Monday, April 23, 2018

Ask Linda #1745-Relief from staked tree

Hi Linda,
I thought the ruling was 2 club-lengths relief from a staked tree. I was then informed that a player can take any length to ensure the swing is not impeded by the tree and then a further 1 club-length.  Would you please clarify?
Lulu from Montrose, Scotland

Dear Lulu,

If the Local Rule for protection of young trees is in effect [Appendix I, Part A, 2b], the relief is the same as the relief you would take from an immovable obstruction [Rule 24-2b] – drop within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole.

If the Local Rule is not in effect, relief would be available from the stakes (which are man-made), but not the tree. If a stake interferes with the player’s stance or area of intended swing, and the stake is immovable, the player must find the nearest point of relief that is no closer to the hole and drop within one club-length of that point. If the stake is movable, the player may remove the stake; she is not entitled to free relief. She must either play the ball as it lies or take relief for an unplayable ball [Rule 28], which would include a one-stroke penalty.

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