December 2011 – Rules IQ: Cart Paths
When your ball lands on a cart path, what are your options?
a) Play it as it lies.
b) Move it to the grass on the side of the cart path that is most playable,
c) Take your nearest point of relief, without penalty.
Your options are a) and c).
Normally, you want to take the nearest point of relief, that is, to the side of the
cart path to which the ball is closer. If you do so, you must take complete relief.
That means that you take your stance completely off the cart path. Mark where
the ball would be, standing with the club you would normally hit with, then drop
within one club length (any club length) of that mark, without penalty. Now,
would that put you in the fescue? If so, you may prefer to play the ball as it lies.
Before picking up your ball, take a look at where “relief” will place you.