Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ask Linda #1329-Player takes abnormal stance to get relief

Hi Linda,
Question: A player is right-handed. There is no interference with the normal right hand swing. The player takes a left-handed swing stance and the object now interferes. Can they take relief for the left-handed stance swing, and once relief is granted, change back to the right-handed swing? 

This did not happen; a couple of my golfing buddies and I are dissecting the rules and came up with this question.

Thanks in advance,
Lou from Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Lou,

No. A player is not entitled to claim relief for an abnormal swing that is clearly unreasonable [Rule 24-2b, Exception; Decision 24-2b/18]. For example, if a player’s ball lies in a rough patch of grass near a bench, and there is no interference from the bench for his right-handed swing, he may not turn around and state that he plans to hit it left-handed in order to claim interference from the bench and drop in a more favorable lie.

Here is an example of free relief for an abnormal swing that would be reasonable:
A right-handed player’s ball is close to a boundary fence on the left. In order to hit the ball toward the hole, he must turn around and hit left-handed. An immovable obstruction interferes with the abnormal but reasonable left-handed stroke. The player is entitled to relief from the obstruction. After he drops, if he is now able to turn around and hit right-handed, he may do so [Decision 24-2b/17].

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