Monday, March 5, 2012

Ask Linda #425 - 1/2 club-length relief


Here is one that happened yesterday and I was not sure of the correct procedure. A player’s ball came to rest on a cart path. He then determined his nearest point of relief and marked it. From that point to a lateral hazard there was only about one half of a club length. I understand that he could have dropped and if it went into the hazard he could drop again. If it happened a second time he could then place. The question is this: Is the player entitled to a full club length in order to drop?


Dear Lou,

When a player takes relief from an immovable obstruction (such as a cart path), he must find the nearest point of relief that is no closer to the hole. That “nearest point of relief” may not be in a hazard. He is then required to drop within one club-length of that point.

The procedure you describe is correct. The nearest point of relief is not in a hazard, and it is possible to drop the ball outside the hazard. Half a club-length meets the requirement of “within one club-length.” There is no one-club-length entitlement or requirement for dropping away from an immovable obstruction.

There is never a guarantee that the place where you will drop the ball will be an improvement over the place where it lies. Sometimes the nearest point of relief may be in a briar patch or in another equally undesirable lie. Always assess your options before you lift your ball. Once it’s lifted, if you decide you want to put it back, it will cost you a stroke for lifting your ball in play.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.