Friday, August 4, 2017

Ask Linda #1588-Relief from lateral hazard is on cart path

Dear Linda,
First, you are a treasure to us all.

On our course, the grasses are deep in many places and marked as a lateral hazard in some places. One of those places comes right up to a cart path. To take a two-club-length redress from the hazard puts the golfer's ball right onto the cart path. Should the golfer do that, add the one-stroke penalty, then take relief from the cart path in the usual fashion with one club-length from nearest point of relief? Or should the golfer just take one club-length relief from the cart part at the outset and take a one-stroke penalty from moving the ball out of the hazard? The score outcome would be the same, but the time taken would be reduced in the latter instance.

Many mahalos.
Lulu from Kona, Hawaii

Dear Lulu,

If the two-club-length relief from a lateral hazard is on a cart path, the player must drop on the cart path. If the dropped ball remains on the cart path, or the path interferes with her stance or the area of her intended swing, she is entitled to a free drop within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole. Since the player is not permitted to drop in a hazard, the nearest point of relief from the cart path will be on the non-hazard side of the path [Rule 24-2b (i)].

I understand that it would take less time to take relief from both the hazard and the cart path with one drop, but it is not the correct relief process. You must drop on the cart path so that you will have a reference point to find the nearest point of relief from the cart path. However, the second drop (if necessary) should take a matter of seconds, not minutes. There is no requirement to complete all the measuring and marking you often see when you watch the pros play. The player should be able to eyeball the correct area in which to drop the ball, and simply drop it in that area [Decision 24-2b/2].

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