Penalty Area and Immovable Obstruction

A bridge over a penalty area with balls in 5 different positions playing to the green and flag that you can see. What relief can you get for each situation?

Ball number 1 is in the Red Penalty Area and as the ditch is dry at this time of year many players would consider playing it as it lies except that the bridge will interfere with stance or swing if you want to play it towards the hole. However, there is no relief from the bridge as the ball is inside the Penalty Area. If you don’t want to play it as it lies your only option is to take Penalty Area relief under Rule 17.

Ball number 2 is inside the Penalty Area and on the bridge. Similar to ball 1, your only options are to play it as it lies or take Penalty Area relief.

Ball number 3 is in the middle of the path leading to the bridge. You can take free relief from the path as an Immovable Obstruction under Rule 16. The nearest point of complete relief is likely to be towards Ball 4 for a right handed player but on the other side of the path for a left handed player.

Ball 4 is outside the penalty area, and far enough away from the bridge for it not to interfere with a right handed player’s stance or area of intended swing. Even though the railings are on the line towards the flag and could well interfere with the flight of the ball there is no relief available other than taking an unplayable lie (Rule 19). However a left handed player’s stance would probably be on the path so they would be able to take free relief. (NB It would not be reasonable for a right handed player to claim that they intend to play a left handed stroke in this circumstance).

Ball 5 is also outside the penalty area but it is close enough to the bridge that it would cause interference with the stance or area of intended swing. The nearest point of complete relief is likely to be towards Ball 4 but do not forget that you can then drop up to a club length away from this spot (not nearer the hole) to try and minimise the impact of the railings on the likely flight of the ball.

3 thoughts on “Penalty Area and Immovable Obstruction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s