Relief from a cartpath – golf rules – Brief Article

SITUATION: A player finds her ball (A) on a cartpath, which she knows is an immovable obstruction. She also knows that, in this situation, a free drop is allowed by the rules. (You do not get relief from an immovable obstruction when your ball is in a water hazard.)

COMMON MISTAKE: The player correctly considers the area of her nearest point of relief before dropping the ball within one club-length from that point and no nearer the hole. After the drop, the lie is such that she has to keep one foot on the cartpath to play the shot. She decides to play the shot anyway, because the lie is so good. The ball lies on one of the few areas of grass in a very sandy spot.

The player cannot keep one foot on the path after her drop, according to Rule 24-2 and 20-2c. This costs her the hole in match play or a two-stroke penalty in stroke play.

CORRECT PROCEDURE: When taking relief from an immovable obstruction (anything artificial) through the green, you must take complete relief. In the illustration above, the three possibilities are behind the obstruction (B); on an arc to the left (C); on an arc to the right (D). In this instance, the nearest point of relief is (B), so she must drop the ball within one club-length of this point. This procedure also applies when you are taking relief from casual water or ground under repair.

COPYRIGHT 2000 New York Times Company Magazine Group, Inc.

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