Friday, September 23, 2011

Ask Linda #352-Relief from bridge over hazard

Dear Linda,

I live in SW France and play at Golf de Barthe, Tombebeouf.

We have a bridge on the 7th fairway across a ditch. My question is, if the ball comes to rest near the bridge on the fairway and not in the hazard, and the structure of the bridge interferes with your swing, do you get free relief?

Is a bridge an immovable obstruction or an integral part of the course?

There are no local rules concerning the bridge.

There are quite a few of us that would be very interested in your reply.

Thank you.

Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

A bridge is an immovable obstruction. If your ball is not in the hazard, and the bridge interferes with your swing, then you are entitled to free relief under Rule 24-2.

If your ball is in the hazard, there is no free relief if the bridge interferes with your swing.

If your ball is lying on the bridge within the margins of the hazard, note that you are permitted to ground your club on the bridge. While you are not permitted to touch the ground in a hazard, a bridge is above the ground and you may touch the bridge when you address your ball [Decision 13-4/30].

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