Friday, September 11, 2015

Ask Linda #1147-Relief from staked tree

Hi Linda,

I had a query from a member re: staked trees and relief available. He was upset because I took one club-length relief to the side of the staked tree not nearer the hole (after determining nearest point of relief). He believed I had to keep the tree in line with my ball and the pin.

Relief from staked trees is a local rule and my understanding is that it is to protect young trees that are developing. If I had gone back one club length keeping the tree in line with the pin my ball would have had to (potentially) travel through the tree, possibly breaking or damaging it and defeating the purpose of the relief being given. I told him I would write to you to query this; he is happy to accept your response, as am I!

Many thanks again for your help clearing some of these rules up.
Lou from Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Dear Lou,

Every Rule that permits you to take relief requires that you drop the ball within one club-length of the nearest point of relief that is no closer to the hole. There is no further requirement that you stay behind a tree.

Your narrative would seem to indicate that your relief procedure was correct. You found the nearest point of relief, and dropped within one club-length of that spot. It is highly unlikely that the correct relief procedure will place you behind the tree for your next shot.

Please read Ask Linda #494, in which I explain how to take relief from a staked tree (

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