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I will call this an unmaintained cart path.  It is a cart path but of crushed gravel, which as far as I know does entitle relief.  But the uniformity of the cart path, as to the width is not maintained, ie, it spills over the edges in places.  So my ball comes to rest to the right of center on the cart path, on a maintained cart path the npr would be on the right side, but on this path there is gravel still there.  It isn't much, but enough still to nick up my nice new forged irons.  I could probably delay the round by trying to pick up all the pieces, would take a bit.  So options?  Would that not be consider complete relief? In which case the left side of the cart path would be npr, or would I have to take an unplayable to get my ball out of the gravel?

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Driver: Taylormade M6 

3w: Taylormade 2016 M2

5w: Taylormade 2017 M2

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2.5

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Just a thought - and not directed at the OP...but all of us. So many of these questions that get asked here (and I love all the questions and reading about the situations)...but anyway, so many answer

Your group's dissent or concurrence is irrelevant.  It's up to you and the rule's official or committee to determine the proper course of action..

The gravel, in this situation as part of an artificially surfaced cart path, is an obstruction or loose impediment at your discretion.    So if you take relief from the path, which is the grave

For the sake of my irons and the damage that gravel will do to them, I would take full relief. Unless your buddies want to loan you the club to get you out of it. Unless you are playing a tournament, bring one or two of your other playing partners and ask them the question which is, would you play your club out of there?

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Crushed gravel provides an artificial surface, so this type of cart path (unlike bare dirt with a rocks naturally exposed) is an obstruction from which free relief is granted.  Precisely where the edge is becomes a subjective matter, but there's nothing to say that a cart path edge must be straight. 

 

And yes, you can choose to consider the gravel stones loose impediments and take relief by removing them . . . but you better not let your ball move if you take that option.

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For the sake of pace of play I took relief on the left side.  I told my playing partners what I was doing and nobody objected.  I made my own ruling that the spilled over gravel was still technically part of the cart path, and the path was wider at that point making npr on the left.  But I was wondering whether or not the call was correct.  

In the bag

Driver: Taylormade M6 

3w: Taylormade 2016 M2

5w: Taylormade 2017 M2

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2.5

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The gravel, in this situation as part of an artificially surfaced cart path, is an obstruction or loose impediment at your discretion. 
 

So if you take relief from the path, which is the gravel, it must be complete relief. That is, you can’t be standing on ANY gravel. Whether that makes your NPR on the right or left of the path will be case by case. 
 

Based on what you’ve said, you likely took correct relief. 

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1 hour ago, trilerian said:

For the sake of pace of play I took relief on the left side.  I told my playing partners what I was doing and nobody objected.  I made my own ruling that the spilled over gravel was still technically part of the cart path, and the path was wider at that point making npr on the left.  But I was wondering whether or not the call was correct.  

Re Augster's post above - are you right or left handed? I find it difficult to see how your clubhead is touching gravel with no interference to your stance if you are right handed.

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10 minutes ago, Newby said:

Re Augster's post above - are you right or left handed? I find it difficult to see how your clubhead is touching gravel with no interference to your stance if you are right handed.

 

Excellent point.  I'd say if the gravel is still an issue, you haven't take full relief as required by the rules.  

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4 minutes ago, Newby said:

Re Augster's post above - are you right or left handed? I find it difficult to see how your clubhead is touching gravel with no interference to your stance if you are right handed.

 

Right handed, the gravel spilled out quite a bit.  That side of the car path has trees lining it about 10 yds away and the grass isn't kept as well as the other side, which allows the gravel to wash off there.  Honestly, it is just poor maintenance, which is why I didn't know if it was technically part of the path.  

In the bag

Driver: Taylormade M6 

3w: Taylormade 2016 M2

5w: Taylormade 2017 M2

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2.5

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2 hours ago, trilerian said:

I will call this an unmaintained cart path.  It is a cart path but of crushed gravel, which as far as I know does entitle relief.  But the uniformity of the cart path, as to the width is not maintained, ie, it spills over the edges in places.  So my ball comes to rest to the right of center on the cart path, on a maintained cart path the npr would be on the right side, but on this path there is gravel still there.  It isn't much, but enough still to nick up my nice new forged irons.  I could probably delay the round by trying to pick up all the pieces, would take a bit.  So options?  Would that not be consider complete relief? In which case the left side of the cart path would be npr, or would I have to take an unplayable to get my ball out of the gravel?

 

NPR is the nearest point of complete relief.  If you are just to the right of center, the nearest point of relief could very well be on the left side of the cart path.  

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48 minutes ago, trilerian said:

 

Right handed, the gravel spilled out quite a bit.  That side of the car path has trees lining it about 10 yds away and the grass isn't kept as well as the other side, which allows the gravel to wash off there.  Honestly, it is just poor maintenance, which is why I didn't know if it was technically part of the path.  

If you had taken relief to the right would your feet have been on the path?

 

Have you studied the 1st diagram in Rule 16.1

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=pe&section=rule&rulenum=16

 

187_1.0.svg

 

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Just a thought - and not directed at the OP...but all of us. So many of these questions that get asked here (and I love all the questions and reading about the situations)...but anyway, so many answers would be SO much easier with a picture.

I know I'm the same - don't always think about it. Even thought my phone is right nearby.

I have been in 2 situations (older rules) where I played a 2nd ball under 3.3 (now 20.1c) - and I definitely took photos to show the committee after the round.

 

Guys - if you think about it the time...snap a pic then bring it here ?

 

I've really gotten into the rules lately...I'm currently taking the USGA Virtual Rules school thru Vimeo (the $300 deal that you could get for $25)...and my intention to try and pass the rules exam and start to volunteer as an RO at local/state/regional events (esp. since my play in those same events has been miserable lately ? )

 

Anyway...just a thought/reminder...and like I said, keep the questions coming - most are very informative

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11 minutes ago, Newby said:

If you had taken relief to the right would your feet have been on the path?

 

Have you studied the 1st diagram in Rule 16.1

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=pe&section=rule&rulenum=16

 

187_1.0.svg

 

 

I don't have an issue determining npr on what is considered an obvious cart path.  What I was trying to decide was whether the gravel that had washed out from the cart path was still part of the cart path.  The gravel was once part of the cart path, but at what point in time does it just become part of the ground next to the cart path?

In the bag

Driver: Taylormade M6 

3w: Taylormade 2016 M2

5w: Taylormade 2017 M2

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2.5

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32 minutes ago, trilerian said:

 

I don't have an issue determining npr on what is considered an obvious cart path.  What I was trying to decide was whether the gravel that had washed out from the cart path was still part of the cart path.  The gravel was once part of the cart path, but at what point in time does it just become part of the ground next to the cart path?

 

I'm not convinced. I still don't understand where your feet were.

However, the gravel margin is pretty subjective. If playing in a formal competition you should either find a referee or play two balls and report the facts to the Committee when you finish your round.

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3 hours ago, TerpFangolfer said:

I've really gotten into the rules lately...I'm currently taking the USGA Virtual Rules school thru Vimeo (the $300 deal that you could get for $25)...and my intention to try and pass the rules exam and start to volunteer as an RO at local/state/regional events (esp. since my play in those same events has been miserable lately ? )

 

 Good for you! The Rules are a journey. ?

Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.

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A number of folk have suggested the edge of the path is subjective. In my experience, while that can be the case, more commonly it is not - washed gravel is generally off the cart path and is not relevant to establishing NPCR and the relief area. The player just has to suck it up or take unplayable penalty relief. Around here, many gravel paths have some edging material (eg timber/metal) but even where they do not, the 'permanent' line of the path edge is clear. Gravel that has crossed that normal line is automatically NOT on the cart path. That is, the rules do not license gravel cart paths to be mobile. 

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I believe this is where you, as the golfer, need to exercise sound judgment. If the gravel is reasonably related to the cartpath, then I believe you are entitled to relief.


If this is a casual round I'd take relief and not thing twice about it. No way am I screwing up my clubs and by moving my ball a couple feet away, I'm not improving my lie.

 

If it's in a tournament this would be much trickier, so I would most likely consult with my group. If everyone consulted agrees that it's part of cart path, then take relief. If there is dissent, then I'd make them wait while I remove the loose gravel and play it as it lies.

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25 minutes ago, danthegolfer said:

I believe this is where you, as the golfer, need to exercise sound judgment. If the gravel is reasonably related to the cartpath, then I believe you are entitled to relief.


If this is a casual round I'd take relief and not thing twice about it. No way am I screwing up my clubs and by moving my ball a couple feet away, I'm not improving my lie.

 

If it's in a tournament this would be much trickier, so I would most likely consult with my group. If everyone consulted agrees that it's part of cart path, then take relief. If there is dissent, then I'd make them wait while I remove the loose gravel and play it as it lies.

 

Your group's dissent or concurrence is irrelevant.  It's up to you and the rule's official or committee to determine the proper course of action..

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4 minutes ago, LeoLeo99 said:

 

Your group's dissent or concurrence is irrelevant.  It's up to you and the rule's official or committee to determine the proper course of action..

 

Fair point. I assumed this question was in the context of having no rules official/committee available during the incident. So if this question were to be brought up after the round, then you'd at least have the confirmation of your entire group as witness. May not be a get-out-of-jail-free card, but wouldn't hurt your case were to it be evaluated afterwards.

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33 minutes ago, danthegolfer said:

 

Fair point. I assumed this question was in the context of having no rules official/committee available during the incident. So if this question were to be brought up after the round, then you'd at least have the confirmation of your entire group as witness. May not be a get-out-of-jail-free card, but wouldn't hurt your case were to it be evaluated afterwards.

In stroke play, the Rules provide the opportunity to get that evaluation afterwards - play two balls out for the hole and ask the committee for their decision.  Remember to announce which one you wish to count if the Rules permit.

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2 hours ago, rogolf said:

In stroke play, the Rules provide the opportunity to get that evaluation afterwards - play two balls out for the hole and ask the committee for their decision.  Remember to announce which one you wish to count if the Rules permit.

And a quick photo on the phone will facilitate the Committee decision.

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On 9/9/2020 at 6:52 AM, llewol007 said:

For the sake of my irons and the damage that gravel will do to them, I would take full relief. Unless your buddies want to loan you the club to get you out of it. Unless you are playing a tournament, bring one or two of your other playing partners and ask them the question which is, would you play your club out of there?

 

I missed the part of the Rule of Golf where you get free relief if it will damage your clubs.

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