This is a follow up regarding the nearest point of relief. You pointed out that nine out of ten times a right handed golfer's nearest point of relief would be on the left-hand side of the cart path.
Consider that the cart path runs to the left of the green. My ball ended up on the cart path perpendicular to the hole. Meaning, if I am facing the hole, my ball in front of me, there is no way I can drop my ball to either side, so where should be the nearest point of relief then? Should it be in front or behind me?
Dear Lou Lou.
If I am reading your question correctly, Lou, your ball is lying on the cart path to the left of the green. When you face the hole directly, the cart path is both on your left and on your right. If you make a quarter turn (90º) to your left, looking straight up the cart path, the green is to your right and there is grass of some sort both to your right and to your left.
You may not drop the ball on the right side of the cart path, because that will put you closer to the hole. You must drop on the left side of the cart path to meet the requirement that you find the nearest point of relief no closer to the hole. Your next shot will have to cross over the cart path.
If the path near where your ball lies curves away from the hole, then it is conceivable that you might be able to drop on the right side (green side) of the path. You would have to find the nearest relief no closer to the hole on both sides of the path, measure the distance from where your ball lay on the cart path to both possible areas of relief, and drop your ball in the area that is the shorter distance from the position of your ball on the path.
Cart paths alongside greens are a common occurrence, and most of the time the nearest point of relief for a ball lying on the cart path that is no closer to the hole will be on the far side of the path (the side away from the green).
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