Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ask Linda #1821-Relief dilemma

Hi Linda,
Could I have clarification on the following query please?

We have a Local Rule at our club, as do many others, that relief may be taken from paths on the course. The path is really a stony dirt track.

So, the path is at the left hand side of the hole, and beyond the path on the left is an area of thick brambles, from which play is impossible. If taking a penalty drop from the brambles under the two clubs rule, my understanding is that you first have to drop on the path and then take relief from the path. But for a right-handed golfer the nearest point of relief would often be back in the brambles, as the right hander has to take full relief, and can’t be standing on the path for his next shot.

My understanding is that if you opt to take relief from the path, and the nearest point of relief is back in the brambles, that is your only option for relief. You don’t have any right to relief from the original brambles and therefore it would be usually preferable to play from the path.

Secondly, if you drop on the path and again the ball bounces back in the original brambles, the ball is in play, and if you need to take a drop you will have to incur another penalty, which seems unfair, but I think that is the rule.

I’d be grateful for your confirmation. Many thanks
Lou from the U.K.

Dear Lou,

All of your statements are correct. I would be inclined to suggest that the two-club-length relief option for an unplayable ball might not be the best choice for a right-handed golfer under these circumstances. He should consider the flagline and stroke-and-distance options before deciding how best to take relief.

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