What Does TIO Mean in Golf? (An Accurate Answer)

At Sports Untangled, we have taken an initiative to simply all the complex terms which are used pretty commonly in golf. Earlier we have explained terms like Standing Astride, Double Cross, WD, Plus Handicap etc.

But do you know what does TIO mean in golf? Don’t worry even if you don’t, because I will simplify it now.

In golf, TIO stands for “Temporary Immovable Obstruction.” A Temporary Immovable Obstruction is an obstacle on the golf course that cannot be moved but can be considered ground under repair for the duration of the obstruction. This can include a sprinkler head, a hole made by a burrowing animal, or a construction site.

What does tio mean in golf
What does tio mean in golf?

What does tio mean in golf? (The Answer)

Understanding the rules around Temporary Immovable Obstructions is an important part of playing golf and can help players avoid unnecessary penalties and improve their scores.

When a player’s ball rests within a TIO, they are entitled to relief without penalty. The exact rules for taking relief depend on the specific situation. Still, the player is generally allowed to move their ball without penalty to the nearest point of relief, which is usually the nearest point where the obstruction no longer interferes with their intended shot.

It is important to note that not all immovable obstructions are considered temporary, and not all temporary obstructions are considered immovable. For example, a golf cart path is an immovable obstruction but not temporary.

Similarly, a branch that has fallen onto the course during a round of golf may be considered a temporary obstruction. Still, if it is easily moveable, it is not considered immovable.

What is an example of an immovable obstruction in golf?

An immovable obstruction in golf is any structure or object the golfer cannot physically move. Some examples of common immovable obstructions are posts, walls, fences, trees, bridges, and buildings near the green. 

What is an example of an immovable obstruction in golf
What is an example of an immovable obstruction in golf?

These obstacles can be moved when construction occurs on a course but must remain in their original locations even if there are modifications to the surrounding area. Additionally, water hazards and out of bounds markers are considered immovable obstructions as the golfer cannot physically move them.

What is line of sight relief from immovable obstruction?

Line of sight relief from immovable obstruction is a rule in golf that allows players to get some form of relief when an immovable obstruction blocks their line of sight to the hole.

This applies to situations where the ball lies near an immovable obstruction and, if not moved, would prohibit a golfer from taking a shot at the hole. 

What is line of sight relief from immovable obstruction
What is line of sight relief from immovable obstruction?

In those cases, the player can move the ball to an area with an improved line of sight or may be allowed to take a free drop or even complete a stroke depending on their proximity to the hole. When executing this rule, players should always use good judgment and ensure their decision does not violate other rules of golf.

Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)

Are tee markers immovable obstructions?

Yes, tee markers are considered immovable obstructions in golf. They are usually set up in a location that can not be changed and can affect the direction of play for certain shots.

Is a bridge an immovable obstruction in golf?

Yes, bridges are an immovable obstruction in golf as they provide access to other course areas and cannot be moved by the golfer.

Is a tree root an immovable obstruction in golf? 

Depending on their size and location, tree roots could be considered an immovable obstruction. If they are too large to move, they will likely be classified as an immovable obstruction. However, cases like this should always be discussed with a course marshal or rules official before deciding on relief or playing around with them.


In conclusion, TIO is an acronym used in golf for ‘Temporary Immovable Obstruction!’. This phrase often indicates the start of a game or when it is time to hit the first shot on a hole.

In addition to being used by players and fans, some courses may use this phrase as part of their dress code policy. Knowing what TIO stands for can help you understand golf terminology and etiquette when playing at any course.

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