I have a question regarding relief from cart paths. Twisted Dune Golf Club's scorecard says that cart paths are an integral part of the course and there's no relief. Do cart paths have to be paved surfaces in order for relief to be granted? Our tour is playing McCullough's Emerald Golf Links this week and even though there's nothing on their scorecard about cart paths, I think this issue may arise.
Dear Lou Lou,
Artificially-surfaced cart paths are obstructions from which free relief is always an option under the Rules of Golf. Adding any foreign material to a path, such as concrete, tar, gravel, wood chips, etc., makes it “artificially surfaced.”
There is no relief from natural paths (dirt, sand, etc.) under the Rules of Golf. Golfers are obligated to play the ball “down” on cart paths made of natural materials.
The wise Tournament Director will remind golfers prior to starting a round on a course with natural cart paths that the ball must be played as it lies on the path. Why risk confusion?
Copyright © 2010 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.