Rule of the Week; Sept. 30 – Oct. 6

What to do when a left-handed player, ball, and stance are interfered with…

Situation and Question: The player’s ball ends up on the right-hand side of the cart path between the cart path and thick bushes. The player is left-handed. The player can’t take a normal left-handed stance due to thick bushes interfering with the player’s backswing.

The player states their only option is to hit right-handed. As the player is standing on the cart path, is this reasonable?  If it is reasonable, where would my nearest point of relief be?


The answer depends if the shot the player has stated they will play is reasonable. If left-handed shot is not an option, it is not unreasonable for the player to play it right-handed.

Where the nearest point of “complete” relief from the cart path is most likely into the trees/bush on the right-hand side of the cart path.

In this instance, the player would most likely have to chip out or declare the ball unplayable and proceed under Rule 19.

There is a possibility of the player being able to drop on the opposite side of the cart path, however a measurement would have to be taken to determine the Nearest Point of Complete Relief. This situation is covered below.

Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions) 

Interference from Immovable Obstructions

QUESTION: I have interference from a cart path, sprinkler head or other artificial object (immovable obstruction) – what are my options?

ANSWER: You may either play your ball as it lies or take free relief. To take relief, you must find the nearest point of complete relief from the artificial object and drop your original ball or another ball away from the object and within one club-length of that point not nearer the hole (see Rule 16.1).

If there is a tree/shrub at B1 / P1, the option for the right-handed player is still at P1. The player could state, the only reasonable shot I have is to play this left-handed, it is possible the player could get Nearest Point of Complete Relief on the other side of the cart path, although it would have to be measured to determine. For our situation, let’s say it is on the right hand side of the path, the player could drop and then make sure complete relief has been taken. The player then can switch to playing the shot right handed, and once again take new relief from interference from the abnormal course condition even further to the right.