14th @Brokenhurst – Immovable Obstruction (Sprinkler Head)

The 14th at Brokenhurst is a risk and reward short par 4. Big hitters may go for the green, but it is a very narrow entrance which sheds the ball to the right. Bunkers, a small copse, and heavy rough await if you are off line. The percentage play may be to leave yourself a full shot in. While it is a birdie opportunity the elevated green has some big slopes so a two putt is not guaranteed if you are any distance from the hole.

You’ve hit a nice tee shot down the fairway and ended up next to a sprinkler head – do you get relief? It depends on whether or not the sprinkler head (which is an immovable obstruction) interferes with the lie of your ball, your stance, or the area of your intended swing. There is no relief for visual or psychological interference if you just happen to be near it.

Where there is physical interference with your lie, stance, or swing you need to establish your nearest point of complete relief which is not nearer the hole (NB this could well be with the sprinkler head between your stance and this point). Your relief area into which you can drop is then within one club length of, and not nearer the hole than, this point. It also needs to be in the same area of the course (in this instance the General Area) and you must have complete relief from the obstruction when you play the ball.

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