Golf courses present unique challenges that can sometimes include temporary immovable obstructions (TIOs). Understanding the rules and procedures associated with TIOs is crucial for players to navigate the course effectively and maintain fair play. In this article, we will discuss what a TIO is in golf, its significance, and the rules that apply to dealing with these obstructions.
What is a TIO in Golf?
A Temporary Immovable Obstruction (TIO) is an artificial object on a golf course that is not intended to be a permanent fixture and cannot be readily moved. These obstructions are typically in place for a short period, often due to ongoing maintenance, construction work, or special events. Examples of TIOs include tents, temporary fences, grandstands, or signage.
Significance of TIOs:
TIOs are important to understand because they can impact a player’s strategy, shot selection, and overall performance on the course. The presence of a TIO might require a golfer to adjust their play or consider alternative routes to avoid potential interference.
Rules and Procedures for Dealing with TIOs:
The Rules of Golf, as governed by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A, provide guidance on how to deal with TIOs. According to Rule 16.1, a player is entitled to free relief if their ball lies in or on the TIO, or the TIO interferes with the player’s stance, area of intended swing, or intended line of play.
To take relief from a TIO, follow these steps:
- Determine the nearest point of complete relief: Find the nearest spot where the TIO no longer interferes with the stance, swing, or line of play. This point should not be closer to the hole.
- Measure a one club-length relief area: Using any club, measure a relief area that is no closer to the hole than the nearest point of complete relief.
- Drop the ball within the relief area: The ball must be dropped within the relief area and come to rest within this area.
It is essential to note that if the ball is in a penalty area, the player may not take free relief from a TIO. In this case, the player must proceed under the appropriate penalty area Rule (Rule 17) or play the ball as it lies.
Common Types of Temporary Immovable Obstructions (TIOs)
|Tenting||Tents or canopies placed around the course||Spectator tents, refreshment tents|
|Fencing||Temporary fences installed for an event||Crowd control barriers|
|Signage||Temporary signs or billboards||Sponsor signs, event banners|
|Equipment||Temporary equipment on the course||TV camera platforms, cranes|
|Staging||Structures set up for the event||Leaderboard towers, grandstands|
Rules Pertaining to TIOs
|Rule Number||Rule Description||Notes|
|16.1||Relief from abnormal course conditions (including TIOs)||Free relief, no penalty|
|22.2||Procedure for taking relief from a TIO||Nearest point of relief|
|23||Moving or altering the position of a TIO is not allowed||May lead to a penalty|
|Scenario||Course Section||TIO Type||Situation|
|1||Tee box||Signage||Sponsor sign is within the golfer’s intended swing|
|2||Fairway||Equipment||TV camera platform interferes with golfer’s stance|
|3||Green||Tenting||A refreshment tent is obstructing the putting line|
|4||Bunker||Fencing||Temporary fence is inside a bunker, affecting play|
|5||Rough||Staging||A leaderboard tower is impeding a golfer’s shot|
Relief Procedures for TIOs
|1||Determine if a TIO interferes with stance or swing|
|2||Locate the nearest point of complete relief|
|3||Drop the ball within one club length of that point|
|4||Ensure the dropped ball is not nearer to the hole|
|5||Play the shot from the new position without penalty|
TIO Examples from Famous Golf Courses
|Course Name||Tournament||TIO Example|
|Augusta National||The Masters||TV camera towers around Amen Corner|
|St. Andrews||The Open Championship||Grandstands surrounding the 18th green|
|Pebble Beach||US Open||Spectator tents along the coastal holes|
|TPC Sawgrass||The Players Championship||Leaderboard towers near the 17th hole|
|Oakmont||US Open||Temporary fencing for crowd control|
Temporary Immovable Obstructions (TIOs) are artificial objects on a golf course that can impact players’ strategy and performance. Familiarizing oneself with the rules and procedures associated with TIOs is essential for fair play and successful navigation of the course. By understanding the concept of TIOs and the relief options available, golfers can adapt to changing course conditions and maintain their competitive edge.