In Course Out of Bounds

In course out of bounds is a long running debate, whether it’s wrong or right. I personally believe when the course was first designed, they never had the thought of outbounds. The course should be played the way it was designed. If the hole allows the player to risk the shot over the trees and creek to make the hole shorter, let them do it. But some courses would have out of bounds stakes down that whole left side forcing them to play down the fairway. Other then improving pace of play, the player is most likely going to do it anyways. I would do it because the architect didn’t design the course to be played like that. I’ve seen holes where there is OB on the side of a hill, this makes no sense because the hill is covered in thick fescue. I think the smart play is to just make it a mandatory drop of a one stroke penalty and allow the player to drop where it entered. In this case the fairway is already only 15 yards wide making it very tough to hit anyways. I don’t see the point of making a hole harder by forcing people to hit it straight, it is already hard enough. Peoples original intent isn’t meant to hit it on a hill side in the first place, so why make it out of bounds?

Many public courses will have this rule of in course out of bounds. The reasoning for his is they need to keep pace of play up, so they can put as many groups out on the course and make the most money they can. This is all an understandable reason but I don’t think again it’s the way the course was suppose to played. You’ll never see a PGA Tour course with in course out of bounds. Another reason for this is for the safety of the golf course, it keep everyone safe so there aren’t random golf balls flying into another hole. Most recently during the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan the 18th hole was played the way it shouldn’t be. The course will most likely not put in course out of bounds but they will plant more trees in the line of sight taken by most players during their rounds. The only reason a player would play the type of shot to another hole would be so they could make it shorter or give them a better angle to a hole location. I think a better way of preventing people to not take a shortcut on a hole would be advising it on the scorecard instead of penalizing the player directly.

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