How To Take Free Relief From a Cart Path
We probably all know that we can take free relief from a cart path (when our ball is sitting on a cart path) but in this video I explain exactly how to take free relief from the cart path.
First Step – Determine Your Nearest Point Of Relief
You will first want to determine your “nearest point of relief”, and that isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Many players think they get to pick and choose where they can take their drop, but unfortunately that’s not exactly true. You must find your “nearest point of relief” and it’s not necessarily on the side of the path that you think or where you want it to be.
In this scenario, after we went through the steps shown on the video to determine which side of the path Karen could take her free drop on, she was happy it happened to be on the fairway side of this cart path, and not the side of the tall rough, which could have resulted in a undesirable lie. (Of course an “undesirable lie” does not warrant free relief!
Second Step – Measuring (Little Known Fact)
In order to determine your nearest point of relief, you must use the club you intend to use for your swing. But after you’ve found that point, then you get up to one additional club length, and that can be measured with any club you want. This is a very little known fact, but can be useful!
TIP: One club length or two? You get up to one additional club length if it is a free drop, and up to two additional club lengths if it is a drop that is costing you a penalty stroke.
Third Step – Take Your Drop And Be Sure Your Ball Doesn’t Roll Too Far
When you’re ready to take your drop, you will want to watch where it hit the ground and where it ends up because if it rolls either more than two club lengths from the point where it touched the ground, or closer to the hole, or back to where you don’t have complete relief, then you’ll need to drop again.
How many times can you drop it before placing it? It’s two attempts at a good drop, and if neither of those are “good”, then you may place the ball (as shown on the video) where it hit the ground on the second drop.
You Must Take Complete Relief
My husband actually had a penalty in a tournament because he had taken free relief from an immovable obstruction/cart path, but when he dropped his ball, his new spot to play from still required him to have a potion of his foot on the cart path. The rules say you must take “complete relief” so having a foot stand on the path was not “complete relief”. He took second instead of first in that tournament, and was quite bummed that his fellow competitor was so anxious to tell him this after he hit his ball, and not before he swung.
Local Rule – Stones Near The Cart Path
At The Santaluz Club, where Karen and I were playing during this video, there are stones near the cart path that have been designated as part of the actual path, as a local rule. You’ll see in the video t hat I was going to put a tee in the ground on the opposite side of the cart path, but then decided against it because my ball would be sitting on rocks, which would still be considered cart path, and therefore not complete relief.
You may also always play the ball as it lies, as I chose to do in this video above since the stones directly adjacent to the cement cart path are considered cart path under a local rule.
TIP: It’s important to take a peek at the back of the scorecard or the rules for a tournament before you begin your round as there may be local rules that can help you during your round.
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When taking free relief from an immovable obstruction such as this cart path, we want to drop it in nice, short grass. However, Karen’s nearest point of relief is in the very long grass. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? What are her other options? Would you just play it off the cart path? Would you take a drop on that thick, long grass and take your chances? Isn’t there one more option here? . . . . . . ANSWER: Yes, you could also take a stroke and distance penalty and go back to the spot where you hit your last shot. We don’t make these things up, they really happen!!!@karentranevents is always such a great model & demo golf chick. Thanks, Karen! #golf #golfrules #golfstagram #cartpath
As you can see from this video above, sometimes you might want to just try to hit the ball from where it lies on the cart path. Be careful, though!
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Just because you get free relief from a cart path doesn’t mean it’s necessarily smart to take a drop. ⛳️ I may not be a very good golfer, but I do have good course management because of my knowledge of the rules of golf. ⛳️ Once I pick this ball up I would not be able to change my mind. I would have to take a drop, and I see that there is a slope where my nearest point of relief is. It would leave me with an uneven lie, ball above my feet, and a slope that I don’t like. I prefer to have flat lies whenever possible because I don’t have very good golf skills!!! Therefore, in this case I chose to just play my ball as it lied. ⛳️ In this case, my ball is on grass so it would not damage my club or hurt myself to hit it as it lies, so I took my 7 iron and just got back into the fairway, leaving myself about 100 yards to the flag. Would you have taken free relief here? #golf #golfrules #golfswing I’m wearing the @ggblueluxesport Fab Fit Skort and Katy Top. Click my bio to shop the look 👗 💙See more at #MyGGblue 💙
The Nitty Gritty On The Actual Rule From USGA’s Website:
24-2. Immovable Obstruction
Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. If the player’s ball lies on the putting green, interference also occurs if an immovable obstruction on the putting green intervenes on his line of putt. Otherwise, intervention on the line of play is not, of itself, interference under this Rule.
Through the Green: If the ball lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not be in a hazard or on a putting green. When the ball is dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the immovable obstruction and is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.
Yes, there’s a ton of golf rules, but I hope my videos and posts are helping you! Stay tuned for updates on the new rules of golf for 2019!
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