12.  Fixed Distances (not Club-lengths) Used for Measuring 

 

Current Rule: Club-lengths are used to measure the limits of many areas under the Rules:

 

  One club-length defines the dropping area for free relief (such as relief from obstructions or ground under repair) and two club-lengths defines the dropping area for certain types of penalty relief (such as relief from lateral water hazards or an unplayable ball). 

 

  Two club-lengths are also used as the limit of how far a dropped ball may roll from where it first hits the course without needing to be re-dropped (Rule 20-2c(vi)).

 

  The teeing ground on any hole is defined as a rectangular area two club-lengths deep.

 

Proposed Rule:  Club-lengths would no longer be used to measure for any purpose:

 

  The relief area for dropping a ball would have a fixed size: 20 inches (50.8 centimetres) replaces one club-length, and 80 inches (203.2 centimetres) replaces two club-lengths. 

 

  A re-drop would only be required when a ball comes to rest outside the relief area and therefore how many club-lengths a dropped ball rolls would no longer matter when determining if a re-drop is required.

 

  The teeing area of any hole would have a fixed depth of 80 inches (203.2 centimetres).

   

 

  The teeing ground on any hole is defined as a rectangular area two club-lengths deep.

 

Proposed Rule:  Club-lengths would no longer be used to measure for any purpose:

 

  The relief area for dropping a ball would have a fixed size: 20 inches (50.8 centimetres) replaces one club-length, and 80 inches (203.2 centimetres) replaces two club-lengths. 

 

  A re-drop would only be required when a ball comes to rest outside the relief area and therefore how many club-lengths a dropped ball rolls would no longer matter when determining if a re-drop is required.

 

  The teeing area of any hole would have a fixed depth of 80 inches (203.2 centimetres).

 

Reasons for Change

 

  The smaller relief area (and not permitting any ball to roll outside that relief area) would usually mean that the player will play from closer to the balls original spot and the nearest point of relief than where the player may play from today.  

 

  Using a fixed distance for measuring would eliminate a number of issues, such as:

 

o   The inconsistency and potential unfairness of having the size of a relief area differ for each player based on the length of his or her clubs (including eliminating the advantage for players who currently can use a long putter for measuring). 

 

o   The confusion about when a player may use two different clubs in taking relief (under current Rules, a player may use one club to find the nearest point of relief, and another club to measure, but must use only a single club for measuring the area for dropping and the distance a dropped ball has rolled).

 

  A player would no longer be able to make strategic choices about the size of the relief areas by choosing a shorter club or longer club for measuring.

  

  Using a fixed measure would be a simple process, with 20 and 40 inch (50.8 and 101.6 centimetre) markings on the shaft of clubs likely to be the primary tool used by players for measuring.

 

 

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