Out of Bounds
Last Updated: 04/01/09
Out of Bounds! 
Recently, there was a question on the course about whether a player's ball was out of bounds or not. In this case, we were behind hole #3, where the boundary fence is OB. The questions raised were not unique, but how many of us really know the answers?

According to the definitions set by the USGA, "When out of bounds is defined by reference to stakes or a fence or as being beyond stakes or a fence, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level excluding angled supports."

Behind hole #3, we have the chain-link fence, which is supported by posts. It is the inside point of these posts that determines the out of bounds line. In our scenario, the player's ball (was that Bernie?) had come to rest just next to one of the posts, with about 1/3 of the ball extending beyond the inside point of the post. Was his ball OB?

So as to move play along, the group decided that his ball was out, however, a closer look at the rules tells us that the ball was still in bounds.

"A ball is out of bounds when ALL of it lies out of bounds."

So, since only a portion of his ball crossed the OB line, it seems that the player would have had other options to choose from, rather than going back to the tee to hit his 3rd shot. Those options would likely be covered under Ball Unplayable.