule 16.1b.
  • In a bunker using the procedures in Rule 16.1c.
  • In a penalty area using the procedures in Rule 16.1c as if the ball lies in a bunker.
  • On the putting green using the procedures in Rule 16.1d.

(2) Taking Relief under Rule 17, 18 or 19. This Local Rule does not prevent the player from taking relief under Rule 17, 18 or 19 rather than taking TIO relief under this Local Rule.

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a."


Switch to Desktop ViewSwitch to Mobile View