Determining Nearest Point of Complete Relief – Not Nicest
Hope you all are enjoying your golf and feeling that there is some return to normality, especially as many Clubs are beginning to run competitions.
With the return to golf, there have been more questions flowing in, a majority, as expected, are concerning the WHS but questions related to the Rules of Golf are also appearing.
A recent query concerned a ball that lay on a Cart Path (An Abnormal Course Condition), the player realised that the only free relief placed his ball in the middle of a bush. He wondered whether free relief was or could he take relief under the Unplayable Ball Rule instead.
This is not an uncommon situation and one that you could find yourself in on several occasions during your rounds of golf.
The straight answer is yes he could; a player may declare a Ball Unplayable anywhere on the course provided her/his ball is not in a penalty area, for 1 penalty stroke.
Before you take this decision you need to look closely at the situation and your options.
If you take an unplayable immediately, where will your ball lie.
May it be better to take the relief first and then declare your ball unplayable, this may allow you to drop your ball in a better position.
There is always the option to take stroke and distance and play a ball from the place where you played the last shot.
The diagram below gives you an idea of how to assess the Nearest Point of Complete Relief from an Abnormal Course Condition using relief from a Cart Path as an example.