Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ask Linda #1528-Relief from dangerous situation

Hi Linda;
My ball sits on the red line defining a lateral water hazard and 2 inches away from an alligator. I asked my competitors on a match play if I could take relief from a dangerous animal. They said no, but proceeded to scare the alligator in to the water so I could hit my ball. What were my options?
Lou from Canada (winters in South Carolina)

Dear Lou,

Scaring away the alligator would not be on my list of sensible options.

Players are entitled to free relief from dangerous situations. Since your ball was in a hazard, you would have to drop another ball in the hazard in order to get free relief. Here is how to proceed [Decision 1-4/10]:

1. Find the nearest point of relief (NPR) in the hazard that is no closer to the hole where you will be safely away from the animal.
2. Drop a ball (not the ball – that one now belongs to the alligator) in the hazard, within one club-length of the NPR.
3. If it is not possible to drop safely in the same hazard, you may drop in a nearby similar hazard, but the spot where you drop may not be closer to the hole.
4. If it is not possible to drop safely in the hazard, and there is no nearby similar hazard, you may drop outside the hazard, but that will cost you a penalty stroke. You may use any of the drop options in Rule 26-1.

Please note that the Rules define “dangerous situation” as one that is seriously dangerous. Rattlesnakes, alligators, and bees nests are dangerous; poison ivy, cacti, or stinging nettles are not [Decision 1-4/11].

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