Question on relief options

MagicSpell

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This is a scenario that I faced yesterday. I pushed my approach shot right and the ball ended up about 30 yards short of the green resting on the cart path. Knowing I could take relief from the cart path I looked at my options for where to drop. Left of the cart path is a line of trees and right of the cart path is a steep hill. I chose to drop on the left as it gave me the "best" option of a clear shot to the green. My first drop attempt (yes from knee height, lol) rolled back onto the cart path. My second drop attempt hit and rolled slightly back and to the left but no nearer the hole. Only problem then was it rolled closer to one of the trees where I could no longer get a decent stance to hit the ball (right handed). I assumed this was my poor luck at dropping and played the ball with an awkward stance and hoped for the best. I ended up a few feet short of the green and played on.

Now, I'm wondering if there is anything in the rules that prevents me from attempting to hit that shot left handed due to the tree being in the way to hit right handed. If so, can I then take cart path relief again since my stance would be on the cart path? If so, do I then HAVE to hit the resulting shot left handed after a new drop?

Just curious as I never considered it at the time and thinking about now seems kinda "iffy" in my brain.
 

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OGputtnfool

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I'm no rules official, but the first thing that jumps out at me is you don't get to choose where to drop. Your drop is from one club length from the nearest point of relief no closer to the green. If that puts you in a bind, then that's a whole separate issue and will need to be addressed after your drop and relief from the path.

As for the 2nd scenario, I'm not certain. Now, recalling the conversation between Jordan Speith and a rules official re: casual water near a cart path, yada yada yada that I watched on Youtube (yeah, I really went there), I remember the rules official specifically asking him, "Is that how you'd hit it (or maybe where you'd stand) if you had to play the shot from that position?" I think he was trying to get further relief after his initial drop. That being said, IF you would truly hit the ball left-handed at its current point and the path would interfere again, then I think you'd be entitled to relief a 2nd time from the path.

I could be wrong, but that's my interpretation of it.
 

OGputtnfool

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One thing to remember, though many would not even contemplate it, is that even if your ball is on the cart path, you are never required to drop it. If you think your drop is going to end up in a worse position (i.e. under a tree), then you have every right to hit it off the path. I have done this once or twice in my life and it's not as difficult as you'd think and nowhere near as difficult as hitting out from under a tree.
 

DG_1234

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This is a scenario that I faced yesterday. I pushed my approach shot right and the ball ended up about 30 yards short of the green resting on the cart path. Knowing I could take relief from the cart path I looked at my options for where to drop. Left of the cart path is a line of trees and right of the cart path is a steep hill. I chose to drop on the left as it gave me the "best" option of a clear shot to the green. My first drop attempt (yes from knee height, lol) rolled back onto the cart path. My second drop attempt hit and rolled slightly back and to the left but no nearer the hole. Only problem then was it rolled closer to one of the trees where I could no longer get a decent stance to hit the ball (right handed). I assumed this was my poor luck at dropping and played the ball with an awkward stance and hoped for the best. I ended up a few feet short of the green and played on.

Now, I'm wondering if there is anything in the rules that prevents me from attempting to hit that shot left handed due to the tree being in the way to hit right handed. If so, can I then take cart path relief again since my stance would be on the cart path? If so, do I then HAVE to hit the resulting shot left handed after a new drop?

Just curious as I never considered it at the time and thinking about now seems kinda "iffy" in my brain.
Please clarify what you mean by "could no longer get a decent stance to hit the ball".
If your answer is that you could take a stance , swing at the ball, make contact and advance the ball (as well or better than you could do so playing left handed), then you would not be entitled to use a left handed address position to seek cart path relief.
If your answer is that your ball lay in a position where you could not reasonably swing at and, or, make contact with the ball from a right handed address position, and you could reasonably achieve a better shot from a left hand address position, then you are entitled to seek relief from a left handed address position.
 

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firstly..we dont get to chose which side of the cart path to take releif. It has to be the closest point of relief and that is not the ball per say but includes dexterity.
here is a couple vids
 

MagicSpell

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One thing to remember, though many would not even contemplate it, is that even if your ball is on the cart path, you are never required to drop it. If you think your drop is going to end up in a worse position (i.e. under a tree), then you have every right to hit it off the path. I have done this once or twice in my life and it's not as difficult as you'd think and nowhere near as difficult as hitting out from under a tree.
I did consider playing it from the path but that option was ruled out as from the position on the cart path I had no direct line to the green through the trees. With regards to the "nearest point of relief" the ball was dead center on the path. I don't know that either side was nearer or farther for relief. Another reason I chose to go to the left since that was on the line the ball came in on.
 

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I'm pretty sure you can't keep dropping it until you get what you want. Drop it once ... well i can't hit it right handed. So if I hit it left handed, I'm standing on the cart path, I can drop it again. Drop ... well, now the tree is in the way. Not sure the rules allow unlimited drops until you get the preferred lie. LOL :act-up:
The 2nd drop will be the correct play. Yes, the tree is in the way now but those are the bounces we get.
 

MagicSpell

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Please clarify what you mean by "could no longer get a decent stance to hit the ball".
If your answer is that you could take a stance , swing at the ball, make contact and advance the ball (as well or better than you could do so playing left handed), then you would not be entitled to use a left handed address position to seek cart path relief.
If your answer is that your ball lay in a position where you could not reasonably swing at and, or, make contact with the ball from a right handed address position, and you could reasonably achieve a better shot from a left hand address position, then you are entitled to seek relief from a left handed address position.
The ball got closer to the tree so that I didn't have room to stand between it and the ball and take a swing. I ended up standing as close to the side of the tree as I could with the ball well behind me to make my stroke. Clearly if I had taken a stance left handed then there would have been no impediment to making the stroke (but I would have been standing on the cart path).
 

OGputtnfool

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I did consider playing it from the path but that option was ruled out as from the position on the cart path I had no direct line to the green through the trees. With regards to the "nearest point of relief" the ball was dead center on the path. I don't know that either side was nearer or farther for relief. Another reason I chose to go to the left since that was on the line the ball came in on.
Nearest point of relief is not just for the ball. It includes your stance, too. If the ball was dead center of the path, then the nearest point of relief was likely the spot were the ball was clear of the path and you were on the opposite side of the path from the ball. That'll be different for a LH and RH player. It's possible for the nearest point of relief to be the far side of the path from where the ball lies.

The videos above probably address that. I did not watch them.
 

MagicSpell

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I'm pretty sure you can't keep dropping it until you get what you want. Drop it once ... well i can't hit it right handed. So if I hit it left handed, I'm standing on the cart path, I can drop it again. Drop ... well, now the tree is in the way. Not sure the rules allow unlimited drops until you get the preferred lie. LOL :act-up:
The 2nd drop will be the correct play. Yes, the tree is in the way now but those are the bounces we get.
And why I played it as such. I didn't even think about the left handed option until today and was curious if it would have been available.
 

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as for where the ball rolled after the drop. The ball must land in the relief area via cart path rule determined by a club length. the area is the imaginary circle created by pivoting the club from the point of releif. If it rolled outside that area you need to drop again. if it rolls again outsie the are then it can be placed at the spot it first hit the ground. If it is unable to stay there after two attaempts it can then be placed at the nearest spot in which it will stay putt but no closer to the hole of course.

But if the point of relief includes a tree or bushes .whatever its still the only place we can get releif form the path and so the decision must be made even if you have to putt the pull off the path to a place where we can then hit from. But also anotyher option is to then take an unplayable from the tree or whatever is in your way. of course this time the releif comes with a penalty but so be it. So you can take the chance of dropping even though risk of a tree is in the way and then take a penalty relief from that. What can ya do? its just the nature of the beat..lol and sometimes it sucks.

Its like when we might hit into thick and tall fescue off to the side of a layout. So..."if" we find the ball we realize no way we can hit it respectably and we can take an unplayable with penalty. But the unplayable comes with a given length of relief which may mean dropping still in the fescue. So we may have to take another penalty in order to find relief outside the fesue. Or with the new loal rule hope we dont find the ball and take a two stroke penalty and place it back in play no closer the hole at the egde of fairway. but thats all asuming we didnt hit a provisional because we didnt think the ball was lost.
 

MagicSpell

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Nearest point of relief is not just for the ball. It includes your stance, too. If the ball was dead center of the path, then the nearest point of relief was likely the spot were the ball was clear of the path and you were on the opposite side of the path from the ball. That'll be different for a LH and RH player. It's possible for the nearest point of relief to be the far side of the path from where the ball lies.

The videos above probably address that. I did not watch them.
I haven't watched them yet either. When I took the drop I believed I had enough room to take a stance and play from where I was dropping. It wasn't until the ball rolled further left from where I dropped (a few inches) that I lost the ability to take a normal stance without interference from the tree.
The left side of the cart path put me on the other side of the ball from the cart path as I am right handed.
 

OGputtnfool

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I haven't watched them yet either. When I took the drop I believed I had enough room to take a stance and play from where I was dropping. It wasn't until the ball rolled further left from where I dropped (a few inches) that I lost the ability to take a normal stance without interference from the tree.
The left side of the cart path put me on the other side of the ball from the cart path as I am right handed.
@rollin has a point. If it rolls outside the drop area twice, you can place it where it hit the 2nd time. Would this have alleviated the issue?
 

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The ball got closer to the tree so that I didn't have room to stand between it and the ball and take a swing. I ended up standing as close to the side of the tree as I could with the ball well behind me to make my stroke. Clearly if I had taken a stance left handed then there would have been no impediment to making the stroke (but I would have been standing on the cart path).
Yes, but from a Rules perspective, the question is a matter of what is reasonable "reasonable".
As it played out, with your "compromised" right handed address position, did you make contact with the ball and advance it as well or better than had you played the shot from a left handed address position ?
 

MagicSpell

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@rollin has a point. If it rolls outside the drop area twice, you can place it where it hit the 2nd time. Would this have alleviated the issue?
I don't believe it rolled outside of the drop area. I just didn't really assess well the ramifications of the ball rolling too close to the tree when I stood to take the drop.
 

MagicSpell

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Yes, but from a Rules perspective, the question is a matter of what is reasonable "reasonable".
As it played out, with your "compromised" right handed address position, did you make contact with the ball and advance it as well or better than had you played the shot from a left handed address position ?
Ah, well that is subjective. Can I swing a club left handed reasonably well. Yes, I can. I have played left handed to teach my daughter the game (she's left handed). Do I carry a left handed club? No, so that would make it much more difficult to assess. Have I played my clubs left handed before? Again, yes but not to gain 30 yards.

In the end, I believe I probably used the only option "available" to me. I just wasn't sure.
 

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The left side of the cart path put me on the other side of the ball from the cart path as I am right handed.
Im not suggesting you didnt understand what i mentioned because im not sure. But as per the vids above the point of relief is whichever is closest. Its whichever place results in the ball being (as it is to be hit) is closer to the original spot it was sitting on the path.
 

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This is a scenario that I faced yesterday. I pushed my approach shot right and the ball ended up about 30 yards short of the green resting on the cart path. Knowing I could take relief from the cart path I looked at my options for where to drop. Left of the cart path is a line of trees and right of the cart path is a steep hill. I chose to drop on the left as it gave me the "best" option of a clear shot to the green. My first drop attempt (yes from knee height, lol) rolled back onto the cart path. My second drop attempt hit and rolled slightly back and to the left but no nearer the hole. Only problem then was it rolled closer to one of the trees where I could no longer get a decent stance to hit the ball (right handed). I assumed this was my poor luck at dropping and played the ball with an awkward stance and hoped for the best. I ended up a few feet short of the green and played on.
You take the "Nearest point of relief" not the "Nicest point of relief." This is why it's always important to assess your options before taking an action. You may decide playing it off the cart path is preferable to taking relief into knee-high crap.

Now, I'm wondering if there is anything in the rules that prevents me from attempting to hit that shot left handed due to the tree being in the way to hit right handed. If so, can I then take cart path relief again since my stance would be on the cart path? If so, do I then HAVE to hit the resulting shot left handed after a new drop?

Just curious as I never considered it at the time and thinking about now seems kinda "iffy" in my brain.
As long as the shot and stance is reasonable, then yes, you can do exactly what you state. You can setup to hit the shot left-handed, and if the cart-path interferes, you can take relief. Now, if there's absolutely nothing in your way and you want to claim that you'd play the shot left-handed just so you'd be standing on the cart path, that would not be reasonable. Nor would it be considered reasonable if you say stuck one leg way out behind you to be able to touch the cart path and then claimed interference. But as long as the shot is somewhat reasonable given the situation, you can take relief. Note however that the nearest point of relief would likely still be on the side of the cart path where you dropped. You would just some extra space. However, that extra space might be enough to get you on the other side of the tree, and then you could turn around right-handed and play the shot.
 

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Ah, well that is subjective. Can I swing a club left handed reasonably well. Yes, I can. I have played left handed to teach my daughter the game (she's left handed). Do I carry a left handed club? No, so that would make it much more difficult to assess. Have I played my clubs left handed before? Again, yes but not to gain 30 yards.

In the end, I believe I probably used the only option "available" to me. I just wasn't sure.
Again, as it played out, with your "compromised" right handed address position, did you make contact with the ball and advance it as well or better than had you played the shot from a left handed address position ?

The above is not an especially "subjective" question. You already know the answer as to whether you you made contact, and, or advanced the ball. If the shot was as good or better than you could reasonably expect to achieve when playing from a left handed address position, then you have your answer.
Remember that golf is a game of honor and observing the Rules requires the player to be reasonable. For example, when taking relief from a hazard it is expected that the player choose a reasonable point of entry. Or when seeking cart path relief (and possibly claiming an opposite stance posture is required) he/she is expected to use reasonable criteria.
 

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Now, I'm wondering if there is anything in the rules that prevents me from attempting to hit that shot left handed due to the tree being in the way to hit right handed. If so, can I then take cart path relief again since my stance would be on the cart path? If so, do I then HAVE to hit the resulting shot left handed after a new drop?

Just curious as I never considered it at the time and thinking about now seems kinda "iffy" in my brain.
As long as the shot and stance is reasonable, then yes, you can do exactly what you state. You can setup to hit the shot left-handed, and if the cart-path interferes, you can take relief. Now, if there's absolutely nothing in your way and you want to claim that you'd play the shot left-handed just so you'd be standing on the cart path, that would not be reasonable. Nor would it be considered reasonable if you say stuck one leg way out behind you to be able to touch the cart path and then claimed interference. But as long as the shot is somewhat reasonable given the situation, you can take relief. Note however that the nearest point of relief would likely still be on the side of the cart path where you dropped. You would just some extra space. However, that extra space might be enough to get you on the other side of the tree, and then you could turn around right-handed and play the shot.
But wades...even if something is in the way and he choses to now play left handed and then gets a second relief, is he then required to releive as a left handed player and also play the relief left handed? Or can he switch back again after that relief?

I mean in one sense i get that once proper relief was dropped that play is over. But now we have a poor scenario and decide to play it lefty. Ok ...maybe.....But now possibly standing on the path as a lefty that same path relief comes into play again a second time? So now what? he takes nearest point as though a lefty this time since he was getting relief from the left address position or does he do it as a righty? can we hypothetically keep switching dexterity until a good relief becomes available? I know its all a rare and even rarer scenario but with us often errant amateurs we get into all kinds of stuff..lol There seems to be something not quite right about this. Or im missing something.
 

MagicSpell

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Again, as it played out, with your "compromised" right handed address position, did you make contact with the ball and advance it as well or better than had you played the shot from a left handed address position ?

The above is not an especially "subjective" question. You already know the answer as to whether you you made contact, and, or advanced the ball. If the shot was as good or better than you could reasonably expect to achieve when playing from a left handed address position, then you have your answer.
Remember that golf is a game of honor and observing the Rules requires the player to be reasonable. For example, when taking relief from a hazard it is expected that the player choose a reasonable point of entry. Or when seeking cart path relief (and possibly claiming an opposite stance posture is required) he/she is expected to use reasonable criteria.
I understand your point but the subjective part is whether I could have reasonably done better if I tried to play the shot left handed. Yes, I know the outcome of playing it right handed since that is what I did. Could I have done better playing it left handed? That's the subjective part. I KNOW I could have done better with a left handed club. I do think I could reasonably swing well even with a turned over right handed club. Could I still make the same contact as I did? That's a guess and hence the subjective part.
 

MagicSpell

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You take the "Nearest point of relief" not the "Nicest point of relief." This is why it's always important to assess your options before taking an action. You may decide playing it off the cart path is preferable to taking relief into knee-high crap.



As long as the shot and stance is reasonable, then yes, you can do exactly what you state. You can setup to hit the shot left-handed, and if the cart-path interferes, you can take relief. Now, if there's absolutely nothing in your way and you want to claim that you'd play the shot left-handed just so you'd be standing on the cart path, that would not be reasonable. Nor would it be considered reasonable if you say stuck one leg way out behind you to be able to touch the cart path and then claimed interference. But as long as the shot is somewhat reasonable given the situation, you can take relief. Note however that the nearest point of relief would likely still be on the side of the cart path where you dropped. You would just some extra space. However, that extra space might be enough to get you on the other side of the tree, and then you could turn around right-handed and play the shot.
Now that's what I was wondering about. If I take the stance left handed to get cart path relief do I actually have to play the shot left handed after taking such relief. I appreciate the response.
 

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But wades...even if something is in the way and he choses to now play left handed and then gets a second relief, is he then required to releive as a left handed player and also play the relief left handed? Or can he switch back again after that relief?

I mean in one sense i get that once proper relief was dropped that play is over. But now we have a poor scenario and decide to play it lefty. Ok ...maybe.....But now possibly standing on the path as a lefty that same path relief comes into play again a second time? So now what? he takes nearest point as though a lefty this time since he was getting relief from the left address position or does he do it as a righty? can we hypothetically keep switching dexterity until a good relief becomes available? I know its all a rare and even rarer scenario but with us often errant amateurs we get into all kinds of stuff..lol There seems to be something not quite right about this. Or im missing something.
When seeking relief one address orientation may be claimed, however once relief is granted the player is not obligated to use that address orientation.
However, when seeking relief from an obstruction, if his/her normal address orientation-swing is not obstructed, he/she may not alter his/her address orientation/swing (as a means to claim obstruction relief).
 

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Now that's what I was wondering about. If I take the stance left handed to get cart path relief do I actually have to play the shot left handed after taking such relief. I appreciate the response.
Once relief is granted the player is not obligated to any particular address orientation/swing.
 

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