Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Rule query on relief from path

  • 12-10-2021 12:43pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 484 ✭✭ AldilaMan


    Recently in matchplay I heard someone take relief from a cart path. On one side of the path was rough grass and trees. On the other side there was a flower bed (free relief available under local rule) and beyond the flower bed a tee box. The ball was situated on the path nearest the flower bed. The rough grass on the left was closer than the tee box. The player proceeded to take relief into the flower bed and then claimed free relief from the flower bed to get to the tee box leaving a much easier shot to the green than would have been from the rough in the trees.

    I don't believe that was the correct drop as my understanding is that you have to take full relief. The flower bed did not provide relief. Any rules experts that can clarify ?



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 720 ✭✭✭ Ronney


    Yea, the full relief would be from the path only to begin with. PGA tour lads are masters of this, drop of path first. Then find them selves blocked by stand/tv tower so another drop and next thing you know they are on the fairway!

    Also just because the flower bed was the nearest side it doesn't mean its the nearest point.



  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭ OEP


    I remember seeing Phil do it this year. There was some kind of area the gave free relief that meant his nearest point of relief had him standing in it. It was probably by cm's too - the ref had him measure the nearest point of relief.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Also remember to check the card, path relief is a local rule and plenty of clubs don’t use it so it’s play as it lies



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ DuckSlice


    Which is a joke to be fair in the amateur game. Should be relief at all time unless its AstroTurf paths or something.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 14,620 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    well its a rule of golf.

    im sure there are other rules which are a joke, but they are sill rules



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,620 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    this is a good point

    so many people take incorrect relief by either going the side which suits them or not actually realising where the relief actually is

    eg relief is not just at the side of the path. it is when you are stance is not one the path anymore, which might mean you go left or right and could make things bad or worse.

    sometimes you are better just playing as it lies



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    I agree, I think a lot of golfers see nearest point of relief as the side that suits, depending on what side of the fairway and whether left or right handed the relief can often be on the "wrong" side of the path when it comes to best lie



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ DuckSlice


    not arguing that, but expecting amateurs to play it as it lies off a path is a bit ridiculous. I know you can take an unplayable but i think every course should have the local rule in place.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭ daithi7


    I absolutely agree with this from experience.

    A lifelong golf buddy & I had a nearly very dangerous incident because of the lack of this regulation. My drive found a lightly gravelled path on a par 5, there was no free relief (local or otherwise) & it looked to be lying pretty OK, so I opted to play a 5 iron off it. My playing partner was about 45 yards away, slightly ahead of me (reckon about 20 deg).

    Anyway I hit a pure 5 iron but also must have l hit a pebble under the ball that shot ~sideways& missed his head & eye going like a bullet(with bullet sound & all) by about 6-8 inches. We got a real fright tbh, and as a result of this experience I think amateurs should always get the option of a free drop from paths imho, both for their & other's safety & simplicity by having consistency in the rules applied.

    Post edited by daithi7 on


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭ bustercherry


    Your partner could have stood behind you? This story just highlights stupidity not a safety issue. Also you can take relief under penalty, just not free relief. It's up to the player to determine whether they should play as lies or take relief, to me that's good course management.

    The reason it falls under a local rule is because the rules of golf cannot clearly define what is deemed a path (or immovable obstruction) for every course. Hence the provision for a course to apply if they deem appropriate.

    Personally I dont see why a course wouldnt employ a local rule but it cannot be a rule of golf.



  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭ billy3sheets


    Slightly hijacking the thread but my question is about relief from ground treatment on the fairway. I played PowersCourt recently and the fairways and some of the rough were scarified. My ball lay in a scar and I took relief. Was a casual round but submitted on the GI app for WHS.

    My playing partner thought it would be a local rule. No idea if it was.

    Should I get a lifetime ban?



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,620 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB




  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Usually there's a notice in the clubhouse when the course is in that condition and preferred lies are used. Still qualifying for handicap purposes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭ blue note


    Is relief from trackmarks a local rule or a general one? And would scarification marks be included in that? I'd have thought they would.


    And I can't understand why relief from paths has to be a local rule. Why on earth would a club not give relief from paths? No-one wants to damage their club. I ended up on a path the other day and was very surprised to find that you don't get relief from paths there.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Yeah. I would think that issues like seams of cut turf from ground works or GUR would only necessarily be transient and covered by a temporary local rule. Permanent fixtures like cart paths and staked trees should be just part of the rules of golf and shouldn't require a local rule.



  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭ billy3sheets


    Are you sure about that?

    I found this from 2019.

    Under the new Rules of Golf released in January, paths are classed as an abnormal course condition.

    Rule 16 allows you to take free relief as such conditions are not treated “as part of the challenge of playing the course”.

    https://www.nationalclubgolfer.com/news/taking-relief-from-a-path/



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Yep, look at Athlone GC, internal paths and roads marked as Integral Parts of the course on the scorecard



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Yeah, it's currently listed under 'committee procedures' in the rules of golf. Once you see it in the Model Local Rules section, you can be sure that there will be a requirement to specify it. Based on the snippet below, it would seem that this is necessary because of the advent of artificial surfaces for paths that can be played from.

    F-17

    All Roads and Paths Treated as Obstructions

    Purpose. Where roads or paths that are not artificially surfaced may interfere with fair play, the Committee can choose to designate such roads as immovable obstructions from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1.



  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭ billy3sheets


    But the default is that they are immovable obstructions and relief is allowed, right?



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 720 ✭✭✭ Ronney


    No Default is play it as it lies,

    Most but not all clubs will have them flagged in a local rule



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    In the recent Ryder Jug matchplay our opponent landed and somehow stopped on the stone bridge on the 12th in Druids Glen. It was pointed out to him he had relief (on the card) but his nearest point of relief was in bushes (unplayable). In fairness to him he agreed and played it as it lied, somehow got it over the small wall on the bridge and onto the green too!



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭ blue note


    Fair play to him for the shot he played but there's no in fairness to him about his nearest point of relief being in the bushes, that's just where it was!


    It's the rule I'd say is most often misunderstood in golf. I'll hold my hand up and say that I used to think it had to be a point that was in play. This combined with my misunderstanding on the unplayable lie rule was particularly unfortunate. I thought unplayable lie meant that the player actually had to consider his lie to be unplayable (so your ball being in a bush would be an obvious example of this). As opposed to it just being the words the player uses when he wants to take relief under penalty, but it might just be because he thinks he'd be better off dropping than trying to play a difficult shot. Overall it meant that I would look for the nearest point of relief that wasn't nearer the hole, wasn't in a hazard and wasn't in a bush or the like. I'm amazed that in over 20 years of playing golf no-one ever corrected me on that. I wonder how many times I took a bad drop as a result. On the flip side, I'd say overall I was more harmed by the fact that for 20 years I played my ball if I thought it was at all playable. I'd say I could often have benefitted from taking an unplayable lie.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,345 ✭✭✭ boccy23


    Agree 100% with Blue Note. This is huge area of contention for me as 99% of casual players have no clue of how it works.

    The rule is as follows:

    The nearest point of relief is the spot the shortest distance away from where your ball lies that is not closer to the hole and where if your ball was there, you could make a stroke at it without any interference from the thing you are taking relief from.

    So as you say in this particular case, the bridge being the interference, bushes were where the nearest point of relief from said bridge was.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Also worth noting that if the bridge crosses a river (they usually do 😁) and the river is a penalty area, then the bridge is too. Unless it's specifically marked out of the penalty area. Which means that your options are more limited and you can't take free relief.



  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭ OEP


    I didn't know that, always learning when it comes to the rules of golf.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,929 ✭✭✭ spacecoyote


    Yes, you'll see on courses they'll usually mark out the hazard line at bridges to identify if the bridge is classed as in the hazard



  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭ OEP


    I don't think they do it on my course. My ball has never stopped on a bridge so I haven't exactly been looking out for it though



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    I think the default is that they are in the penalty area unless marked otherwise or there's a local rule. The usual test of lining up the stakes to see what's in the penalty area applies.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭ billy3sheets


    And sure enough, I read the local rules on the back of the card and it calls out paths as immovable obstructions!

    I must have used hundreds of cards in the last 5 years and never bothered to read them 😳



Advertisement