Here’s a quiz about the Definition “Nearest Point of Relief” and how to use it in the Rules.
A) The “Nearest Point of Relief” is:
- The point at which the ball last crossed the margin of a water hazard before coming to rest in the hazard.
- The nearest playable lie, not nearer the hole than where the original ball came to rest in an Unplayable lie.
- The reference point for taking relief from interference by an Immovable Obstruction.
- The point two club lengths from where a dropped ball first strikes a point on the course
- All of the above.
The answer is ONLY #3.
B) The “Nearest Point of Relief” is used in the following Rules.
- Water Hazards
- Immovable Obstructions
- Lost Ball
- Abnormal Ground Conditions
- Wrong Putting Green
The answer is #2, #4 and #5.
We can ONLY use the term “Nearest Point of Relief” when using two Rules.
Rule 25-1 and -3 Abnormal Ground Conditions (25-1) which are Ground Under Repair, Casual Water, or a hole or cast made by a burrowing animal or bird, and Wrong Putting Green (25-3).
Rule 24-2 Immovable Obstructions.
Often when a player drops a ball under the Water Hazard or Unplayable Lies Rule they say incorrectly that they are measuring for their “Nearest Point of Relief” to find where to drop their ball.
Let’s go around our course and find some places where you can correctly use these two Rules for your free, no penalty involved, “Nearest Point of Relief”
As you get close to the green there is an area on the right where a tree was cut down and the area around here is roped off with a “Ground Under Repair” sign.
Your wonderful shot to the green lands right there in the dirt but luckily this is a place where, under Rule 25-1, you can get free relief but how do you do this correctly?
1. Mark the position of your ball with a tee or a marker.
2. Take the club that you are going to hit your next shot with and find the place nearest to where your ball lies where, the club head is no longer in the ground under repair , not closer to the hole, and your stance is not within it.
3. Place a second tee or marker where your club head is resting on the ground.
4. Pick up you ball, and stand at your second marker and drop a ball within one club length of this point. It is allowed to roll two club lengths, no closer to the hole. The two club lengths the ball can roll can be measured with any club in your bag. You don’t have to use the club you are going to make your next shot with.
5. As long as the ball rolls no more than two clubs lengths, no closer to the hole, where the ball comes to rest is where you make your next stroke. Pick up your markers and hit away.
You have just found a much better place to hit from using your “Nearest Point of Relief” and Rule 25-1 and it was free!
Your shot from the fairway veers to the left and ends up on the cart path, what can you do? Here’s another place for finding your “Nearest Point of Relief” and getting a free drop under Rule 24-2 Immovable Obstructions.
Measuring here can be a little tricky as, remember your ball cannot be closer to the hole, and your dropping point has to be at the closest place on the course to where your ball lies. To take relief locate the nearest point where you can take your stance and swing without interference from the path.
The Nearest Point of Relief is easy if your ball is close either side of the path but the tricky part can come if you ball is nearer to the middle. What you must do then is find your nearest point of relief on both sides of the path and measure from where your ball lies to see which point of relief is nearer.
Make sure you always mark where your ball lies so you have a reference point if needed. Sometimes you can be surprised that your “Nearest point of relief” is not on the side you thought it would be.
It’s hard to find a place on our course to give you an example of “Nearest Point of Relief” for Rule 25-3 Wrong Putting Green but let’s stretch our imaginations!
You’re on the fairway of Hole #6 and sadly you hit your second shot way, way, way left. I said we are using our imaginations ok? Your ball lands on the putting green of Hole #7 but the Rules do not allow you to hit it from the green, you have to take relief. How do we do this one?
I’m sure you know by now.
Mark your ball on the green.
Find your Nearest Point of Relief for your ball off the putting green using the club you are going to use for your next shot, no nearer to Hole #6 that you’re going to, and mark this place. This is usually on the fringe. Your feet can still be on the green but your ball must not be.
Drop the ball within one club length of this marker and it may roll two club lengths but no closer to hole #6.
Hit your ball from this place.
I hope this helps you find your deserved relief.