No.85 Immovable Obstructions
 

 
In stroke play, a right-handed player's ball lies behind a bench.

Question 1:
If the bench is not fixed to the ground may the player obtain the assistance of a fellow competitor to move it aside, so that they may play their ball as it lies?

Question 2:
If the bench is fixed to the ground, or is too heavy to lift, and X marks the nearest point of relief, which statement is correct?
a) The player may drop their ball within the area on the left quadrant of the white semi-circle only.
b) The player may drop their ball within the area on the right quadrant of the white semi-circle only.
c) The player may drop their ball within the area on both quadrants of the white semi-circle, except in the approximate light orange shaded area.

Question 3:
Does the player have to put a physical marker (e.g. tee peg) at ...
a) ... the nearest point of relief at point X?
b) ... the limits of the one club-length relief?

Answer 1:
Yes, providing the bench may be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. (Definition of Movable Obstruction).

Answer 2:
c) The player may drop their ball within the area on both quadrants of the white semi-circle, except in the approximate light orange shaded area.


Note: Regarding the orange shaded area, part of Rule 24-2b(i) states;
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.
N.B . If you are unsure as to why point X is the nearest point of relief check out this link.

Answer 3:
a) and b) No. There is nothing in the Rules requiring the player to mark either reference point, so they may be estimated.


Note: However, it is good practice to mark the reference points to ensure that a valid drop is made that is within the permitted limits.

Rule 24-2b(i):
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.
__________
 


Question 4:
A player's ball has come to rest in a cup that is located beside a teeing ground for the collection of players' broken tees. How should they proceed?

Answer 4:
The player may take relief under Rule 24-1b. They may lift their ball from the cup, a movable obstruction, and move it aside. The ball must then be dropped as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where the ball lay in the cup, but not nearer the hole.  If the ball comes to rest in an invalid place (see Rule 20-2c) it must be re-dropped, otherwise it is in play. If there are other movable obstructions interfering with the area where the ball is to be dropped, the player's stance or area of intended swing (e.g. the sand bin and the tee marker in the photo) they may be removed. Also, the ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule.
 

Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
 
Good golfing,