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Rules Question: Relief from cart path - Page 2

post #19 of 43

I think I would've taken a drop, consider the scenario in the drawing below. When you take relief from the cart path, you take the position of the golfer in the gray shirt. You can then drop within one club length. If you drop where the 2nd ball is in the drawing, you can then swing freely where the golfer in the red shirt is now standing. This is of course assuming there are no low-hanging branches that interfere with your swing and no other trees in your intended path.

 

Ideally, with the drop, you might actually get to drop in grass also, instead of pine needles or bare dirt.

 

Ball Relief Diagram

post #20 of 43

Also, if there happens to be a small slope or something inside the one club-length, you can drop it there and hope the ball will roll even farther away. The ball has to land inside one club-length when first dropped, but can roll up to 2 club-lengths away from the area. On flat land you won't get any roll obviously, but it's useful to know this.

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post

Thanks sacm3bill. I sometimes run into situations where I wonder where to start the initial point of relief. Knowing that the nearest point if relief can be far away from the ball is useful to know. Like if your swingpath is obstructed by some immovable object. First you find the nearest point where you can swing freely without the object being in the way, mark that position, then drop the ball within one club length from there. After that it can also roll another two clublengths away.

 

When marking the nearest point of relief, you just find the spot where you can make a stance and not have the ball lie on the path, then mark the point where the ball will be, and drop within one club-length from there.

 

 

First comment to the OP: the ball is to be dropped, not placed (as ur friend was proposing).

 

Second comment to the bolded: As it is an option and not an obligatory action for the player to take a relief from an immovable obstruction it is up to the player to decide whether any relief makes sense. The player is NOT entitled to a stance nor even to have any possibility to reach the NPOR. Thus, based on the picture in OP, the NPOR could be 'inside' the tree. The player is then entitled to drop his ball within a club length of that point, not closer to the hole and on such a spot that would give relief from the obstruction. So, no relief from the tree is automatically granted.

 

There are a couple of nice Decisions (Dec 24-2b/xx) describing situations where a player is physically unable to determine the NPOR and Dec 24-2b/3.7 describes almost exactly the situation in OP (see B3/S3/P3 in that Decision). So in case the tree is large enough a free relief might not be a good option for the player.

post #22 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post

Second comment to the bolded: As it is an option and not an obligatory action for the player to take a relief from an immovable obstruction it is up to the player to decide whether any relief makes sense. The player is NOT entitled to a stance nor even to have any possibility to reach the NPOR. Thus, based on the picture in OP, the NPOR could be 'inside' the tree. The player is then entitled to drop his ball within a club length of that point, not closer to the hole and on such a spot that would give relief from the obstruction. So, no relief from the tree is automatically granted.


Not sure if I'm following here. I'm talking about finding the NPOR from the cart path, not the tree. The tree is obviously not an immovable obstruction, it just happens to be there and can cause trouble for the player. It doesn't matter if the tree is there or not, you have to find a place to drop the ball where you are free of the cart path, including your stance. That place might be right up against the trunk of the tree, but that's just poor luck. Depending on where the NPOR will be and where you will be able to drop, hitting the ball as it lies could be the best option.

 

If this is a very large tree, you might not find a place to swing freely, but if it's not too big, you might find a decent spot to perhaps punch the ball out inside one club-length. Which essentially is a driver, around 42" or 1,25 yards. Should you find a spot where you can drop the ball and it will bounce up to two club-lengths from the first club-length, you can hit it from there.

 

What about dropping the ball on the trunk of a tree? Say his NPOR is directly behind the tree, the tree is inside one club-length, and not closer to the hole. Could you drop the ball on a root of the tree, hoping it will bounce to a better spot? It is of course a bit of a gamble, but interesting to know.

post #23 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post


 


Not sure if I'm following here. I'm talking about finding the NPOR from the cart path, not the tree. The tree is obviously not an immovable obstruction, it just happens to be there and can cause trouble for the player. It doesn't matter if the tree is there or not, you have to find a place to drop the ball where you are free of the cart path, including your stance. That place might be right up against the trunk of the tree, but that's just poor luck. Depending on where the NPOR will be and where you will be able to drop, hitting the ball as it lies could be the best option.

 

If this is a very large tree, you might not find a place to swing freely, but if it's not too big, you might find a decent spot to perhaps punch the ball out inside one club-length. Which essentially is a driver, around 42" or 1,25 yards. Should you find a spot where you can drop the ball and it will bounce up to two club-lengths from the first club-length, you can hit it from there.

 

What about dropping the ball on the trunk of a tree? Say his NPOR is directly behind the tree, the tree is inside one club-length, and not closer to the hole. Could you drop the ball on a root of the tree, hoping it will bounce to a better spot? It is of course a bit of a gamble, but interesting to know.


I was referring to this comment of yours: 'When marking the nearest point of relief, you just find the spot where you can make a stance and not have the ball lie on the path, then mark the point where the ball will be, and drop within one club-length from there.'

 

My point was the bolded phrase, i.e. one is not entitled to a proper stance but the NPOR must be determined as if the tree was not there at all, see Dec 24-2b/3.7.

 

And yes, you may drop the ball on a root of the tree, nothing in the Rules against that. But do realize that if you do it twice and both times the ball rolls more than 2 club-lengths, you need to place the ball on the root (following R20-3c) and that may be a difficult place to play ;-) And this is no joke.

 

post #24 of 43

I know, you have to make a calculated decision of course.

 

I see what you mean now, and it was my fault for being inaccurate. I did not mean the NPOR was anywhere you could make a stance, free from everything. I was trying to say that you find the NPOR where you can take a stance and not be affected by the cart path. That place might be inside the tree, but that's luck of the draw (or fade). The NPOR is the closest spot where you can take your stance with a normal ball position using the club you would use for the next shot, and be free of the cart path. There might be a rock, tree or bush on that place.

 

A quick example: You hit the ball onto a cart path on the right side of the fairway. The NPOR for you is on the right side of the cart path, which is littered with thick bushes, giving you no place to drop and no place to stand. Dropping the ball into the bushes is obviously stupid, so you have to make a decision. You can deem the ball unplayable, go back and hit a new ball, being penalized with distance and a stroke. You can drop the ball inside two club-lengths with the penalty of one shot, which means you can drop it on the left side of the cart path (fairway). Or you can hit the ball from the cart path. You get relief from the cart path, but that option is not possible because of the bushes.

 

If you take a drop with penalty, I assume you can drop the ball onto the cart path, perhaps hoping it will roll to a better position. If you do drop the ball from an unplayable lie and it rolls to the left side of the path, making the NPOR on the left side, can you invoke the rule for immovable obstruction and drop it onto the fairway from there?

 

Can the ball always roll up to two club-lengths from where it first touched the ground? Regardless of which rule you apply? Which means that if you want to take a drop from an unplayable lie, drop it two club-lengths from the oiriginal position, it can roll another two, moving the ball up to 5 yards from where it originally lay. It requires a sloped area of course. In the event of relief, the ball can roll up to 3 club-lengths from the NPOR. I have myself re-dropped a ball because it rolled outside the designated drop area of the two club-lengths, which is wrong.

post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post
Can the ball always roll up to two club-lengths from where it first touched the ground? Regardless of which rule you apply? Which means that if you want to take a drop from an unplayable lie, drop it two club-lengths from the oiriginal position, it can roll another two, moving the ball up to 5 yards from where it originally lay. It requires a sloped area of course. In the event of relief, the ball can roll up to 3 club-lengths from the NPOR. I have myself re-dropped a ball because it rolled outside the designated drop area of the two club-lengths, which is wrong.


Basically yes, it is always 2 club-lengths. However, to be absolutely precise the distance may be less as it is not 'touched the ground' but 'touched the course'.

 

For example, when dropped the ball might first strike a branch of a tree or a bush and bounce off from that branch to touch the ground maybe a yard from the spot on the ground directly below the spot where the ball first touched the branch. You see, the branch is the first place where the ball touched the course. If any measuring is needed to determine whether the ball must be re-dropped the measuring must be done from the spot on the ground directly below the spot where the ball first touched the branch. See http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-20/#20-2c/1.3

 

 

Confusing, huh?

post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post


If you take a drop with penalty, I assume you can drop the ball onto the cart path, perhaps hoping it will roll to a better position. If you do drop the ball from an unplayable lie and it rolls to the left side of the path, making the NPOR on the left side, can you invoke the rule for immovable obstruction and drop it onto the fairway from there?


Yes, you can, and sometimes it may very well be worth it.

 

post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post

 

If you take a drop with penalty, I assume you can drop the ball onto the cart path, perhaps hoping it will roll to a better position. If you do drop the ball from an unplayable lie and it rolls to the left side of the path, making the NPOR on the left side, can you invoke the rule for immovable obstruction and drop it onto the fairway from there?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post




Yes, you can, and sometimes it may very well be worth it.

 


Wouldn't you not be able to do this under the rule saying the dropped ball has to be re-dropped if it is still on the obstruction relief was taken from? Or does that not count on an unplayable drop? 

 

post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinseeker81 View Post




Wouldn't you not be able to do this under the rule saying the dropped ball has to be re-dropped if it is still on the obstruction relief was taken from? Or does that not count on an unplayable drop? 

 


Nope, if it's unplayable, you get two club lengths from the original spot and what you get is what you get (unless you take the option to drop behind your unplayable lie, when you can go as far back as you want).  You're not really taking relief from anything when you take an unplayable, so you don't get a free re-drop, even if you roll back to your original position.

 

post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinseeker81 View Post




Wouldn't you not be able to do this under the rule saying the dropped ball has to be re-dropped if it is still on the obstruction relief was taken from? Or does that not count on an unplayable drop? 

 


They are talking about taking penalty relief from an unplayable lie, and dropping the ball on the obstruction.  If they were taking relief from the obstruction then you would be correct - he would not be able to drop in a situation where the same obstruction caused interference.

post #30 of 43

I'm glad I came across this discussion. I had a similar situation playing a Beat the Pro tournament last weekend. Fortunately we had one of the pros in our group. Now I'm left handed and you would think that I would not be entitled to relief. Not so. All I need do is declare that I'm going to hit the ball right handed. That entitles me to take relief as shown above and proceed to swing normally.

post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanS View Post

I'm glad I came across this discussion. I had a similar situation playing a Beat the Pro tournament last weekend. Fortunately we had one of the pros in our group. Now I'm left handed and you would think that I would not be entitled to relief. Not so. All I need do is declare that I'm going to hit the ball right handed. That entitles me to take relief as shown above and proceed to swing normally.


Not true.  You have to play the stroke as you would normally do it if the obstruction were not there.  Taking an unusual stance or making an unusual swing just to gain relief is not allowed.  The interference has to occur when you take what would be your normal stance for the lie.  If the situation is such that you would be forced to take an unusual stance, and there was interference at that point, then you would be allowed relief, but not if you take a right handed stance solely to get relief.

 

post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post




Not true.  You have to play the stroke as you would normally do it if the obstruction were not there.  Taking an unusual stance or making an unusual swing just to gain relief is not allowed.  The interference has to occur when you take what would be your normal stance for the lie.  If the situation is such that you would be forced to take an unusual stance, and there was interference at that point, then you would be allowed relief, but not if you take a right handed stance solely to get relief.

 



 Thanx for clearing that up. In my case I was forced in to taking an unusual stance. The ball came to rest in a bush on the left side. I would of have to of swung over top of the bush which was not possible. So declaring a right handed swing was all I could do. Which in turn gave me relief. Nice to know, nice to understand that rule better.

post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer View Post

I think I would've taken a drop, consider the scenario in the drawing below. When you take relief from the cart path, you take the position of the golfer in the gray shirt. You can then drop within one club length. If you drop where the 2nd ball is in the drawing, you can then swing freely where the golfer in the red shirt is now standing. This is of course assuming there are no low-hanging branches that interfere with your swing and no other trees in your intended path.

 

Ideally, with the drop, you might actually get to drop in grass also, instead of pine needles or bare dirt.

 

Ball Relief Diagram


So in this example the NPR would be in the middle of the tree and then one club length (this pic gave the golfer relief from the tree). I still think that if the tree is not some monstrosity then this is a good option as it puts you where the red golfer is but more even with the tree. Now measuring one club length from the middle of the tree must be an approximation I would think as you could not actually do it from the exact middle but could estimate from the side.  

 

post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post




So in this example the NPR would be in the middle of the tree and then one club length (this pic gave the golfer relief from the tree). I still think that if the tree is not some monstrosity then this is a good option as it puts you where the red golfer is but more even with the tree. Now measuring one club length from the middle of the tree must be an approximation I would think as you could not actually do it from the exact middle but could estimate from the side.  

 


Correct. There are a couple of Decisions describing this issue and indeed one must estimate the NPOR. It is very propable that 99% of golfers just ignore the tree and drop the ball on the most convenient place thus getting much more relief than which they are entitled to.

 

When concidering whether taking relief is the best choice it is essential to first explore the options and only then pick the ball up if invoking R24-2. Sometimes it is better to play from the cart path.

 

post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post




Correct. There are a couple of Decisions describing this issue and indeed one must estimate the NPOR. It is very propable that 99% of golfers just ignore the tree and drop the ball on the most convenient place thus getting much more relief than which they are entitled to.

 

When concidering whether taking relief is the best choice it is essential to first explore the options and only then pick the ball up if invoking R24-2. Sometimes it is better to play from the cart path.

 


The last paragraph is key here.  I've hit from cart paths many times when the drop option was virtually guaranteed to be unplayable.  If you lift the ball and then change your mind, it's a one stroke penalty for moving your ball in play and then not continuing the relief procedure.  Always make sure that you really want to take relief before you touch the ball.

 

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post


Correct. There are a couple of Decisions describing this issue and indeed one must estimate the NPOR. It is very propable that 99% of golfers just ignore the tree and drop the ball on the most convenient place thus getting much more relief than which they are entitled to.

 

My approach, to save time, is to choose a drop point conservatively so that I can be sure I'm compliant even if I don't estimate accurately.  If there's a good lie that's clearly less than half a club length away from the area where the NPOR would be, then you only need to estimate it to half a club length to be sure you're in a legal spot for the drop.

 

If there's nasty turf I want to avoid or I'm trying to get away from a slope, then I'll be more careful and start marking locations to be sure I drop legally, but it's somewhat rare for that to be needed.
 

 

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