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Nearest point of relief question

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I am reading the rules again in preperation for the 2009 season. Last year I think I misunderstood how to determine the "nearest point of relief" and this year I want to make sure I do it right.

Scenerio: Ball lands on a cart path toward the right hand side of the path, the majority of the hole plays to the left of the cart path. Path runs parallel towards the direction of the hole.

In determining the closest point of relief, could it be possible that the nearest relief is on the left hand side of the path?

If this happenend now what I would do is take a stance on the right hand side of the cart path where I was not standing on the cart path and mark the location where I would drop the ball. Then I would take a stance on the left side of the cart path at the location I would drop the ball and mark that location. I would make sure that neither location was closer to the hole. Picking a location further back directly behind the location on the path would still be on the cart path.

I would then measure to the left location and the right location and pick the location that was nearest the original ball location and drop within one club length no closer to the hole.

Is this a correct interpretation?

Thanks,

-E
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The rules are incredibly confusing, so all of my advice comes with: As far as I know...

Scenerio: Ball lands on a cart path toward the right hand side of the path, the majority of the hole plays to the left of the cart path. Path runs parallel towards the direction of the hole.

Yes, it is possible for the nearest point of relief to be to the left of the cart path.

If this happenend now what I would do is take a stance on the right hand side of the cart path where I was not standing on the cart path and mark the location where I would drop the ball. Then I would take a stance on the left side of the cart path at the location I would drop the ball and mark that location. I would make sure that neither location was closer to the hole. Picking a location further back directly behind the location on the path would still be on the cart path. I would then measure to the left location and the right location and pick the location that was nearest the original ball location and drop within one club length no closer to the hole.

I've never seen somebody mark two spots just so that they can measure which one is the proper spot. Every time this situation has come up while I'm playing it has always been pretty obvious to which side was the nearest point of relief. I don't think the rule intended for the golfer to actually mark two spots and measure, that would slow down play too much.

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I am reading the rules again in preperation for the 2009 season. Last year I think I misunderstood how to determine the "nearest point of relief" and this year I want to make sure I do it right.

Actually you wouldn't mark where you would drop the ball. You would mark the point where the ball would lie when you take your stance at the closest point on either side of the cart path where there is no interference from it. Then measure from where the ball lies on the path to each marked point. When the true NPR has been determined, THEN you can measure one clublength from the NPR and drop within that area.

In some circumstances, it is possible that in order to be totally certain that you are dropping in the correct place you might have to mark and measure 3 or more places. In the USGA Rules Workshop I attended last year we were given exactly that problem in an area marked as ground under repair. The boundary line was irregular so the NPR was not apparent in 3 different directions over a 180 degree arc spanning about 20 feet. One spot offered a clear shot, one was slightly blocked by a tree, and the third was blocked completely. The only only to be sure of a correct ruling was to take a stance in all 3 potential NPR locations, mark them with a tee, then measure with a club from the point where the ball lay in the GUR. If a player chose the clear shot without measuring and it was later found that the true NPR was the totally blocked shot, then he would face possible disqualification for having gained a significant advantage when he played from the wrong place. (see serious breach of Rule 20-7). See also Decision 24-2b/1 for the procedure for determining the NPR.
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Actually you wouldn't mark where you would drop the ball. You would mark the point where the ball would lie when you take your stance at the closest point on either side of the cart path where there is no interference from it. Then measure from where the ball lies on the path to each marked point. When the true NPR has been determined, THEN you can measure one clublength from the NPR and drop within that area.

This is what I was attempting to get across. I was afraid that if I said "where the ball lie" or "place the ball" that someone would say that I have to make a drop and it gets to be from one club length of that location. =)

Your anecdote is perfect regarding the question I was asking. I was attempting to state in my original scenerio that there were only two options along the arc towards the hole that would be the nearest point either to the left or to the right of the path along the arc. At least as I remember it. Thanks, -E
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