July 14, 2012
Lake Orion, Mich. – Each
grouping or pairing at the U.S. Senior Open has a walking referee assigned to
accompany it. Whenever the official is called on to make a ruling or he
observes a player proceeding under a Rule, he records the facts and the ruling
on a Rules Incident card. These cards are collected and the information is
stored in a database.
Through the first two rounds, there were 133 incidents
reported. In most cases, the incident was handled in under two minutes. There
were 29 balls hit into the water hazards and lateral water hazards around the
golf course. Eight balls were lost or hit out of bounds while five players
chose to proceed under Rule 28 for an unplayable ball. In addition, there were
12 instances of a player receiving relief from a temporary immovable obstruction.
Most of the rest have been for relief from obstructions, both movable ones like
microphones and immovable ones such as cart paths or sprinkler heads.
The hole with the most incidents was the difficult par-4 12th
hole. A large lateral water hazard lies just to the left of the drive zone. Sixteen
balls have been hit into the hazard. The ninth hole with out of bounds to the
right and the clubhouse behind has had the second-highest number of rulings
Having a referee with each group ensures that any time a
player needs a ruling there is someone on the spot to assist them promptly. You
will usually see these officials walking near the ropes with the walking scorer
and standard bearer.
For more information
on the Rules of Golf, go to the Rules of Golf page at http://www.usga.org or watch the Rules of Golf videos at http://www.usga-rules.com/.
Written by John Van
der Borght, manager of Rules communications for the USGA.