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relief question

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A good while back I had a situation in a round that still gets me thinking sometimes.
 
The cart path runs down the right side of the hole and just left of the cart path is a row of thick bushes.  Anyway, my tee shot ended up on the dirt under the bushes and would have been unplayable but my stance was on the cart path..was I right in taking relief or should I have had to take an unplayable?
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox View Post

A good while back I had a situation in a round that still gets me thinking sometimes.
 
The cart path runs down the right side of the hole and just left of the cart path is a row of thick bushes.  Anyway, my tee shot ended up on the dirt under the bushes and would have been unplayable but my stance was on the cart path..was I right in taking relief or should I have had to take an unplayable?

 

You never have to take unplayable as that is not mandatory in rules. You can take, but it is up to you.

 

So you are more than welcome to use free relief from cart path. But be careful in finding the right NPR. It could well be in that same row of bushes. And even with one club length drop either the ball or you could be sitting inside the bush.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
well...what I meant was that taking an unplayable would have been my only other option.
 
My thinking was that with the way the bushes were situated(the edge of the bushes are in line with the cart path) and the path running relatively parallel with thecontours of the green at this point...the nearest point of relief would have been on the other side of the path..further from the hole. 
 
Anyway, the reason I still think about it is because another guy in the group said he didn't know if I got relief but I think he assumed I was taking free relief from the bushes and not the path.
post #4 of 16

I'm trying to picture this, so correct me if I wrongly assume the terrain. First, you must understand NPR (nearest point of relief) as luu5 pointed out. I am picturing your ball under a bush on the right of a cart path which is causing you to stand on the right edge of the cart path. The nearest point of relief would be approx one to two feet further right (which I think would put your ball further into the bush and definately unplayable. You cannot move to the left side of the cart path in this instance. It may have been best to play the ball where it lay (if you could get a club on it). Again, my mental picture says you could have taken an unplayable penalty and dropped on the cart path and then taken relief from the path. But, you are taking a chance there as well, if you drop on the path you could be back in the bushes and looking at another penalty to get out again. The option to drop in a straight line from the ball to the hole may have also put you in worse position. It is very possible that your best option may have been to replay the shot from where you hit your last.

 

So to make a short story long.... yes you can get relief from the path, but in this instance it would have most likely made your ball more unplayable that where it lay. I believe you should have taken at leat a stroke penalty for the unplayable, and more for playing from the incorrect spot after that. I'm guessing you were more than 2 club lengths from where the ball originally lay.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by reedf View Post

I'm trying to picture this, so correct me if I wrongly assume the terrain. First, you must understand NPR (nearest point of relief) as luu5 pointed out. I am picturing your ball under a bush on the right of a cart path which is causing you to stand on the right edge of the cart path. The nearest point of relief would be approx one to two feet further right (which I think would put your ball further into the bush and definately unplayable. You cannot move to the left side of the cart path in this instance. It may have been best to play the ball where it lay (if you could get a club on it). Again, my mental picture says you could have taken an unplayable penalty and dropped on the cart path and then taken relief from the path. But, you are taking a chance there as well, if you drop on the path you could be back in the bushes and looking at another penalty to get out again. The option to drop in a straight line from the ball to the hole may have also put you in worse position. It is very possible that your best option may have been to replay the shot from where you hit your last.

 

So to make a short story long.... yes you can get relief from the path, but in this instance it would have most likely made your ball more unplayable that where it lay. I believe you should have taken at leat a stroke penalty for the unplayable, and more for playing from the incorrect spot after that. I'm guessing you were more than 2 club lengths from where the ball originally lay.

 

I agree that free relief from the path does not allow the NPR to automatically avoid the bushes so you may not get much benefit.

 

But what if the NPR were in a hazard? If the ball is not yet in the hazard, does the NPR become the other side of the path (cannot drop in a hazard, right?)? And if the ball was in a hazard under the bush, you do not get relief from the path, correct?

 

This cart-path-then-hazard scenario happens a lot on the courses I play.

post #6 of 16

If, by your comment about the ball being unplayable, you mean that it was clearly impossible to make a stroke at it, then you do not get free relief from the cart path. From rule 24-2, regarding interference from an immovable obstruction:

 

Exception: A player may not take relief under this Rule if (a) interference by anything other than an immovable obstruction makes the stroke clearly impracticable or (b) interference by an immovable obstruction would occur only through use of a clearly unreasonable stroke or an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.

 

If your ball is under a bush and there's no way you can make a stroke at it, then the fact that you are standing on a cart path is immaterial. You have no choice but to take the unplayable lie and either take a drop or return to your previous location. If you're able to make a drop within two club lengths and then find yourself in a position where the cart path interferes and you can reasonably make a stroke, then you can take free relief. But you would still incur the unplayable lie penalty.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post

If, by your comment about the ball being unplayable, you mean that it was clearly impossible to make a stroke at it, then you do not get free relief from the cart path. From rule 24-2, regarding interference from an immovable obstruction:

 

Exception: A player may not take relief under this Rule if (a) interference by anything other than an immovable obstruction makes the stroke clearly impracticable or (b) interference by an immovable obstruction would occur only through use of a clearly unreasonable stroke or an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.

 

If your ball is under a bush and there's no way you can make a stroke at it, then the fact that you are standing on a cart path is immaterial. You have no choice but to take the unplayable lie and either take a drop or return to your previous location. If you're able to make a drop within two club lengths and then find yourself in a position where the cart path interferes and you can reasonably make a stroke, then you can take free relief. But you would still incur the unplayable lie penalty.

 

Good point. So there is a case where you have (almost) no other choice than take unplayable.

post #8 of 16

Without pictures or an accurate diagram, or a much better description, I can't even begin to give you a proper ruling.  There are too many possible variables in taking relief from a cart path.  You have to understand that you don't necessarily get relief just because you are standing  on the cart path if the shot would be impractical because of the bush.  You also don't necessarily get relief from the bush if you take relief from the cart path.  The term nearest point of relief applies only to relief from interference with the cart path.  If that works out, then fine, but I've seen plenty of times when the nearest point of relief was just a foot away, and the additional clublength from there still didn't get the player out of trouble.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

 

best diagram I could come up with quickly.  The ball ended up not UNDER the bushes but between the little bit of space between bush and cart path.  My thoughts were that if I made a play towards the green as best I could...I would be standing on cart path.  If I played the ball backwards in some direction away from the bushes, I would be on the cart path.  I didn't see any way of NOT being on cart path..which led to the relief.  My nearest point of relief was either A.) further up the cart path on its left side(would still be no closer to the hole) or B.) directly across the cart path and just beyond the guardrail.  But then after taking a one clublength drop the rail would have been no issue and I could make a normal swing...

 

I went with B and just now thought of A as a scenario.

post #10 of 16

If the stroke wasn't impractical to take, then from the diagram the NPR, to me, would have been forward up the cart path as opposed to across it, based upon the cart path widths I'm used to seeing. It's a judgment of the player though as to which would be closer to the original location without actually measuring, but in your diagram it couldn't have been in the bushes, so I think you were ok in your judgment of NPR being across the path...you were there, we weren't.

 

In all fairness, you did originally say it was under the bushes though.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
probably poor wording on my part...I tend to do that on forum posts.  I was trying to explain that it was on the dirt on the ground where the leafy stems of the bush would grow out.  I see now that it seems like I meant it was in-line with the trunks of the bushes.
post #12 of 16

The key distinction is that the ball must be in a playable condition (my words). If it's laying under a bush where you cannot make a stroke at it, then you don't get relief, that's all.

post #13 of 16

From what I can see, it would almost be necessary to find the nearest point of relief  on each side of the obstruction and measure to see which one applied.  This a common difficulty with taking relief from a cart path, in that it is often unclear just where the nearest point of complete relief is.  From what I see in your diagram, it could be straight up the path far enough that you are not closer to the hole, but so that you can angle far enough away from the path so that you no longer have to stand on it.  It might also be across the path, straight away from the hole.  Only by being there could I tell more.

post #14 of 16

Ok, well given that picture, it looks like relief might well have been warranted (still hard to tell with certainty).

 

As far as choice of direction when you decide whether your stroke is interfered with, I believe you can consider the totality of the circumstances when deciding whether a direction of play is "reasonable." I.e., though you don't get to consider the bush when you're finding the NPR from the cart path, its presence does affect which directions of play are reasonable. Directions that would require you swing or play through it (assuming it's dense) would probably not be reasonable---or at least, you could play backwards or away from the green because of it, then decide if you are interfered with.

post #15 of 16

In order, the easiest way to decide is lie, swing, stance.  If the lie puts you in a position which you would normally deem unplayable, you have deemed the ball unplayable regardless of stance.  In other words, if the cart path wasn't there, what would you honestly normally do?
 

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by stangmark View Post

In order, the easiest way to decide is lie, swing, stance.  If the lie puts you in a position which you would normally deem unplayable, you have deemed the ball unplayable regardless of stance.  In other words, if the cart path wasn't there, what would you honestly normally do?
 

 

Huh?  g1_wacko.gif

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