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Rules Blog: Purtzer On The Roof

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Purtzer On The Roof 


In 2003, Tom Purtzer put his
ball on the Inverness Club clubhouse

Toledo, Ohio – At the 2003 U.S. Senior Open, Tom Purtzer’s second shot on the 18th hole in the second round veered to the right and bounced onto the roof of the clubhouse. The clubhouse at Inverness Club is in bounds. There were some people on the roof and one of them found a ball that was identified as Purtzer’s. Since the clubhouse is a man-made object, it is an immovable obstruction, and relief from it is covered under Rule 24-2b.


The nearest point to where Purtzer’s ball lay that was not nearer the hole was determined and he was allowed to drop the ball within one club-length of that point, not nearer the hole. From there he went on to make a bogey 5.

Had Purtzer’s ball not been found on the roof, he still would have received relief if it could be determined with virtual certainty that the ball was lost in or on the clubhouse. In this case, he would have determined his nearest point of relief from the point where the ball entered the outer limit of the clubhouse. Rule 24-3 covers instances where a ball in an obstruction cannot be found.



Storms Hit Inverness Club 

Thunderstorms and heavy rain hit the 2011 U.S. Senior Open site at Inverness Club this past week, and the nearly 3 inches of rain was accompanied by high winds.

A fence that had been constructed to separate the driving range from the first hole was blown over twice during these storms.

A large tree between the seventh green and the 17th fairway was broken in half during the storm on Friday, and a number of bunkers had washouts and were flooded.

Large amounts of debris from trees, including many large branches, have also been cleaned up by the crews that were already busy preparing the course for the championship.



The cart path at the Inverness Club.

Cart Path Near A Boundary



On the 566-yard, par-5 eighth hole at the 2011 U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club, a cart path runs along the right side of the hole adjacent to the out-of-bounds fence.  Because the path is so close to the boundary, a player who might have interference from the fence would also be standing on the path.

Normally a player does not get free relief from a boundary fence, but the cart path is an immovable obstruction from which free relief would be granted. This would allow the player in this area to escape from a boundary fence where a player who was just short or past it would not be able to do so. In order to make a more equitable situation, the Championship Rules Committee has deemed the cart path in this stretch to be an “Integral Part of the Course” from which free relief is not granted. Clubs with cart paths close to boundary fences should consider this option in their competitions.

The portion of the cart path that is considered to be an integral part of the course will be designated by two green stakes on each side of the path at both ends. This is noted on the Notice to Players that will be distributed at the starting holes each day of the championship.

Written by John Van der Borght, manager of Rules communications for the USGA. 


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