Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mailbag #1 - July 2017

Our first ever mailbag! I get a lot of questions each week, so I might as well share my answers to the league! Apparently my request for submissions was picked up on the internets, as I got a bunch of inquiries from non-members all over the globe. Let's get to it:


Do I get free relief from an embedded ball in the rough? -Brendan

YES! DPT Rule P-10 allows this! However you can't be in a hazard, and you need to drop (not place) the ball after you remove it. You also can't clean it if you're in the rough. Just pull it out, drop it, and hit it.

I should note this is NOT an official rule of golf, per the USGA. It's a "local rule" for our club. The USGA only allows free relief in "closely-mown areas" like fairways, greens, tee boxes etc. The PGA Tour, however, allows free relief in the rough. And I adopted their version because conditions are soft most of the year in Florida. You guys need all the help you can get.


If I hit my first tee shot OB, then I hit a second tee shot OB, and then I decide to drop near the 2nd OB ball, what shot am I hitting? Also, could I just decide NOT to hit a 2nd tee shot and just drop from the original OB ball? If so, what am I hitting? -Dave

Lots to digest here, David. Whenever you think your ball is OB, you should hit a provisional (Rule P-8). This applies to all shots, not just tee shots. If you fail to do so and discover your ball is OB, you CAN drop there if you want for a two stroke penalty (Rule P-8.1). Or you can go back and hit from the previous spot with a one stroke penalty.

Hitting two tee shots OB and then deciding to drop where the 2nd ball went OB... you're now hitting 6, and should probably just pick up for the max.

If you think your first ball is not OB, you COULD decide NOT to hit a 2nd tee shot. If you discover it actually is OB, you may drop and hit 4 from that spot. But anything that is KNOWN to be OB requires a provisional.

You NEVER get to take a one stroke penalty as if you went into a hazard or lake. OB is NOT a hazard or lake. Until the USGA says otherwise... OB is different. Gorecki has been struggling with this concept since 2012, and doesn't think "stroke and distance" is a real thing.

Oh... once you hit a provisional, you can't ignore it. So if your 2nd tee shot also goes OB, you don't get to say: "I'll just drop here hitting 4, forget about my provisional." That would make you a cheater. Because if you piped your 2nd ball down the fairway, you sure as shit would want to play it from there hitting 4.


Which is the more Gorecki move: Owing a pitcher after only playing 9 holes or quitting early so he didn't end up owing 3 pitchers? -Geoff

Definitely owing one after 9 holes, since it was halfway to owing a 2nd. And his 64 on the front nine was really a 66, but Dave got tired of correcting his score and teaching him the rules, so he said: "Fuck it, just tell me what you want me to write down from here on." It takes a lot to get Dave flustered, but Tragic Mike figured out a way.

Leaving at the turn was also due to a work meeting that he was probably going to miss thanks to a 4.5 hour pace of play as the first group out.


Before I hit my next shot, can you tell me if I'm hitting 5 or 6? -@PiCannon - via Twitter

Without a doubt... 6. In fact, make it 7 just to be safe. Now fire those cannons, before ze Germans get here!


This guy in my league really annoys me. I can't stand his [voice/comments/face/etc...]. Would you ever boot him or at least make a rule that nobody with his birthday is allowed to be in the league? -Harry Hans, Wolfsburg, Germany - via Snapchat

Too late, ze Germans are here.

Greetings, Mr. Hans! Thanks for your question. You know a league has reached the next level when there are people who annoy you. On the PGA Tour, most players can't stand Bubba or Sabbatini... but it's part of the "spice of life" that is variety! I realize it's common practice for Germans to just boot whoever they dislike, but we can't really do that. I also wouldn't make arbitrary rules, completely void of structure, in order to purify our player pool. Mainly, I'm afraid the precedent would be later used against me since I'm pretty annoying (especially on the golf course)!

Nothing works better than social pressure, so if you really think action is required... publicly speak up. Don't expect your League F├╝hrer to fight your personal battles. I'm guessing he's already pretty outspoken and says the things most of your fellow members are afraid to say out loud. Be the change you want to see in your league!


Hello DPT! First time reader, first time emailer! My ball was near the OB line. It might be considered "out," but one of the stakes fell down toward a house. Is the OB line where the stake used to be, or where the top of the stake now rests? Also, if both my playing partners agree it's OB, can I still make the case it's NOT out of bounds? What if I stare at the ball long enough scratching my head? And what about the white hose/PVC pipe running from a nearby pool? Since it's white... can't I say that's the actual OB marker and thus my ball is now playable?

Let's visualize what you're asking with the diagram below:

There are three lines on this image:
Black - The OB line as set up by the course.
Orange - The OB line you want to use, based on the top of a fallen stake.
Pink - The OB line using a pool pump... because... fuck logic.

While I understand you feel God finally did something positive in your life by knocking over a white OB stake... just stop wasting everyone's time. It shouldn't take your playing partners to determine if the ball is OB. But now that they've weighed in... respect the decision and move on.

OB markers are not moveable. You're not even allowed to move them in order to hit your ball. So if a marker fell over, and you can clearly determine where it was originally... that's the line. Stand it back up, and compare with the marker on the other side of your ball. Don't look at other white objects, don't make excuses, take the "stroke and distance" penalty and play better. The rules are cut and dry, and you're probably not good enough to care about a two stroke penalty.


My playing partner can't count. He constantly gets his score wrong at the end of each hole, and then argues when I correct him. How would you fix this issue?  -@MrPotadoughHead - via Twitter

Everyone makes mistakes, so you don't want to jump to conclusions and assume cheating. When someone is having a bad day, perhaps they're so frustrated they forgot a chunked chip or incorrectly counted their "stroke and distance" penalty after hitting OB. But in order to protect the field and your league, you should 100% speak up and ask for a recount. If you know for certain they are wrong, just explain your case.

If YOU are the one being questioned, don't get angry and take it personally. Just recount your shots and come to a conclusion.

I always correct people when I think they're wrong. But once in awhile... I'm mistaken. It's really embarrassing to speak up and ultimately look like an asshole. However, if we don't police ourselves, then we'll turn into a dysfunctional league playing for old frozen sausages. Getting your score correct is the most important thing in golf, and also the easiest.

Now what if we had someone who constantly seemed to miscount? Our league has a double-par max, so you only have to count to 10. And if you have trouble counting to 10, or can't seem to remember how OB works... then only two things are possible: 1) you're cheating or 2) you're retarded developmentally disabled.

Conscious cheaters will be kicked out of the league. But retardation developmental disability needs a more delicate solution. The golfer in question would find that I'm "randomly" paired with them every week (and riding in their cart). We'd become really close friends, as I'd graciously offer to help search for every lost ball near OB. I'd also become very interested in their round, almost as if I was their biggest fan. At the end of every hole I'd eagerly await to see if the score they tell me matches what I witnessed. If it didn't, I'd let them know they're mistaken and see if they're able to discover the error.

If it's an innocent mistake, I imagine the frequency of wrong scores would quickly decline. However, if mistakes continue, I'd begin loudly proclaiming to the group that "------- is about to play his X shot!" before every swing. When we arrive at the green, I'd announce something like: "------- hit one off the tee, two into the woods, lost ball drop three, fourth back into the fairway, fifth on the green and now putting for six!" No need for the player in question to even count. Once I get tired of babysitting, we'll give the player one last chance until he gets booted.


Who goes to a deeper circle of Hell? The golfer who cheats and lies about his score, or the one who won't shut up about himself during a round?  -A member who wishes to remain anonymous

What about people who don't sign their names on burn notices?

Anyway, it's been a long while since I've attempted to read Dante's Inferno. But let's see...

Golf cheaters and liars would be in the eighth circle (Malebolge), and in the tenth Bolgia with the Falsifiers. Within that Bolgia there are actually four categories of Falsifiers. We'd find said cheaters (ie: Lexi Thompson) in the fourth class of Perjurers. Everyone down there suffers from various diseases, rashes, fevers and are prone to randomly ripping each other apart.

Golfers who can't stop talking about themselves would be classified as committing the sin of pride. However, vanity and pride are curiously missing from Inferno. It's only implied that pride can lead to treachery, which would put you in the 9th circle, frozen in ice and within a pitching wedge of Satan.

So to answer your question, cheating and lying about golf puts you in a deeper circle of Hell. Vain and prideful golfers are just annoying and should be publicly shamed in order to bring about change.


That's the end of our first mailbag! Keep your questions coming in and we'll do another one eventually!


casey rease said...

How many stroke penalties should be applied to the new guy Brendan for spitting sunflower seeds on every green? Pretty sure it cost me 3 aces.

Chris Faz said...

I'd like to elaborate on the answer to question 2 from Dave. If you knowingly hit two balls OB you can't simply "choose to drop" where the second one went in. You have to take a stroke and hit again. We only allow a 2 stroke drop when you unknowingly hit a ball OB in the interest of time.

Chandler said...

Good point, Faz. Casey discovered his ball was OB last week, and decided he didn't want to head back to the tee box. That's OK, as we thought his ball was in the trees. But blasting a ball over a house and then saying "I'm going to drop up there" is not allowed.

J.W. said...

Sad that my questions weren't selected. Also disappointed at the lack of putter jerking references.

Chandler said...

Where did you submit questions? I must have missed or forgotten about them.

J.W. said...

You're not checking your instagram DM's? They weren't particularly worthwhile questions. Not like "how many times do I have to jerk my putter before it starts working?"

Gary said...

Future questions for clarification are: Where and how to drop your ball after hitting into either red or yellow marked hazzards and/or on to a cartpath. This would include things like 1 vs. 2 club lengths and/or when are you allowed to go back along the line of flight of the previous mishit shot vs. when do you need to keep the flag in line with the position of the drop? All of this will require multiple glossy photos with circles and arrows to explain.

Chandler said...

Do I even have an Instagram account? I'll have to go look and add them to the next mailbag!

J.W. said...

There's a chandlerb81

Chandler said...

Oh right. Mildly funny story about that account I'll tell you this weekend. I had to download the app to get your questions. I'll add them to the next mailbag!

Gary said...


Chandler said...

Way too many mediums out there. FaceBook was supposed to solve this problem. Especially when they purchased Instagram.

J.W. said...

Is it about how chandler_stewart_brown was already taken?

Chandler said...

No, but I wonder if BrownThinMint is available...