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# Nearest Point of Relief

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So I’m trying to find the definition but nowhere does it state if that’s measuring where the ball will be dropped or where the stance is.

I always assumed that it is the ball position that is measured. So let’s say there is a cart path running down the center of the fairway directly at the flag. That would mean that if the ball in on the left ~ 2/3s of the path the ball would be dropped left for a rigthy and if it’s on the right 1/3rd on the right side.

Because I have been told that you basically always look for the middle of the path and then drop on whatever side the ball is on. And for really narrow obstructions like ground under repair it would almost always be on the left side of it (or behind) and almost never on the right?

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• Moderator
1 minute ago, Killa said:

So I’m trying to find the definition but nowhere does it state if that’s measuring where the ball will be dropped or where the stance is.

I always assumed that it is the ball position that is measured. So let’s say there is a cart path running down the center of the fairway directly at the flag. That would mean that if the ball in on the left ~ 2/3s of the path the ball would be dropped left for a rigthy and if it’s on the right 1/3rd on the right side.

Because I have been told that you basically always look for the middle of the path and then drop on whatever side the ball is on. And for really narrow obstructions like ground under repair it would almost always be on the left side of it (or behind) and almost never on the right?

This is in the definitions in the Rules, and its Nearest Point of Complete Relief.  Your second paragraph is reasonably accurate, although you should generally look at COMPLETE relief to either side of the path, and determine which potential Reference point is closer to the original position of the ball..  Diagram 16.1a shows this pretty clearly.

The underlined portion of your post is generally wrong

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The usga link doesn’t work for me (from mobile device and app isn’t available in our area) but my guess is that the diagram is the same as here at the randa website:

but I still can’t find the wording anywhere so just let me make it clear - we are determining the nearest point of complete relief by the possible ball position and not the stance right? So we determine the nearest point where we could play the ball to one side and then the nearest point of the drop to the other side and then we decide which is closer? The stance has nothing to do with nearest point other than determining where our club would rest once we stand clear of the area we are taking relief from right?

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(edited)

The nearest point of relief could have you standing in brambles or with no swing at all. Relief doesn’t imply that you have a swing at all, let alone a clear shot.
Relief is about the ball position, nothing else.

Edited by Shorty
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31 minutes ago, Killa said:

The usga link doesn’t work for me (from mobile device and app isn’t available in our area) but my guess is that the diagram is the same as here at the randa website:

but I still can’t find the wording anywhere so just let me make it clear - we are determining the nearest point of complete relief by the possible ball position and not the stance right? So we determine the nearest point where we could play the ball to one side and then the nearest point of the drop to the other side and then we decide which is closer? The stance has nothing to do with nearest point other than determining where our club would rest once we stand clear of the area we are taking relief from right?

Stance is required to be included in taking relief. 16.1a(1) specifies inclusion of intended stance, and the diagram in your link demonstrates it:

Quote

The nearest point of complete relief for B1 is P1, and is very close to the condition. For B2, the nearest point of complete relief is P2, and is farther from the condition as the stance has to be clear of the ACC.

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Yes I know all of that. But we are measuring the distance between where the ball lies and the distance where the ball could be dropped nearest on either side of the hazard, right? (yes including that you mustn’t stand in the hazard after taking relief)

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(edited)
15 minutes ago, Killa said:

Yes I know all of that. But we are measuring the distance between where the ball lies and the distance where the ball could be dropped nearest on either side of the hazard, right? (yes including that you mustn’t stand in the hazard after taking relief)

What is there to be confused about? You haven't taken relief until you are taking FULL relief, meaning you aren't standing on the path (or whatever it is). So--- the closest position is the closest position. Otherwise, in the illustration below, relief would be at B2 if you were on the right hand side of the path (or whatever). Which wouldn't be relief.

Edited by Shorty
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• Moderator
59 minutes ago, Killa said:

The stance has nothing to do with nearest point other than determining where our club would rest once we stand clear of the area we are taking relief from right?

The NPCR is point for the ball which affords complete relief for STANCE and SWING from the condition from which you are taking relief, is no closer to the hole, and is nearest the original position of the ball (with a couple more restrictions).  This sounds like we agree, take.  This general description comes from the definition of Nearest Point of Complete Relief.  As others have said, this NPCR might mean you have to drop in a bush or behind a tree or on the side of a steep slope on in really tall grass, you don't get a choice, you have to use the nearest.  So make sure you know where your drop will be before you pick up your ball.

In your link, go to 16.1b, just after Reference Point, if you click on the phrase "nearest point of complete relief" you will automatically be linked with the Definition for that term.  This is a really positive thing about the Rules of Golf online, in both the R&A and the USGA versions, all defined terms referenced in the Rules are shown as hyperlinks to the actual definition.  You may want to read through the Interpretations on this Rule and Definition, they make it pretty clear.

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• Moderator
4 hours ago, Killa said:

Because I have been told that you basically always look for the middle of the path and then drop on whatever side the ball is on.

As others have mentioned, this assumption is incorrect. The ball could be sitting on the right half of the cart path and the nearest point of complete relief be on the left.

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57 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

The NPCR is point for the ball which affords complete relief for STANCE and SWING from the condition from which you are taking relief, is no closer to the hole, and is nearest the original position of the ball (with a couple more restrictions).  This sounds like we agree, take.  This general description comes from the definition of Nearest Point of Complete Relief.  As others have said, this NPCR might mean you have to drop in a bush or behind a tree or on the side of a steep slope on in really tall grass, you don't get a choice, you have to use the nearest.  So make sure you know where your drop will be before you pick up your ball.

In your link, go to 16.1b, just after Reference Point, if you click on the phrase "nearest point of complete relief" you will automatically be linked with the Definition for that term.  This is a really positive thing about the Rules of Golf online, in both the R&A and the USGA versions, all defined terms referenced in the Rules are shown as hyperlinks to the actual definition.  You may want to read through the Interpretations on this Rule and Definition, they make it pretty clear.

Thank you - the link after 16.1b solved it for me. I understood everything about the rule (stance, bushes etc.) but I couldn’t manage to find the exact definition of NPCR and this link finally lead to the answer. And the answer I was looking for is:

“It is the estimated point where the ball would lie”

so I was correct all along but I needed to find this confirmation and was unable to do this by myself

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Yes, in short, the point is determined by where the ball would lie.

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• 4 weeks later...

Just to add to this thread, in determining the NPCR, when taking your stance, you must use the club you intend to use in your next shot...........and from there it is one club length ( any club) as per the diagram that Shorty Shows. Many people neglect this small detail.

And remember, its NEAREST point of relief, not the NICEST 😉

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On 7/19/2021 at 7:52 AM, Moff1969 said:

Just to add to this thread, in determining the NPCR, when taking your stance, you must use the club you intend to use in your next shot...........and from there it is one club length ( any club) as per the diagram that Shorty Shows. Many people neglect this small detail.

And remember, its NEAREST point of relief, not the NICEST 😉

although, on rare occasions, that can result in a better location. We were playing a Chapman saturday and had this exact thing...ball on cart path, nearest point of relief no closer to hole actually moved us out from behind a tree. Huzzah for small breaks!

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On 7/19/2021 at 10:52 AM, Moff1969 said:

Just to add to this thread, in determining the NPCR, when taking your stance, you must use the club you intend to use in your next shot...........and from there it is one club length ( any club) as per the diagram that Shorty Shows. Many people neglect this small detail.

And remember, its NEAREST point of relief, not the NICEST 😉

To be clear, your relief is based on the shot you would have hit if the obstruction was not there.  The quote from the Definition of Nearest Point of Complete Relief is:

Quote

Where the condition does not interfere with the stroke the player would have made from the original spot if the condition was not there.

Once you take proper relief, you may use any club and attempt any shot that you want to, regardless of the club you used to determine the NPCR.  As an example, an appropriate shot from the ball's position on a cart path may have been a chip-out sideways to the fairway, so my Reference Point for relief would be the closest spot from which I could make that sideways shot, without interference from the cart path.  Once I've taken relief, I could be in a spot where I can hit 3-wood towards the green, and that's perfectly acceptable to do.

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:03 AM, DaveP043 said:

To be clear, your relief is based on the shot you would have hit if the obstruction was not there.  The quote from the Definition of Nearest Point of Complete Relief is:

Once you take proper relief, you may use any club and attempt any shot that you want to, regardless of the club you used to determine the NPCR.  As an example, an appropriate shot from the ball's position on a cart path may have been a chip-out sideways to the fairway, so my Reference Point for relief would be the closest spot from which I could make that sideways shot, without interference from the cart path.  Once I've taken relief, I could be in a spot where I can hit 3-wood towards the green, and that's perfectly acceptable to do.

It is also acceptable to take relief again, if necessary, from the same cart path for the shot now contemplated.

A common example: cart path is near a boundary object (OB fence) on the left. A right-handed player may take relief for a left-handed shot that has them standing on the cart path and the NPCR for the left handed shot is to the right of the cart path. After taking relief, the player may decide to hit a right-handed shot. But, now standing on the cart path for the right-handed shot, may take relief further to the right of the cart path to allow that shot.

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