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Andymanvif

Changing Play After Taking Free Relief From Immovable Obstruction

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With the ball on the cart path, the player wants relief. Ideally, he would like to hit his 3 wood onto the green, but his point of nearest relief would be in some deep rough. However, nearest point of relief playing a wedge to the fairway would be in a much better spot. If the player drops, intending to hit the wedge, but then changes his mind, can he play the ball using his 3 wood while standing on the path? That is, is the requirement of complete relief fulfilled?

If not, what are his options if he doesn't want to play his wedge?

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Always look at definitions first.  The definition of "nearest point of complete relief" says that this is the nearest point for the shot the player would have played from the original location if the cart path wasn't present.  In your hypothetical, that means the 3-wood to the green. And that means that his reference point is in that deep rough.  His options, once he takes relief in the appropriate relief area, include playing any kind of shot he'd like to play.  If the lie precludes him from attempting the 3-wood towards the green, he can evaluate playing in a different direction, using a different club.  Its possible that a logical choice (say a sideways wedge) might require a stance on the cart path, in which case he might be allowed to take relief once again.

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What Dave hinted at but didn't say is that it's got to require something else, like interference from something, to change your mind.

You can't just have an open shot to the green with some of the lie in thicker bad rough, drop while claiming you're going to wedge out, and then hit 3W. I don't know of many rules officials or smart players who would let that fly.

I'd love to see you try to concoct a scenario where you think you could pull this off. The only ones I can imagine where you might involve an object or obstruction or something that really changes the type of shot you could reasonably play.

Basically, you can't just drop close to the path and in the better lie while saying "I'm just going to wedge out" and then "change your mind" and hit a 3W without some pretty extreme circumstances. Something has to have occurred to make it reasonable why you'd change your mind.

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22 hours ago, Andymanvif said:

With the ball on the cart path, the player wants relief. Ideally, he would like to hit his 3 wood onto the green, but his point of nearest relief would be in some deep rough. However, nearest point of relief playing a wedge to the fairway would be in a much better spot. If the player drops, intending to hit the wedge, but then changes his mind, can he play the ball using his 3 wood while standing on the path? That is, is the requirement of complete relief fulfilled?

If not, what are his options if he doesn't want to play his wedge?

can he play the ball using his 3 wood while standing on the path? That is, is the requirement of complete relief fulfilled?

No, complete relief means precisely that.  After defining NPCR for an intended stroke with the wedge and then correctly putting the ball in play, the player MUST play the ball from where it lies using any club but if there is any contact with the path during the stroke with stance or swing the player gets the general penalty under R14.7a for playing a ball from the wrong  place in breach of R16.1.

 

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