Monday, January 30, 2017

Ask Linda #1470-Ball near bird’s nest in hazard

Hi Linda,
Is free relief available in a hazard when the ball is next to a ground nesting bird’s nest and hitting the ball would smash the nest and the eggs? If so, how should relief be taken?
Also, are there different rules for the different types of hazard regarding this situation?
Lou from Ballina,  New South Wales, Australia

Dear Lou,

Yes, you are entitled to free relief in any hazard (water hazard or bunker) for a swing that would damage a bird’s nest [Decision 1-4/9].

For free relief, you must drop in the hazard within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole. If it is not possible to drop in the hazard, you may still get free relief if you are able to drop in a nearby, similar hazard that is no closer to the hole.

If there is no safe place to drop in the hazard, and there is no nearby similar hazard, you will have to take a penalty stroke. In that case, you may drop behind the hazard on the flagline or choose any of the other relief options under Rule 26 (if your ball is in a water hazard) or Rule 28 (if your ball is in a bunker).  

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