Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ask Linda #1292-NPR is on cart path

We have a local rule that allows a free drop from a planted landscaped area.
I recently hit into the area and prepared to drop at the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole. I felt that spot was on a cart path. I thought I could then re-drop to get relief from the path. My fellow competitor said no, I must drop on ground/grass at the nearest spot of ground/grass (not cart path).
Was either of us right? If so, who?
Lou from Denver, North Carolina

Dear Lou, 

You are correct, Lou.

When you take your free relief from the landscaped area, you must find the nearest point on the course that is not nearer to the hole and gives you complete relief from the condition that interferes with your stroke [Definition of “Nearest Point of Relief”]. In your situation, that point was on the cart path. After you drop the ball on the path, if the path interferes with your next stroke, you have a new situation – interference by an immovable obstruction. You would now be entitled to free relief under Rule 24-2.

The player is not permitted to take relief from the landscaped area and the cart path in a single procedure [Decision 1-4/8]. You must take your drop from the first problem, assess your new situation, and then decide where (or whether) to take relief from the second problem.

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