Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Ask Linda #1333-Relief area smaller than one club-length
Player hits the ball and it lands in a narrow space between the cart path and a bunker. In relief, he takes his stance in the space and grounds his club, marking this spot with a tee. He measures with a club, no closer to the hole, the next spot with a tee. Unfortunately, that next spot is in the bunker with over half of the club extending into the bunker. Does he have to take relief within the half club-length area or does he take relief elsewhere?
Lou from Georgetown, Texas
The player must drop in that half-club-length area.
The Rules require that a free drop away from an immovable obstruction be within one club-length of the nearest point of relief; they do not state that the player is entitled to a full club-length of relief.
This is yet another example of why players should assess their relief before lifting the ball. If your stance after the drop will be in a bunker, with the ball way above your feet, you might prefer to hit it as it lies on the cart path.
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