By Rob Ockenfuss
Kohler, Wis. – One of the unique aspects of Blackwolf Run is the putting green shared by the ninth and 18th holes, a unique architectural feature not seen much in this country. In the middle of this shared putting surface lies a large swale, at the bottom of which sits a drain. The Rules of Golf define such an artificial object as an obstruction, from which the player is entitled to relief.
Normally, if a player has interference from an immovable obstruction on her line of play, free relief is not available. However, when the ball lies on the putting green, Rule 24-2a provides relief from interference by an immovable obstruction which is also on the putting green and on the player’s line of putt.
During the first round, Candie Kung’s second shot came to rest in a position where the drain was between her ball and the hole. However, after consulting the referee walking with the group, it was determined that the obstruction did not intervene on Kung’s line of play and she played the ball as it lay.
For more information, see this video.
Rob Ockenfuss is a Manager, Rules Inquiries for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.