Dropping off a path

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Tashyboy

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Played our 18th today and ended up in a rock hard green side bunker. Ball flies out from my bunker shot and ends up on a path at the back of the green. It was about 2ft off the front of the path ( Greenside) and 5ft from the back of the path which is backed by a big Hawthorne hedge. I picked up my ball and walked sideways away from the hole About four-five yards, My watch went from 25-26 yards to the pin so I went to drop the ball. A PP who was a point up on me asked what I was doing. I explained and he said “ no you have to play the nearest point of relief which is the other side of the path and drop it in the Hawthorne hedge”. I thought he was playing a bit of gamesmanship. A Pp said not a chance as Tash will be stood on the path and will have a free drop. I dropped it green side of the path further away from the hole and promptly screwed it up.
Somwho is right and who is wrong.
 
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Tashyboy

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You must find the Nearest Point of Complete Relief. That may not be in a nice place :eek:
So the nearest point of complete relief would not be the middle of the hedge. If it had to be the hedge, I would of played off the path.
 

CliveW

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As I understand it, the 'nearest point of relief' is from the path, not from anything else, therefore the nearest point might well be in the hedge. If that's the case, then playing off the path could be your best option.
 

jim8flog

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So the nearest point of complete relief would not be the middle of the hedge. If it had to be the hedge, I would of played off the path.

It is the nearest point of relief not the nicest point of relief. If that nearest point is in the middle of a bush so be it ( remembering that you get one club length from the nearest point of relief in which to drop).

Always worth checking where you have to drop before picking the ball up.
 
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Tashyboy

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It is the nearest point of relief not the nicest point of relief. If that nearest point is in the middle of a bush so be it ( remembering that you get one club length from the nearest point of relief in which to drop).

Always worth checking where you have to drop before picking the ball up.
So basically Jim if it is 5ft to the back of the path then one club. I can go 5ft left of right and one club. If I am closer to the hole I have to go to the hedge 👍 ( in which case I would play off the path) 👍
 

jim8flog

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So basically Jim if it is 5ft to the back of the path then one club. I can go 5ft left of right and one club. If I am closer to the hole I have to go to the hedge 👍 ( in which case I would play off the path) 👍
In 99% of cases there is only one nearest point of relief, when you have found that single point you then get one club length in in any direction which is not closer to the hole which to drop the ball.
 

Colin L

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So basically Jim if it is 5ft to the back of the path then one club. I can go 5ft left of right and one club. If I am closer to the hole I have to go to the hedge 👍 ( in which case I would play off the path) 👍
Haven't a clue what you're talking about. :unsure: Never mind. You can't get a complete answer, anyway, as we don't know how the path lies relative to the green. The nearest point of complete relief could be on the green side of the path if the direction of the path was such that the nearest spot to your ball where you would get complete relief on the green side is nearer where the ball lies than the nearest spot where you would get relief on other side (the hedge not, as emphasised above, coming into to it at all).
 

Steven Rules

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5ft from the back of the path which is backed by a big Hawthorne hedge. I picked up my ball and walked sideways away from the hole About four-five yards,
5ft from the back of the path. Let’s add, say, another 2ft to make sure your stance wouldn't be on the path. That would make it 7ft. Let's round up a bit (just to be safe for the purposes of this exercise) and say that that you had 2.5 to 3 yards to find complete relief in that direction. Whereas you say you had to go 4 to 5 yards in the 'sideways' direction to find complete relief in that direction.

On the basis of the information you have presented here - although, as Colin also acknowledges, there may be some key piece of the layout we are missing - you have not correctly selected the nearest point of complete relief. Unless there is some sort of obscure local rule that you have not told us about, the hedge is irrelevant.

On the basis of the information you have provided to us, it sounds like you have clearly played from a wrong place. General penalty. Assuming (a) it was not match play and (b) you did not correct the error before returning your scorecard - DQ

A Pp said not a chance as Tash will be stood on the path and will have a free drop.
I am not sure about the significance of this bit of the discussion. Given that others in the group were raising doubt as to the correct place to take relief, and you were also obviously doubtful given your post on this forum, you could/should have played a second ball under Rule 20.1c(3) - again assuming not match play - and reported the facts to the Committee before returning your scorecard.
 
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5ft from the back of the path. Let’s add, say, another 2ft to make sure your stance wouldn't be on the path. That would make it 7ft. Let's round up a bit (just to be safe for the purposes of this exercise) and say that that you had 2.5 to 3 yards to find complete relief in that direction. Whereas you say you had to go 4 to 5 yards in the 'sideways' direction to find complete relief in that direction.

On the basis of the information you have presented here - although, as Colin also acknowledges, there may be some key piece of the layout we are missing - you have not correctly selected the nearest point of complete relief. Unless there is some sort of obscure local rule that you have not told us about, the hedge is irrelevant.

On the basis of the information you have provided to us, it sounds like you have clearly played from a wrong place. General penalty. Assuming (a) it was not match play and (b) you did not correct the error before returning your scorecard - DQ
If he has played from a wrong place I would argue it was a serious breach and therefore a DQ unless corrected before teeing off from.the next hole.
 

Steven Rules

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If he has played from a wrong place I would argue it was a serious breach and therefore a DQ unless corrected before teeing off from.the next hole.
That's what I would argue too. (In fact, I did state DQ.) As the incident took place on the 18th hole, the error must be corrected before returning the scorecard.
 
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So basically Jim if it is 5ft to the back of the path then one club. I can go 5ft left of right and one club. If I am closer to the hole I have to go to the hedge 👍 ( in which case I would play off the path) 👍
Notwithstanding the other answers, try this ...

Your ball is on a path and you are entitled to free relief.

So ... Imagine a circle around your ball. Are there any points on the circumference of that circle where the ball could lie that a) is not nearer the hole, and b) gives you total relief from the path, and c) is is the same 'area' of the course. If the answer is no, try imagining a bigger circle and repeat. If there's is more than one point, then imagine a smaller circle and repeat. Eventually you'll settle on a circle of a size where there is only one point on its circumference that meets the criteria. That is your nearest point of relief. Doesn't matter if that point is under a bush, in some rough, in a hedge, in some nettles, in a hole or on a steep slope. It's 'the' point; end of.(#1) You then get up to 1 club length in which to drop - which may or may not be more beneficial than the point itself. But it may be that 'relief' is a worse option than leaving the ball on the path. (Note #1: OK, very occasionally, in some unusual circumstances of geography, there may be two or more points - but they are pretty rare and aren't generally a concern).

As others have said, if the back of the path was 5ft away, and you were looking at a point 5yds sideways, then almost certainly you weren't looking in the right place.
 
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Tashyboy

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5ft from the back of the path. Let’s add, say, another 2ft to make sure your stance wouldn't be on the path. That would make it 7ft. Let's round up a bit (just to be safe for the purposes of this exercise) and say that that you had 2.5 to 3 yards to find complete relief in that direction. Whereas you say you had to go 4 to 5 yards in the 'sideways' direction to find complete relief in that direction.

On the basis of the information you have presented here - although, as Colin also acknowledges, there may be some key piece of the layout we are missing - you have not correctly selected the nearest point of complete relief. Unless there is some sort of obscure local rule that you have not told us about, the hedge is irrelevant.

On the basis of the information you have provided to us, it sounds like you have clearly played from a wrong place. General penalty. Assuming (a) it was not match play and (b) you did not correct the error before returning your scorecard - DQ


I am not sure about the significance of this bit of the discussion. Given that others in the group were raising doubt as to the correct place to take relief, and you were also obviously doubtful given your post on this forum, you could/should have played a second ball under Rule 20.1c(3) - again assuming not match play - and reported the facts to the Committee before returning your scorecard.
I think the jest of what I have picked up is that I dropped the ball in the ball in the wrong place. A good few years back I was
“ reliably” informed that the ball has to be dropped on the nearest side of a path That the ball lies. That now I know is not the case. Knowing now what I do. It would of been better playing the ball off the path.
Thanks for the rulings guys.
 

salfordlad

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While it sounds bizarre, the NPCR can literally be in the middle of a tree - that is, it is only a theoretical rather than practical relief point. And if it is a big enough tree, literally the entire relief area can be inside the tree. The definition and interpretations of Nearest Point of Complete Relief take you through these issues.
As touched on above, the moral is do not pick up your ball entitled to relief without a) carefully establishing where NPCR is and b) considering whether the related relief area is a better place to play from than where the ball currently lies. If you need to replace a lifted ball on the original spot, it will cost one stroke penalty.
 

RRidges

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Indeed, the situation and possible relief needs to assessed before the ball is picked up.
Firstly determine the nearest point of complete relief. Then determine where the ball can be dropped. If that is not a nice place, then decide whether it's better to play the ball 'as it lies'.
 

rulefan

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Indeed, the situation and possible relief needs to assessed before the ball is picked up.
Firstly determine the nearest point of complete relief. Then determine where the ball can be dropped. If that is not a nice place, then decide whether it's better to play the ball 'as it lies'.
#8
 
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