Southern Nevada Golf Association
By Mike Kearns
An obstruction is defined as "anything artificial, including artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufac-
tured ice, except: Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes, and railings; Any part of an immovable
artificial object that is out of bounds; and Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the
An obstruction is a movable obstruction if it may be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play
and without causing damage. Otherwise, it is an immovable obstruction."
Under Rule 24-2 "Immovable Obstruction," a player may take relief from an immovable obstruction if the obstruction
interferes with stance, lie, or area of intended swing (or lie of play ONLY when the ball is on the putting green). If the
ball lies in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard free relief MAY NOT be taken. The proper relief procedures are as
THROUGH THE GREEN: If the ball lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty,
within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not
be in a hazard or on a putting green. When the ball is dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the
ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the immovable obstruction and is not in a
hazard and not on a putting green.
IN A BUNKER: If the ball is in a bunker, the player must lift the ball and drop it either: Without penalty, in accor-
dance with Clause (i) above, except that the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped
in the bunker; or Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point ball lay directly between the hole
and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped.
ON THE PUTTING GREEN: If the ball lies on the putting green, the player must lift the ball and place it, without
penalty, at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief may be off the putting green.
ON THE TEEING GROUND: If the ball lies on the teeing ground, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without
penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above. Whenever one invokes this rule, the ball may be cleaned.
Some key points to remember about taking relief from an immovable obstruction: You may invoke this rule any-
where on the golf course except when your ball lies in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard. If taking relief
in a bunker, the ball must be dropped at the nearest point of full relief within the bunker; otherwise, the penalty
is one stroke. When taking relief on the putting green, the ball must always be placed even if the nearest point of
relief happens to be off the putting green. The ball may always be cleaned under Rule 24-2.
The General Penalty for Breach of Rule 24-2 is 2 strokes in Stroke Play or loss of hole in Match Play, so be sure to
Follow the proper relief procedures.