What Is A TIO In Golf?

What Is A TIO In Golf?

If you are a beginner, you might never have heard of the term TIO. TIO in golf refers to a temporary immovable object that is set up on the course. While you might not find these at every golf course, they seem to be prevalent at professional tournaments. They can also cause some bad obstructions for certain players.

According to the rules of golf, a player should play the ball as it lies. This means that regardless of the obstruction, you will need to play the ball. Moving the ball can count as two shots depending on the movement and this could certainly put you back as a professional player. The aim should be to avoid TIOs as much as possible.

If you have never run into these issues, you might not be sure how to deal with them. Fortunately, the aim of this article will help you better understand what a TIO is and what you need to do when you are dealing with a temporary immovable object on your way. Let’s have a closer look at dealing with the TIO issue:

What Do The Rules Say About A TIO?

You need to make sure you have a basic understanding of the rules when dealing with a TIO. Under the PGA Tour rules, the TIO situation needs to meet one of the following criteria for you to be granted some relief when playing your shot. These are two possible scenarios that could save you when you have an issue:

  • If the golf ball lies in front or so close to the TIO that your shot is obstructed or interferes with your stance.
  • If your ball lies underneath or inside the TIO and it directly interferes with your line of play between the ball and the hole.

If this is the case, you often have a small buffer zone, which means you can move the ball in any direction of the club-length buffer zone. If any obstructions from TIOs still exist in this buffer zone, you can lift the ball and drop it without penalty and should ideally be within one club-length of your original position. Here are some more rules about dropping the ball:

  1. Must not be closer to the hole
  2. It should avoid any interference
  3. It should not be in a hazard
  4. It cannot be directly on the putting green.

Hitting a temporary immovable object is not something you should be overly concerned about. It is very rare for a player to hit them in casual games. However, they can be a common obstacle on golfing days or in professional games. If the ball is in a hazard behind a TIO, you could move it inside the hazard without penalty or outside the hazard at the cost of a stroke penalty.


TIO’s are not the worst thing for you to deal with and you should notice that you can improve your game by trying to avoid these obstacles. One of the most notable examples includes Sergio Garcia at the BMW Championship. We would love to see some of your comments and learn about any hazards you have had to avoid.

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