Friday, January 26, 2018

Ask Linda #1686-Incomplete relief from cart path

Dear Linda,
The player’s ball lay on grass near the boundary fence but his stance was on a path when playing in his preferred direction –his feet were on the cart path, not his ball. The boundary fence did not interfere with the player's swing. After taking relief from the path for his stance he still played with his feet on the path. If he decides to take relief, isn't he required to take complete relief? How can it be right that he plays with his feet on the path?
Lou from Kitwe, Zambia

Dear Lou,

Indeed, it cannot be right and it is not right. Relief must be complete.

In seeking the nearest point of relief from an immovable obstruction, such as a cart path, the player must find the point where there is no interference from the condition [Definition of “Nearest Point of Relief”]. After he drops the ball within one club-length of that point, he must re-drop if the ball comes to rest in a position where he still has interference from the condition from which he was seeking relief [Rule 20-2c (v)].

If the player in your narrative hits the ball with his feet on the cart path, he incurs a two-stroke penalty in stroke play (loss of hole in match play).

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