RULE: GUR on the green

I hit a great shot onto the green - but now I may be punished because of a bare patch on the green between my ball and the hole. Surely I don't have to putt across that??

With the difficult seasons we sometimes experience, we occasionally have a couple of greens with some bare patches on them.

Consider these two balls on or near the green on # 7 – for which ones am I entitled to relief from the abnormal course condition, if any??

Before deciding, I need to know what “abnormal course condition” is. 

The Definitions tell us that an “abnormal course condition” is an animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

Rule 16  Interference exists

-  when my ball touches or is in or on an abnormal condition, or
-  when the abnormal course condition physically interferes with my swing or stance.
-  However, ONLY when my ball lies on the putting green, interference also occurs if the abnormal course condition on or off the putting green intervenes on my line of play.

(Otherwise, anywhere else intervention on the line of play is not of itself interference under this rule.)

Ball A: Even though the “GUR” (white lines) intervenes on my line of putt, my ball is not on the green, so I am NOT entitled to any relief.

Ball B: Now the GUR intervenes on my line, and my ball is on the green, so I am entitled to relief if I wish.

LOOK AT THE PHOTO ON THE LEFT: NOW this patch is NOT MARKED GUR nor listed on the daily local rules board. This bare patch intervenes on my line of putt, my ball at B is on the green but the only relief I can get is to curse my bad luck!!

OK, back to photo number one, where the GUR is marked. My ball is Ball B, and I can take relief. Where and how do I obtain relief?

Rule 16.1d tells me I must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief (not in a penalty area) but not nearer the hole. The nearest point of complete relief or maximum available relief may be off the putting green! This event is more likely to occur when we are faced with temporary water on the green.(See diagram 16.1d in the Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf.

Now have a look at this photo below - using the information from the rules above, decide if you can obtain any relief in this situation.

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