Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ask Linda #962-Relief improves shot

Linda, I was playing with a friend today and my ball ended up on the cart path (blacktop). Directly behind it was OB. To move my ball so it was not closer to the pin, I would have had to move it 15' in either direction. I had a tree in front of me where my ball came to rest on the cart path. Moving to either of the other locations would have given me a clear shot. Neither of us knew what to do, because it did not seem fair to be given a clear shot. What would have been the proper move?
Lulu from New Jersey

Dear Lulu,

When you take free relief from an immovable obstruction (cart path, in your case), the Rule requires that you drop within one club-length of the nearest point of relief (NPR) that is no closer to the hole [Rule 24-2b (i)]. Sometimes the NPR will improve your line of play (allowing you to escape interference from a tree); other times the NPR may be virtually unplayable (e.g., deep rough). Those are the breaks of the game – count your blessings when you get a good break; curse your luck (and use some sense) when you get a bad one. Don’t forget that you are not obligated to take relief from an immovable obstruction. You may prefer to hit your ball off the cart path than try to hack it out of the fescue!

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