Rules FAQ

Rule 25-1

Explanation of Determining Nearest Point of Relief

Q. How does a player determine the nearest point of relief?

A. In most cases, there is only one place on the course that is the nearest point to the ball, which is not closer to the hole, and provides relief from interference of the lie, stance and area of intended swing. It is the point where the ball would be positioned in a simulated stance of how the player would have played his next stroke had the obstruction or condition not been there. In some cases the nearest point of relief may be in a bush, tree, etc. See also Decision 24-2b/1, Decisions 24-2b/3.5, 24-2b/3.7 and Decision 25-1b/2. Click here for diagrams illustrating Nearest Point of Relief.

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Abnormal Ground Conditions

Dealing with abnormal ground conditions

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Nearest Point of Relief

How to determine your nearest point of relief

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Abnormal ground condition

During the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship, while battling for the title with Tiger Woods, Steve Scott hit a tee shot that came to rest on this French drain in the fairway. The rutted drain had been declared an “abnormal ground condition,” and under Rule 25-1, Scott therefore was entitled to relief without penalty.

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On the fringe of a wrong putting green

During the 2002 Ryder Cup, Tiger Woods’ ball came to rest on the fringe of a wrong putting green. Rule 25-3 says interference from a wrong putting green occurs only when the ball rests actually on that green.