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Outside agency
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July 16, 2015
5:58 pm
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Renfrew

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Just curious exactly what constitues an outside agency? I read the rule that says essentially anything that isnt on your side, but not a worm, insect, wind or water. 

Curious because I was playing with somebody who played in Florida and was told something by somebody she said was a rules official but I question. She was putting when a leaf blew by and stopped her ball as it rolled (ball was moving, then the leaf blew in and stopped it). She then putt out. The person she played with told her it was a penalty for playing it as it lay and not rehitting from where she was. The 'official' said the leaf was an outside agency so if it affects the ball the stroke on the green had to be re-hit. I would think a leaf would be like wind or water and not count as an outside agency. 

I seem to remember Phil hitting a pitt a few years ago and while the ball was moving a seed/leaf fell in his line and stopped his ball and it was just a rub of the green.

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July 16, 2015
6:35 pm
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Kanata, Ontario

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oiler the official was correct in the ruling and in this case the leaf is an outside agency.

 

19-1/3

 

Ball Played from Putting Green Deflected by Moving Outside Agency; Stroke Not Replayed

Q.In stroke play, a competitor putts and his ball is deflected by a moving outside agency other than a worm, insect or the like. The competitor did not replay the stroke as required by Rule 19-1b, holed out and then played from the next tee. What is the ruling?

A.The stroke that was deflected by the outside agency does not count in the competitor's score. When the competitor failed to replay the stroke he played from a wrong place. If the breach was a serious one, he is disqualified - Rule 20-7c. Otherwise, the score with the original ball counts and he incurs a penalty of two strokes for breach of Rule 19.

_____________________

Outside Agency

In match play, an "outside agency" is any agency other than either the player's or opponent's side, any caddie of either side, any ball played by either side at the hole being played or any equipment of either side

In stroke play, an outside agency is any agency other than the competitor's side, any caddie of the side, any ball played by the side at the hole being played or any equipment of the side

An outside agency includes a referee, a marker, an observer and a forecaddie. Neither wind nor water is an outside agency.

July 17, 2015
8:13 pm
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Renfrew

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I had read the rule and decision. But nowhere does it say what an outside agency is. They mention people and equipment specifically. And say worms and insects don't count, nor does wind or rain. I can't imagine a leaf counts as an outside agency, I'd say it's a rub of the green. A leaf moving would basically be wind. Imagine playing on a windy day? Your ball could conceivable (and on some tree lines courses it'd be likely) be struck by leaves on every putt. 

I found the Phil shot () but that leaf stopped moving before the ball hit it, so I guess it was actually a loose impediment. Just bad luck. Had it landed on the ball or rolled into it on a wind would it really be fair to the field to give him a redo on luck?

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January 24, 2016
8:02 am
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oiler3535 said
Just curious exactly what constitutes an outside agency? I read the rule that says essentially anything that isnt on your side, but not a worm, insect, wind or water. 

The rule doesn't actually say that. The definition (above) doesn't exclude worms or insects. So as they fit the definition, they are.

However, they are also Loose Impediments. 

The decision quoted above (19-1/3) is simply clarifying the procedure in Rule 19-1b

If a player's ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green is deflected or stopped by, or comes to rest in or on, any moving or animate outside agency, except a worm, insect or the like, the stroke is canceled. The ball must be replaced and replayed.

 It does not say that worms or insects are not Outside Agencies, just that the rule does not apply. But note that 19-1a would apply.

January 24, 2016
12:30 pm
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Ottawa

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The easiest way to remember what an Outside Agency is, is to know the philosophical definition of the word Agency, which is "an entity which is capable of action." This definition basically covers all living, animate things.

The Definition in the Rules has certain exclusions in Match and Stroke play, because these can have a direct effect on the outcome of the game, and the Rules provide specific remedies/penalties for them.

The main reason that worms, insects, or the like are excluded on the putting green (19-1b) is because these creatures are the most prevalent entities found on a golf course, and they don't react to us the same way that other agencies do when we yell or gesture at them to move. (Try yelling at a worm to move. It doesn't work). And to wait for one or more of these things to move out of the way on their own would cause the game to slow to a crawl (no pun intended). Which is why they are instead included in the definition of Loose Impediments, so that we are permitted to intervene and move them out of the way ourselves.

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