I just read your ruling on a ball in a water hazard with a bridge over the hazard preventing the player from making a swing at the ball (Thursday, April 30, 2009, Ask Linda #110-relief from bridge over hazard). I have a similar question, but in my circumstances the ball was lying on the fairway a couple of feet from the water hazard. The bridge had a scaffold-type handrail and the ball had gone through it and come to rest just past it. The bridge however was preventing me from taking a swing at the ball. As my ball was not technically in the hazard would I be entitled to free relief?
Thanks, Lou Lou
Dear Lou Lou,
Yes. If your ball is not in the hazard, and an immovable obstruction such as a handrail on a bridge interferes with your stance or the area of your swing, you are entitled to free relief. Lift your ball and drop it within one club-length of the nearest point of relief that is no closer to the hole [Rule 24-2b].
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