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Ball came to rest at the trunk of a tree - and a cart path


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So here is a questionable ruling that came up in a recent round of golf (non-tournament round)... And I just want to see if the way our foursome played the shot was correct and get your feedback.

I hit a shot from ~ 145yds that came to rest at the base of a large tree (right of the green side).  The base of the tree was very large and my ball was nearer the left side of the tree.  If I took my stance from my normal playing side - hitting the ball right handed... I literally could barely place the club between the ball and the tree base.  There was no way I could swing right handed.

Now, if I went to the left side of the tree, and flipped my iron around to hit the shot left handed with a right handed club - I could take a swing with no interference with the tree.

Here comes the tricky part...

On both the normal right handed stance - and left handed stance... A cart path was at the base and my feet were standing on it.  The ball was not on the cart path - but basically dirt between the cart path and the tree base.  There was maybe 12 inches between the base of the tree and cart path.

When we first walked up to my ball, my buddies in the foursome were laughing and saying good luck hitting that shot.  Then I pointed out that I could get a free drop (one club length - no closer to the hole) due that the cart path was at my feet in my normal stance.

They agreed, and I took the free drop.  I just want to make sure that we used the correct ruling and the shot was played correctly.

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As the stroke with a LH stance was reasonable and as a result your stance was on the path then you were entitled to relief.

However the relief is not simply 1cl not nearer. You first have to determine the nearest point of full relief then drop within 1cl not nearer the hole.

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-24/#24-2b/1

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-25/#25-1b/2

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I should have added that you must determine the npr for the LH stroke (position of ball, swing and stance) using the club you would have used if the path had not been there.

You may use any club in your bag to determine the 1cl from there.

Once you have dropped the ball you may then make a RH stroke with any club.

If the path now interferes with the RH stroke, you may now take relief for the new situation.

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I think the above is correct---if it's a LH swing that's practical and you're interfered with by the cart path, it's a LH swing that you calculate the NPR for (this is being beaten to death in another thread right now).  If your stance for the RH swing is also interfered with by the cart path, you could also take relief with an RH swing.

One important note. Your NPR may well be inside the tree. You are entitled to relief from the cart path only .

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Originally Posted by zeg

I think the above is correct---if it's a LH swing that's practical and you're interfered with by the cart path, it's a LH swing that you calculate the NPR for (this is being beaten to death in another thread right now).



It is. See

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-24/#24-2b/1

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Thanks guys for the clarifications.  Let me ask this slightly different scenario...

What would the ruling be if a RH swing was not possible due to the location of the ball - and the tree, but there was no cart path interfering with my RH stance?  And I decided that in order to advance the ball - I would need to take a LH swing.  And only taking the LH swing, did I find myself standing on the cart path?

How would the ruling change under these slightly different layout of RH vs LH swing?  Could I still take the free drop at the NPR using the LH 1CL?  The only thing keeping me from making a RH swing was the tree.

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That is perfectly OK. See the parts in red in the Decision below.

24-2b/9.5

After Relief Taken from Obstruction for Stroke Towards Green, Obstruction Interferes with Stance for Necessary Sideways Stroke

Q. With regard to the diagram, Point X is the original position of the ball and Point A is the nearest point of relief from the obstruction (cart path). The player drops his ball within one club-length of Point A (within the shaded area) and it comes to rest on the cart path at Point B. He re-drops as required by Rule 20-2c , again dropping within one club-length of Point A and the ball comes to rest at Point C.

At Point C there is no interference by the cart path for a stroke towards the green. However, the player cannot play towards the green from Point C because of intervention by the tree. His only reasonable stroke is sideways to the fairway, and his stance for such a stroke would be on the cart path. Is the player now required to place the ball as near as possible to the spot where it first struck the ground when re-dropped in accordance with Rule 20-2c ?

A. No. The player is not entitled to place the ball because at Point C there is no interference by the cart path for a stroke towards the green, the intended direction of play when relief was taken. However, as a result of the tree, the player has a new situation. He is entitled to take relief under Rule 24-2b(i) for the sideways stroke since this is not an unnecessarily abnormal direction of play - see Exception under Rule 24-2b - and his nearest point of relief would be Point D. After the ball is dropped within one club-length of Point D (within the shaded area) and it comes to rest at Point E, the player may play in any direction he wishes.

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Is there a good iPhone app for rules? It would be a conundrum if you used an iPhone to check the rules since iPhones are sort of banned -- but not really always banned... that's another thread.

Seriously, is there an app? The few I found searching the App store seemed questionable and neither was free.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Is there a good iPhone app for rules? It would be a conundrum if you used an iPhone to check the rules since iPhones are sort of banned -- but not really always banned... that's another thread.

Seriously, is there an app? The few I found searching the App store seemed questionable and neither was free.

I have one the USGA made.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-rules-of-golf/id347349889?mt=8

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Originally Posted by iacas

I have one the USGA made.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-rules-of-golf/id347349889?mt=8



Does it have Decisions offline, i.e. installed on the phone? R&A; has a Rules app as well but no Decisions.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Is there a good iPhone app for rules? It would be a conundrum if you used an iPhone to check the rules since iPhones are sort of banned -- but not really always banned... that's another thread.

You may always use your iPhone (or any other mobile phone) for checking the Rules from a Rules app. Just checked it from R&A.;

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Originally Posted by Ignorant

You may always use your iPhone (or any other mobile phone) for checking the Rules from a Rules app. Just checked it from R&A.;



Providing you are not using it as a DMD AND it has non-conforming apps on it.

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