Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ask Linda #290-Relief from hazard on green?

Linda, on our course, there is a creek that runs very near a green.  The creek is marked a lateral water hazard.  Many players choose to take relief from this hazard using the "two-club length, no closer to the hole" guideline.  However, the two club-lengths can put you on the green.  Is this an OK relief option?
Thanks for any clarification you can give.

Dear Lulu,

Yes. The rule (26-1c) only requires that you drop within two club-lengths and not nearer the hole than where your ball last crossed the margin of the lateral hazard. There is no statement in the rule prohibiting you from dropping on a green or, for that matter, in a bunker.

The same would hold true for an unplayable ball. Suppose your ball settles against a tree trunk that is adjacent to a green. If you declare your ball unplayable, and there is area on the green that is within two club-lengths of your ball and is no closer to the hole, you are permitted to drop on the green.

Note that the rule is not the same when you are taking relief from abnormal ground conditions, such as casual water, ground under repair, or a hole made by a burrowing animal. If your ball happens to lie in an abnormal ground condition on the green, then the nearest point of relief may be on or off the green. If it lies in a bunker, your relief must be in the bunker in order for it to be free relief. If your ball lies “through the green” (anywhere on the golf course except the tee and green of the hole you are playing and all hazards on the course), then you may not drop your ball in a hazard or on a putting green. If your ball lies in an abnormal ground condition through the green and it rolls onto a putting green or into a hazard when you drop it, you will have to repeat your drop. These same restrictions also hold true when you are taking relief from an immovable obstruction.

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.