Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ask Linda #192-Relief from fence and tree

Hi Linda,

My question is along the same subject as you have recently been discussing. We have a tee area with a protective fence running down the left-hand side of the tee area, then it diverges away slightly, leaving space between the fence and the tee area. There is a tree between the fence and the tee area. The ball is hit from the tee, hits the fence and drops, still on the tee side of the fence. Normally we take swing relief from the fence. But, in this case, a swing to hit the ball forwards toward the green is interfered with by the tree. The ball is only 2 feet form the fence. If the tree weren’t there, then relief would definitely be given. Does the fact that the tree is preventing a “normal” swing mean that no relief can be taken from the fence?

Regards Lulu.

Dear Lulu,

You have to ask yourself how you would hit the ball if the obstruction (the fence) weren’t there. From what you wrote, it would seem that you would want to hit the ball forward, toward the green, and you are unable to do so because there is a tree in your way.

You are not entitled to relief from the fence in this case. You may play the ball as it lies (perhaps a left-handed punch may be your best bet), or you may declare the ball unplayable, assess yourself a penalty stroke, and choose one of the three relief options in Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable).


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