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Killa

Free Relief

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Ok so I’m a bit stuck on this rule. Last week I had my ball land on a cart path. 

Found the nearest point of relief, marked that spot, took one club length and dropped the ball. The ball rolled down the hill in a pretty large indentation in the ground. I proceeded to play the ball as it lied and that completely messed up the hole for me. 

 

So a couple of days later a couple of guys told me that on free relief you get to drop 2 times and then place the ball. But I think that you are only allowed to re drop if the ball rolls closer to the hole or back to the obstacle you took free relief from? If so can you sometimes “game” the rule by purposely dropping the ball in a way that it ends up either closer to the hole or back in the obstacle so you have to redrop and then be able to choose the spot you want the ball in? And by that I don’t mean spinning or throwing the ball to alter the flight, but rather to drop it like really on the edge and hoping it rolls out?

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There are 9  outcomes of a drop which result in your having to re-drop your ball.  See Rule 20-2c.     The one which might have required you to re-drop in the situation you describe is if your ball had rolled more than 2 club lengths from where it struck the ground. Rule 20-2c(vi).  

This rule  changes substantially in January to the much simpler requirement that your dropped ball must stay in the area in which you must drop your ball (called the relief area - which is clearly defined) and on the same part of the course (eg not rolling into a bunker).  See the new  Rule 14.3c.   If your ball rolls out of the relief area, the procedure is the same as now - re-drop and if it happens again, place your ball where it struck the ground the second time.

Dropping from knee height should reduce the number of occasions on which you have to re-drop.

And yes, you can now and will be able to continue to drop deliberately with the intention that you have to re-drop and then place.  I understand that pros actually practise that.

Edited by ColinL

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4 hours ago, Killa said:

If so can you sometimes “game” the rule by purposely dropping the ball in a way that it ends up either closer to the hole or back in the obstacle so you have to redrop and then be able to choose the spot you want the ball in? 

Not quite. You don't get to choose the spot, it must be placed as near as possible to the spot where it first struck a part of the course when re-dropped.

Edited by Rulesman

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Someone go over this rule again. Last time I played my ball landed on the cart path. The path was off to the right. Now the ball was on the right edge of the cart path. I figured the NPR was off to the right. One club length off that would still have me standing on the cart path. If I dropped on the fairway side of the cart path I'd be standing on the grass. It had been a long time since I'd been in that situation. Off to the right was a real crappy lie, so I just played my shot from the cart path which I knew I could do regardless of the rule. 

But where was the NPR?

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6 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

Someone go over this rule again. Last time I played my ball landed on the cart path. The path was off to the right. Now the ball was on the right edge of the cart path. I figured the NPR was off to the right. One club length off that would still have me standing on the cart path. If I dropped on the fairway side of the cart path I'd be standing on the grass. It had been a long time since I'd been in that situation. Off to the right was a real crappy lie, so I just played my shot from the cart path which I knew I could do regardless of the rule. 

But where was the NPR?

The nearest point of complete relief is not limited by club length. If the ball was sitting towards the right side of the cart path, it likely was to the right, but you would have had to pick a spot where you had complete relief (not standing on the path). Then you would have to drop within one club length from that spot.

I suppose if the path was thin enough, the nearest point complete relief could have been to the left of the path.

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17 minutes ago, billchao said:

The nearest point of complete relief is not limited by club length. If the ball was sitting towards the right side of the cart path, it likely was to the right, but you would have had to pick a spot where you had complete relief (not standing on the path). Then you would have to drop within one club length from that spot.

I suppose if the path was thin enough, the nearest point complete relief could have been to the left of the path.

Yes, the NPR includes your stance.

Find the "NPR" to the right, find the "NPR" to the left. See which is closest, because that's the actual NPR. I put the "NPR" in quotes earlier because one of those will likely NOT be the actual NPR.

You get one club-length from the NPR, not from where your ball lies.

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Then it was to the right - slice lie in tall grass. Given the choice between playing from the cart path or from the spot one club length from the NPR, I would have chosen the cart path. Thank you for clearing that up. Sometimes not taking relief is the better idea.

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6 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

Then it was to the right - slice lie in tall grass. Given the choice between playing from the cart path or from the spot one club length from the NPR, I would have chosen the cart path. Thank you for clearing that up. Sometimes not taking relief is the better idea.

Which is why shouldn't lift your ball before working out where you will be playing from if you took relief.  

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Maybe I'm just a big guy with long clubs, but unless you're on the way right edge of the cart path, as a righty, I've found that NPR is basically always on the left side of the path.  If I stand with my heels on the left edge of a standard cart path, my club is quite close to the right edge of the path.

When my predominant miss was right, I really liked this, as it usually meant my NPR was in the usually lighter rough towards the fairway, rather than in whatever crap was over the cart path.  Now a lot of my misses are big hooks, and I like this less!

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4 hours ago, mdl said:

Maybe I'm just a big guy with long clubs,

You must be. A standard cart path is usually over 4' wide, a driver is rarely over 4'

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18 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

You must be. A standard cart path is usually over 4' wide, a driver is rarely over 4'

I was thinking the same thing, yeah. @mdl, you probably don't stand as far away from the ball as you think. And remember, it's relief for the stance with the club you're likely to play from that lie. You don't get to use a driver to measure relief if you're not gonna hit driver (from the rough beside a cart path).

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I was thinking the same thing, yeah. @mdl, you probably don't stand as far away from the ball as you think. And remember, it's relief for the stance with the club you're likely to play from that lie. You don't get to use a driver to measure relief if you're not gonna hit driver (from the rough beside a cart path).

 Just to clarify this a bit.  

To determine the nearest point of relief, you should use  the club you would have used for the shot you would have played had the path not been there.

To measure one club length from the NPR you can use any club in your bag (until December 31st!).

 Once you have dropped your ball, you may play with any club you wish.

That means, for example, you can  measure with a driver and play with a wedge.

Edited by ColinL

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8 minutes ago, ColinL said:

That means, for example, you can  measure with a driver and play with a wedge.

Yes, but my point (to further clarify) is that you couldn't measure and find your NPR with a driver if that's an unreasonable play from there.

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

And remember, it's relief for the stance with the club you're likely to play from that lie. You don't get to use a driver to measure relief if you're not gonna hit driver (from the rough beside a cart path).

9 minutes ago, ColinL said:

Sure, but it didn't quite read that way!

Yes it did.

 

2 hours ago, ColinL said:

To determine the nearest point of relief, you should use the club you would have used for the shot you would have played had the path not been there.

 

That means, for example, you can  measure with a driver and play with a wedge.

Those two statements contradict each other, and based on my understanding of this rule, the second statement is incorrect almost all the time, since its unreasonable that you would have planned on hitting driver had there been no cart path, but then after your drop you would play with a wedge. 

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30 minutes ago, klineka said:

Those two statements contradict each other, and based on my understanding of this rule, the second statement is incorrect almost all the time, since its unreasonable that you would have planned on hitting driver had there been no cart path, but then after your drop you would play with a wedge. 

I assumed @ColinL was talking about the one club length for the drop can be measured with the driver. At that point you have already determined the nearest point of complete relief.

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1 minute ago, billchao said:

I assumed @ColinL was talking about the one club length for the drop can be measured with the driver. At that point you have already determined the nearest point of complete relief.

Ok I think I got it now. Is this correct?:

  1. Using the club/stance you would normally use absent of the cart path, you find your nearest point of complete relief. 
  2. Once NPR is found, you can then use driver for your one club length, then drop.
  3. After you have dropped, you are free to use whatever club you wish.

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53 minutes ago, ColinL said:

Sure, but it didn't quite read that way!

I was talking about finding the NPR.

1 minute ago, klineka said:

Ok I think I got it now. Is this correct?:

  1. Using the club/stance you would normally use absent of the cart path, you find your nearest point of complete relief. 
  2. Once NPR is found, you can then use driver for your one club length, then drop.
  3. After you have dropped, you are free to use whatever club you wish.

Yep.

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