Immovable Obstruction on Putting Green

When putting greens are damaged, greenkeepers often have to protect the repaired area until growth returns and the surface is suitable for putting again.

Of course, the protective netting is an immovable obstruction on the putting green, as it is not intended that players should move it to give themselves a clear path to the hole.

In the photo above, I have positioned five balls (A to E) at different positions on and around the putting green. These are the various rulings. under Rule 24-2b(iii) unless otherwise stated:

  • Ball A lies off the putting green and the netting is on the player’s intended line of play to the hole. There is no relief available, as the netting does not interfere with the player’s stance or area of intended swing and intervention on the line of play is not interference under Rule 24-2a. The player must pitch over, or play around the netting.
  • Ball B lies on the netting on the putting green. If the player chooses to take relief, they must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard for their intended stroke to the hole. In some circumstances the nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.
  • Ball C lies on the putting green and the netting does not intervene for a left-handed player, so they must play their next stroke from where the ball is at rest. There is no relief for mental interference from the netting. Because the netting does interfere with the stance of a right handed player, they may take relief by lifting the ball and placing it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief for their intended stroke to the hole that is not in a hazard. Sometimes the nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.
  • Ball D lies on the putting green and the netting does not intervene for a right-handed player. This time a right handed player is not entitled to relief, but a left-handed player may take relief; it is the converse of the situation with ball C.
  • Ball E lies on the putting green and the netting intervenes on the intended line of putt, so the player make take relief, without penalty, by lifting the ball and placing it at the nearest point of relief for their intended stroke to the hole that is not in a hazard. Sometimes the nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.

5 Responses to Immovable Obstruction on Putting Green

  1. John January 17, 2018 at 7:36 am #

    In all cases when the player gets relieve from the obstruction, except with Ball E, the ball should be dropped–not placed. In the case of Ball E on the green, the ball would “be placed.” When dropping the ball, the ball must hit the ground within the one club length area, no closer to the hole, measured from the reference point of full relief from the obstruction.

  2. John January 17, 2018 at 8:58 am #

    Barry, Is the difference between situation A and E, simply that A is off the green and E is on?

    • Barry Rhodes January 18, 2018 at 9:18 am #

      Correct. There is no line of play relief from an immovable obstruction on the putting green when the player’s ball lies off the green.

  3. ROBERT January 17, 2018 at 11:04 am #

    So,I have developed A New Product, I call The Flag caddy You can (SEE) at http://www.tee1toyou18.com
    This is attached to the top of the Standing Flag in the Hole.
    What I would like to Know, Are there any Rule’s of Golf That (PROHIBIT) This?

    • Barry Rhodes January 18, 2018 at 9:19 am #

      Visited this web site, but could identify the purpose of your product from the 3 photos. The Definition of flagstick states;
      The “flagstick” is a movable straight indicator, with or without bunting or other material attached, centered in the hole to show its position. It must be circular in cross-section. Padding or shock absorbent material that might unduly influence the movement of the ball is prohibited.

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