Guidance on Running a Competition

Appendix D: Guidance on Temporary Immovable Obstruction Local Rule

The following text and diagrams explain the Local Rule for temporary immovable obstructions (TIOs). As the title indicates, only TIOs are addressed in this explanation. Temporary power lines and cables are dealt with under a separate Local Rule also contained in Appendix I, Part B.

With regard to the temporary immovable obstruction Local Rule, the most important points in each of the five clauses of the Local Rule are noted below:

  1. Definition
    A TIO is defined as a non-permanent artificial object, often erected in conjunction with a competition and which is fixed or not readily movable.
    Supporting guy wires are part of a TIO unless the Committee declares them to be elevated power lines or cables.
     
  2. Interference
    There are two kinds of interference and consequently two separate relief procedures. Relief similar to standard obstruction relief will be used to provide relief only when the ball is outside and in front of the TIO, and the TIO physically interferes with the player’s stance or area of intended swing. A ball is “in front of” the TIO if, in measuring one clublength along the equidistant arc, no part of the TIO is closer to the hole than the ball. (See balls A and B in Diagram – 1).
    Intervention relief will be used to provide relief anytime the ball lies in, on, under or behind the TIO so that any part of the TIO intervenes directly between the player’s ball and the hole, or the ball lies within one club-length of such a spot. The TIO must also be on the player’s line of play. In some cases the TIO may not physically interfere with the player’s stance or area of intended swing, but this does not change the fact that intervention exists. The Note outlines the concept of using the “drip line” to determine when a ball is under a TIO. (See balls C and D in Diagram – 1).
    In summary therefore, if a player is in, on, under or behind a TIO (which is on a direct line to the hole and on the line of play), the relief procedure is to drop the ball more than one club-length, but less than two club-lengths from the TIO. Only when the player’s ball lies in front of the TIO ( see paragraph one under this section above) and there is physical interference, will the player determine the nearest point of relief and then drop the ball within one club-length of that point, not nearer the hole (i.e. relief similar to Rule 24-2 applies).
     
  3. Relief
    The important elements of the relief clause include: (a) clarifying that a player may obtain relief from a TIO located out of bounds; (b) a Note stating that if the ball lies in a hazard, the player may also proceed under Rule 26 or 28 if applicable; and (c) another Note permitting the use of Local Rules to employ a dropping zone or “Ball Drop” or to permit dropping the ball on the opposite side of the TIO (i.e. the player may drop on the left side of the obstruction even if the nearest point of relief is to the right).
    The Exceptions to Clause III essentially mirror those of Rule 24-2 and apply similar principles – if the ball is not playable for another reason or the player is somehow prevented from playing a stroke such that the ball could finish on a direct line to the hole, or reaching the TIO, then relief should be denied.
     
  4. Ball Lost
    A player who loses a ball in, on or under a TIO is advised that Clause III or V, if applicable, clarifies the procedure to follow and that the ball is deemed to lie at the spot where it last crossed the outermost limits of the TIO and for this purpose it is as if the margins of the obstruction extended vertically upward.
     
  5. Dropping Zones (Ball Drops)
    This Clause provides that a Committee may permit or require the use of a dropping zone when a player has interference from a TIO.
    Please read the Dropping Zone provisions on page 139 in the Rules of Golf for the most common re-dropping queries associated with the use of such areas.
    The following diagrams are designed to illustrate the operation of the Local Rule for Temporary Immovable Obstructions.

Diagram 1


Defining "In front of" - Clause IIAppendix D1

Ball A is within one club length of the TIO, but is “in front of ” the TIO because the one clublength measurement must be made along the equidistant arc. Measuring in any other direction to determine if the TIO intervenes is prohibited. There is also no physical interference from the TIO. Thus, there is no relief under the Local Rule for Ball A.

Ball B is also “in front of ” the TIO, but in this case the TIO physically interferes. Standard obstruction relief (nearest point of relief plus one-club-length) is available – see Diagram 2.

Ball C has no physical interference from the TIO, but is within one clublength of where the TIO would intervene between the ball and the hole. Intervention relief (more than one club-length, but less than two) is available – see Diagram 2.

Ball D has no physical interference from the TIO, but part of the TIO within one club-length of the ball is in front of the ball. Intervention relief (more than one club-length, but less than two) is available – see Diagram 2. 

Diagram 2


Illustrating Relief for Balls B, C and D from Diagram 1 - Clause III(a)Appendix D2

Ball B – Point X is the point nearest to where Ball B originally lay that is not nearer the hole and not in a hazard which provides relief from the interfering TIO. The ball must be dropped within one club- length of X as represented by the shaded area. Although in this case Ball B only had interference from the TIO and not intervention, it is important to note that when taking relief under this Local Rule, any point of relief (in this case the shaded area) must provide relief from interference as defined in Clause II, which includes intervention. That is why the shaded area is somewhat irregularly shaped.

Ball C – Point Y is one clublength from where intervention would exist along the equidistant arc. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of Y as represented by the shaded area.

Ball D – Point Z is one club-length from where intervention would exist along the equidistant arc. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of Z as represented by the shaded area. 

Diagram 3


Ball "in, or under" TIO - Clause III

Appendix D3

Ball A is “in” the TIO and thus has intervention. In taking relief, the first step is to measure one club-length from the edge of the TIO along the equidistant arc. The extent of this one clublength arc is represented by point Y. The ball must then be dropped within one club-length of point Y as represented by the shaded area.

Diagram 4

 
Ball "in, on or under" TIO - Clause III

Appendix D4

Ball A is “in” the TIO . Point X is one club-length from the TIO measured along the equidistant arc and provides relief from intervention, but at point X the TIO physically interferes with the area of intended swing. Point Y is the point nearest to point X that provides relief from both intervention and physical interference. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of point Y as represented by the shaded area. 

Diagram 5


Clause II and Exception to Clause II

Appendix D5Note: Leaderboard is 200 yards from the hole. Trees are of such a nature that playing over or under them is not possible.

Ball A is behind the TIO. While the TIO is on a direct line to the hole, the TIO is not, because of the trees, also on the lin of play (dashed line). Therefore, the player does not have interference, and relief is not available.

Ball B is behind the TIO and the TIO is on both a direct line to the hole and on the player’s line of play. Therefore, he has interference. When taking relief, he must take relief such that the TIO is not on a direct line to the hole (in the shaded Area X)

Ball C is behind the TIO. Because of the tree, a line of play towards the TIO is no reasonable, so relief is not available under this Local Rule. However, if the TIO physically interferes with the sideways stroke, the player may take relief under Rule 24-2.

Ball D is in a position where the TIO does not directly intervene between the ball and the hole but the TIO is on the player’s intended line of play as represented by the dotted line. However, in this case as the TIO only intervenes on the line of play and not on a direct line between the player’s ball and the hole, relief is not available under this Local Rule.

Diagram 6


Relief from TIOs without sides

Appendix D6

Ball A is under the TIO. Point X is one club-length from where intervention would exist (the outer limit of the TIO is used irrespective of height) measured along the equidistant arc. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of point X as represented by the shaded area.

Ball B is behind the TIO. Point Y is one club-length from where intervention would exist (the outer limit of the TIO is used irrespective of height) measured along the equidistant arc. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of point Y as represented by the shaded area.

Ball C is in front of the TIO and not within one club-length of the TIO “drip lines” on the equidistant arc. Although the area of intended swing and/or the player’s stance would be within the TIO, no relief is available because there is not physical interference from the actual structure.

Ball D has no physical interference from the TIO, but, using the “drip lines” of the TIO, part of it is within one club-length of the ball measured on the equidistant arc. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of point Z as represented by the shaded area. 

Diagram 7


Relief from TIOs with guy wires

Appendix D7

Ball A is “in front” of the TIO and there is no physical interference from the TIO. Ball A does not have intervention because no part of the TIO within one club-length of the ball measured along the equidistant arc is in front of the ball. The fact that the ball is behind an imaginary line joining up the forward most portions of the TIO (where the guy wires are fixed to the ground) is irrelevant. There is no relief under the Local Rule for Ball A.
Note: It is permissible, by Local Rule, to connect these points with a solid line in which case the line becomes the “front” of the TIO. In such a case Ball A would be within the TIO and thus eligible for relief as indicated by the shaded area which begins at point X.

Ball B is behind the front, left guy wire, however, there is no physical interference from the TIO. Relief is available at point Y. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of Y as represented by the shaded area.

Ball C is “in” the TIO. In determining the nearest point of relief (point Z), the outside limit of the TIO must be determined, which includes the guy wire. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of point Z as represented by the shaded area.

Diagram 8


Relief Point Off Equidistant Arc

Appendix D8

Ball A is in the TIO. The first club-length measured along the equidistant arc ends in the hazard (Point X). Point Y is the point outside a hazard where the second club-length can be measured along the equidistant arc. Point Z is the point outside a hazard nearest to where the ball was in the TIO that provides relief through the green. As there is no requirement to remain equidistant from the hole in determining the nearest point of relief, and Point Z is nearer to the position of Ball A than Point Y, if the player intends to proceed under the Local Rule he must drop the ball within one club-length of Point Z as represented by the shaded area.

 

 

Diagram 9


Maximum Available Relief in Hazard

Appendix D9

Ball A is in a hazard and behind the TIO. Part A of the TIO is 20 feet tall and Part B is 10 feet tall. There is no spot in the hazard that offers complete relief from the TIO. Point Y is the point on the equidistant arc where the height of the TIO is the least. Point Z is the point on the equidistant arc that is nearest to line W (where complete relief exists). Point X is the point nearest to where the ball was in the bunker that is nearest to line W (where complete relief exists). As there is no requirement to remain equidistant from the hole in determining the point of maximum available relief, if the player intends to proceed under the Local Rule without penalty he must drop the ball at Point X even though it is farther from the hole than where the ball originally lay. 

Diagram 10


Special Relief Procedures

Appendix D10

Relief to Either Side of TIO
The scoreboard short and left of the putting green illustrates a case where a Local Rule permitting the ball to be dropped on the opposite side of the scoreboard from where the point of relief actually is determined under Clause III is appropriate because of the trees to the left of the scoreboard.
Balls A and B have come to rest behind the scoreboard which intervenes directly between the balls and the hole. In addition to dropping the balls within the respective shaded areas to the left of the scoreboard as required by Clause III, they may also be dropped within the shaded areas to the right (in front of for Ball A) of the scoreboard.
Note: Under the Local Rule at The Open, if the player’s ball lies in front of the TIO (i.e. he does not have intervention relief but the TIO physically interferes), he is permitted to go to the left or right when taking relief, in the same way as he does with intervention relief. 

Diagram 11


Ball Lost in TIO

Appendix D11

Ball A was played from the fairway into the grandstand. The ball cannot be found, but it is known or virtually certain that the ball is lost in the TIO. The ball entered the grandstand at Point X but Point Y is where the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the TIO. For the purposes of proceeding under Clause IV of the Local Rule for Temporary Obstructions, Point Y is the reference point for taking relief. Thus the player must drop the ball in the nearest Dropping Zone to Point Y.

Ball B was played from the fairway into the grandstand. The ball cannot be found, but it is known or virtually certain that the ball is lost in the TIO. The ball entered the grandstand at Point V but Point U is where the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the TIO. For the purposes of proceeding under Clause IV of the Local Rule for Temporary Obstructions, Point U is the reference point for raking relief. Thus the player must drop the ball in the nearest Dropping Zone to Point U.