Suffice it to say, when determining where that nearest point is, you have ask yourself, How do I intend to play my next shot? For example, if you’re a righty, and your ball is in the dead middle of a cart path (see J.B. Holmes’ photo above), your nearest point of relief would likely be to the left of the path. Why? Think about it. If you were to drop on the right side, to be fully clear of the path, the distance would be at least a few feet away from the pavement. On the left side, you could stand and swing at a ball only a few inches from the path. This diagram below (courtesy of the USGA), should further clarify your nearest point of relief.