RULE: Cart path Area #17

You are so unlucky. You tee off on #17and your shot takes the slope in front of the green and sends you down into the Valley of Sin (some say Death), or even further onto bare patches where cart traffic and rainwater have eroded the area, for example finishing at A on a bare patch, or B resting up against a tree root.

This is when you and a playing partner discuss whether golf is fair or not, and should you be given relief without penalty?

 

 

 

 Oils ain't oils, but rules is rules!!  So what is the applicable Rule, and what does it say?

 Firstly, look at the area where your ball lies. Is it simply a bare patch of ground, whether caused by erosion from rain, erosion from cart wear and tear or other traffic, or just barren ground? Is it a designated cart path covered with some artificial material such as quarry gravel, chip bark, bitumen or concrete? Decide this first, and now you can determine what you can do next.

 

Before going on, the definition of obstruction is important. "An obstruction is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths...."( see p39 of the current Rule Book 2016).

1. For Rule 24 Obstructions to be applied (drop away at nearest point of relief, no penalty) when your ball is on a bare patch like A, the area must have some artificial surface material (bark, gravel, bitumen, concrete) which interferes with your lie, stance or area of intended swing. In this case, these conditions DO NOT EXIST, so Rule 24 CANNOT apply. Two options - play your ball as it lies, or take a penalty drop as in Unplayable Ball Rule 28.

2. When your ball lies in a position similar to position A, your ball is simply lying on a bare patch of ground. There is no obstruction interfering with your lie, stance or area of swing. You have two choices - play the ball as it lies, or invoke the Unplayable Ball Rule 28, with a penalty stroke applying.  

3. Your ball at B lies against a tree root exposed by erosion. Again, no free relief is available under the Rules of Golf.  There is no artificial material interfering with your lie, stance or area of intended swing.

So, it hardly seems fair, that an almost good shot could wend its way into such a terrible lie (unless it was just a terrible shot in the first place!!), but until the rules change, or Committee can somehow have this area improved, you are to play your next shot according to the Rules.

Or you could aim way left!! 

 

 

 

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