• Relief from the Race Track Running Rail

  • Many Members raise the issue of obtaining relief from the race track running rail, mainly affecting shots on holes 10, 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27.

    The matter of interference by an immovable obstruction (the Race Track rail) can only be considered as relevant if it interferes with your swing or stance. A player cannot obtain relief from the Race Track rail through the use of an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play. Thus there will be occasions where you are obliged to play the ball as it lies.

    Once it has been agreed with your marker that you are entitled to obtain relief from the Race Track rail you must determine your “nearest point of relief”. To determine your nearest point of relief take the Club you would normally use, as if the Race Track rail did not exist. Simulate your shot to determine where you would stand so as not to have interference from the Railing. The point on the ground where the club head sits when you take your stance becomes the “nearest point of relief”. You must then drop your ball within one club length of this point and the ball must first strike a part of the course that is not nearer the hole and can roll up to two club lengths away from where it first strikes that part of the course. The ball cannot come to rest closer to the hole. This means that from where your ball originally lay, i.e. when interference occurred because of the railing, your ball could end up three club lengths away.

    That your ball may come to rest in the drain has no significance whatsoever. The drain is simply a part of the course and if a player has hit his ball into the drain, then the only relief possible, without a penalty, is if the Race Track rail interferes as described above or if there is casual water in the drain (see Decision by R & A 33-8/36).

    Finally, if you believe you might be in danger from your ball hitting the running rail you are entitled under a local rule to take relief. You can do this by way of dropping your ball back from the running rail, on a line that keeps the spot where the ball originally landed between the spot the ball is eventually dropped and the flag, but not nearer the hole.