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Cart Path Relief


Bob T
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I played a match Thursday and hit my drive to the right where it crossed the cart path and ended up under a small bush. When I addressed the ball with my

rescue club 4 wood) my heels were on the cart path. Note:I could have used a 7 iron to chip it out on the fairway and with that club I would Not be standing on the cart

path. I  told my opponent since my stance was on the cart path (heels only) I was entitled to relief. He disagreed but I did it anyway. Was I correct assuming I

placed the ball according to the rules for relief? I  really look forward to hearing from someone as this really became a very tenuous point as the match progressed.

Many thanks,

Bob

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30 minutes ago, Bob T said:

I played a match Thursday and hit my drive to the right where it crossed the cart path and ended up under a small bush. When I addressed the ball with my

rescue club 4 wood) my heels were on the cart path. Note:I could have used a 7 iron to chip it out on the fairway and with that club I would Not be standing on the cart

path. I  told my opponent since my stance was on the cart path (heels only) I was entitled to relief. He disagreed but I did it anyway. Was I correct assuming I

placed the ball according to the rules for relief? I  really look forward to hearing from someone as this really became a very tenuous point as the match progressed.

Many thanks,

Bob

If the ball was lying in such a way that your 4w shot was clearly unreasonable to play, you would not have been entitled to relief.

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  • iacas changed the title to Cart Path Relief

Bill's advice is correct but the original information is not sufficient for a definitive answer. A referee would need to know what is a reasonable stroke from the position. If a position under a bush permits a low stroke back into the fairway then it may be perfectly reasonable to play that stroke with a lower lofted club like a 4 hybrid. In that case, the player is entitled to cart path relief. But if the player needed to play a more lofted club, say 7 iron or higher, then there would be no relief as there is no interference with the path for the stroke which needs to be played.

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I agree with @billchao, it doesn't sound like playing with the 4-wood was a reasonable shot choice, based on interference by the bush.  If that's actually the case, relief should not be granted.  Here's the text of the rule:

Quote

(3) No Relief When Clearly Unreasonable to Play Ball.

There is no relief under Rule 16.1:
When playing the ball as it lies would be clearly unreasonable because of something other than an abnormal course condition (such as when a player is standing in temporary water or on an immovable obstruction but would be unable to make a stroke because of where the ball lies in a bush), or 

When interference exists only because a player chooses a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.

I'm interested in where @Bob T took his relief.  Based on the description, heels only on the path, the nearest point of complete relief was only a few inches further from the path on the same side, just far enough to get his heels off the path.  I'm picturing this point as still being under the bush, perhaps even deeper under it.  One clublength from there would possibly (probably?) still have him impacted by the bush.  The nearest point of complete relief in this situation is NOT on the opposite side of the path.

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13 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I agree with @billchao, it doesn't sound like playing with the 4-wood was a reasonable shot choice, based on interference by the bush.  If that's actually the case, relief should not be granted.  Here's the text of the rule:

I'm interested in where @Bob T took his relief.  Based on the description, heels only on the path, the nearest point of complete relief was only a few inches further from the path on the same side, just far enough to get his heels off the path.  I'm picturing this point as still being under the bush, perhaps even deeper under it.  One clublength from there would possibly (probably?) still have him impacted by the bush.  The nearest point of complete relief in this situation is NOT on the opposite side of the path.

You are making a lot of assumptions here. OP says the player can play a stroke into the fairway. So the bush is NOT preventing a stroke or making ANY stroke unreasonable so there is no case for claiming Rule 16.1a(3) applies. I also note any time I can chip a 7 iron into the fairway, I can play that same stroke with my 4 hybrid. My point is you cannot deny a player their rights under the rule - IF the player can play a functional stroke with the 4 hybrid back into the fairway, and that cart path interferes with that functional stroke, then the player is entitled to relief. I would not like to try to sell your approach to Tiger Woods in front of the television cameras.

But you are absolutely right that when it is only the player's heels touching the cart path for a 4 hybrid stroke, then the nearest point of complete relief (if relief is legitimate) is only going to be mere inches away from where the ball currently lies. Yet that opens up a legitimate relief area of up to 7-8 square yards. Is that going to help the player? I can't answer that without seeing the situation - possibly the bush still interferes, possibly not. But we can agree if the player took relief on the opposite side of the cart path from where the ball lay, London to a brick the player played from a wrong place (loss of hole).

 

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7 hours ago, fredf said:

But you are absolutely right that when it is only the player's heels touching the cart path for a 4 hybrid stroke, then the nearest point of complete relief (if relief is legitimate) is only going to be mere inches away from where the ball currently lies. Yet that opens up a legitimate relief area of up to 7-8 square yards. Is that going to help the player? I can't answer that without seeing the situation - possibly the bush still interferes, possibly not. But we can agree if the player took relief on the opposite side of the cart path from where the ball lay, London to a brick the player played from a wrong place (loss of hole).

 

You're right, based on the wording in the OP, I inferred that the 4-wood  shot he discussed was to be played towards the green, and was not a reasonable choice given the position of the ball, while the 7-iron chip was to be played in a different direction.  This makes sense if the cart path ran approximately parallel to the fairway.  Both heels on the path is pointing towards the green, a chip-out would be more perpendicular to the path, and would get both feet off of the path. 

If I do the math right, a semicircular relief area with a radius of 45 inches or so is 2.5 square yards.  If you constrain that by half, since you cannot go back towards the cart path, you get a relief area of about 1.2 yards.  Its certainly possible that there would be a decent place within that relief area to play from, if he wanted to chip out.  However, I can't envision a physical arrangement where a legitimate drop would give the OP an unimpeded shot towards the green..  

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

You're right, based on the wording in the OP, I inferred that the 4-wood  shot he discussed was to be played towards the green, and was not a reasonable choice given the position of the ball, while the 7-iron chip was to be played in a different direction.  This makes sense if the cart path ran approximately parallel to the fairway.  Both heels on the path is pointing towards the green, a chip-out would be more perpendicular to the path, and would get both feet off of the path. 

If I do the math right, a semicircular relief area with a radius of 45 inches or so is 2.5 square yards.  If you constrain that by half, since you cannot go back towards the cart path, you get a relief area of about 1.2 yards.  Its certainly possible that there would be a decent place within that relief area to play from, if he wanted to chip out.  However, I can't envision a physical arrangement where a legitimate drop would give the OP an unimpeded shot towards the green..  

My maths was dodgy (geometry not a strength), but that has no influence on the rules observations I was making.

But I believe we are agreeing the following:

a)  IF the player can play a functional stroke with the 4 rescue back into the fairway, and that cart path interferes with that functional stroke, then the player is entitled to relief, but

b) IF the player's stroke with the 4 rescue that has heel interference with the cart path is not a reasonable stroke in the circumstances, then the player is not entitled to relief. That is, if the only reasonable stroke to get the ball back into the fairway would not involve interference with the cart path, then there is no relief entitlement.

So we have provided Bob T with the tools to answer his question whether relief was legitimate. We have also guided on where relief needed to have been taken if it was the case that relief was legitimate. If Bob wishes to provide any further information, we could refine this advice further.

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3 minutes ago, fredf said:

My maths was dodgy (geometry not a strength), but that has no influence on the rules observations I was making.

But I believe we are agreeing the following:

a)  IF the player can play a functional stroke with the 4 rescue back into the fairway, and that cart path interferes with that functional stroke, then the player is entitled to relief, but

b) IF the player's stroke with the 4 rescue that has heel interference with the cart path is not a reasonable stroke in the circumstances, then the player is not entitled to relief. That is, if the only reasonable stroke to get the ball back into the fairway would not involve interference with the cart path, then there is no relief entitlement.

So we have provided Bob T with the tools to answer his question whether relief was legitimate. We have also guided on where relief needed to have been taken if it was the case that relief was legitimate. If Bob wishes to provide any further information, we could refine this advice further.

Agree completely.  So @Bob T, how about letting us know which of our suppositions are correct?  Also, where did you take your relief?  Oh, the original post mentions that you "placed" the ball, did you place it or drop it?  I know I'm being picky, but this is how I learned about the rules myself.  Learning the rules is a process, one that is almost never complete.

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