Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ask Linda #1548-Ball dropped on cart path rolls into hazard

Dear readers,
Ask Linda #1545 has been corrected. Please revisit the column:
Many thanks to Lou from Missouri and Lulu from Wisconsin for their input.

Hi Linda,
If I intend to drop a ball, whether it be a free drop or under penalty, and the nearest point of relief is a cart path, from which I am entitled to relief again, am I correct in saying that I must drop on the cart path first and then drop again providing the ball comes to rest within the parameters of "dropping a ball?"

If this is correct, and in the process of dropping on the cart path the ball rolls and enters a hazard, within the parameters set out in dropping the ball, do I then play from that hazard and or incur any penalties for the ball entering that hazard?

For example, I declare my ball unplayable and wish to take a drop under penalty and take the two club lengths. In doing so I decide to drop on a cart path, knowing I can get another drop at no cost which would favour my line for my next shot. I drop on the cart path and the ball rolls into a water hazard or maybe Out Of Bounds, which are both less than two club lengths away from where the ball touched down on the path. Do I now have to play the ball as it lies and accept any penalties that may be applied for that outcome?

Kind regards,
Lou (Sunshine Coast, Australia)

Dear Lou,

If you choose the two-club-length option for an unplayable ball [Rule 28c], and that leads you to a drop on a cart path, you may drop on the cart path. If the dropped ball rolls into a hazard or out of bounds, there is no penalty and you must re-drop [Rule 20-2c]. If your second drop does the same thing, you must place your ball on the spot where it hit the cart path after your second drop. Now you have a ball on a cart path, from which you are entitled to free relief under Rule 24-2.

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