Hi :

During the 2021 Tour Player Summit*, it was suggested The Tour provide players with a series of educational emails and videos that would help to provide players with information on some of the Rules of Golf. We are excited to continue this journey with you.

The second Rule in this informational series covers the procedure for taking relief from an Abnormal Course Condition for a ball in the general area.

The general area is any part of the course that it not a bunker, penalty area, putting green or teeing area. The general area includes all wrong greens and all teeing locations on the course, other than the player’s teeing area for the hole they are playing.

An Abnormal Course Condition is defined as:
-       An Animal Hole
-       Ground Under Repair
-       Immovable Obstruction (e.g. cart path or sprinkler head)
-       Temporary Water
When an Abnormal Course Condition interferes with a player’s lie, stance or swing in the general area, the player can play the ball as it lies or take free relief under Rule 16.1b.

To take free relief from an Abnormal Course Condition in the general area, a player must follow this procedure:

1)    Establish the nearest point of complete relief, no closer to the hole, from the condition by taking a stance with the club that would be used to make a stroke from where the ball lies. It is recommended to place a tee at the nearest point of complete relief to use as the reference point.

2)    Establish a one club-length relief area from the reference point, no closer to the hole and in the general area.

3)    Drop a ball in the relief area from knee height. The ball must come to rest in the relief area.

The nearest point of complete relief and relief area MUST be in the same area of the course as the ball lies (i.e. in the general area) and the player must have complete relief from the condition in which they have taken relief.

It’s important to remember that the nearest point of complete relief is not always the nicest. Sometimes, that area may be in long grass or bushes.

For a visual explanation of this procedure, please click the video to watch Grant Moir (from the R&A) explain this procedure during his “Rules from the Garden” series.
All information on the Rules of Golf can be found on the R&A website under Rules of Golf. Tour players are strongly encouraged take the free Level 1 Rules of Golf course and exam at the R&A Rules Academy. Any player who achieves Level 1 certification can enter a draw for a round of golf at Coppinwood Golf Club by submitting their certificate to patricia@gtaamtour.com before the first event of the season.

We also recommend ALL Tour players download the R&A (or USGA) Rules of Golf App on their phones. This App is VERY easy to use and can provide players with instant information on how to proceed.
As always, if you are ever unsure how to proceed on the golf course, contact a GTA AM Tour Referee for assistance.

Christian De Cloet
Co-Manager, Tour Operations

*The Tour Player Summit is held annually and provides players and Tour Team members with an opportunity to find ways to improve the Tour experience for ALL.