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JerseyThursday

Spare club falls into sand trap before your shot. Penalty?

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Hypothetical scenario.

A player carries two wedges with him into a sand trap. One is low bounce the other high. As he walks to his ball it appears the sand is fluffy so he opts for the high bounce wedge. He tosses the low bounce wedge out of the trap but it bounces back in (nowhere near him). He doesn’t pick up the discarded wedge until after his shot. Has he incurred a penalty?

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To expand on that.... no way, no how.

You don't even have to try and throw it out of the bunker, just lay it down out of the way.

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13-4 . Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Exceptions:

1. Provided nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if the player ... or (b) places his clubs in a hazard .

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Originally Posted by bkuehn1952

13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Exceptions:

1. Provided nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if the player ... or (b) places his clubs in a hazard.

Interesting.
What if the player decides, that on second thought, he wants to use the wedge he tossed aside (and is lying in the trap). Would that be considered grounding your club in a hazard?

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

No

I agree with your answer.  You seem to enjoy discussing the Rules of Golf, as do I.  You certainly appear to be knowledgable in that area.  Perhaps some of the other online participants, including me, would benefit from an explanation was to why you say "no".  When you respond with the minimal response of "no", Jersey Thursday and other interested readers are left with no real explanation of the Rules other than an unknown person with a pseudonym of "Rulesman" said "no".

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Originally Posted by bkuehn1952

I agree with your answer.  You seem to enjoy discussing the Rules of Golf, as do I.  You certainly appear to be knowledgable in that area.  Perhaps some of the other online participants, including me, would benefit from an explanation was to why you say "no".  When you respond with the minimal response of "no",  Jersey Thursday and other interested readers are left with no real explanation of the Rules other than an unknown person with a pseudonym of "Rulesman" said "no".

The explanation is shown above, in the Exception to Rule 13-4.  And "places his clubs in a hazard" includes throwing them or dropping them, purposely or otherwise.

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Originally Posted by rogolf

The explanation is shown above, in the Exception to Rule 13-4.  And "places his clubs in a hazard" includes throwing them or dropping them, purposely or otherwise.

Yes.  I think, however, your response is more instructional than a response of "no".  Perhaps most people never bother with asking "why" but if one truly hopes to make an impression, stating "no" with an explanation such as yours is preferable to a simple "no".

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You can not test the surface of a bunker.  This decision helps in explaining what that means.

13-4/0.5

Meaning of "Test the Condition of the Hazard" in Rule 13-4a

Q. What is meant by "test the condition of the hazard" in Rule 13-4a ?

A. The term covers all actions by which the player could gain more information about the hazard than could be gained from taking his stance for the stroke to be made, bearing in mind that a certain amount of digging in with the feet in the sand or soil is permitted when taking the stance for a stroke.

Examples of actions that would not constitute testing the condition of the hazard include the following :

  • digging in with the feet for a stance, including for a practice swing, anywhere in the hazard or in a similar hazard;
  • placing an object, such as clubs or a rake, in the hazard ; (Placing includes throwing.)
  • leaning on an object ( other than a club ) such as a rake while it is touching the ground in the hazard or water in a water hazard;
  • touching the hazard with an object ( other than a club ) such as a towel (touching with a club would be a breach of Rule 13-4b ); or
  • marking the position of the ball with a tee or otherwise when proceeding under a Rule.

Examples of actions that would constitute testing the condition of the hazard in breach of Rule 13-4a include the following :

  • digging in with the feet in excess of what would be done for a stance for a stroke or a practice swing;
  • filling in footprints from a previous stance (e.g., when changing stance to make a different type of stroke);
  • intentionally sticking an object, such as a rake, into sand or soil in the hazard or water in a water hazard (but see Rule 12-1 );
  • smoothing a bunker with a rake, a club or otherwise (but see Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 );
  • kicking the ground in the hazard or water in a water hazard; or
  • touching the sand with a club when making a practice swing in the hazard or in a similar hazard (but see Exception 3 to Rule 13-4 ).

The club that you hold in your hands, you can not touch the hazard with it until the downward movement of your stroke to strike the ball.  So with this club, you can not touch the bunker, accidently or otherwise, until then.

There are some exceptions.  One is to prevent falling.  Another is in searching for a ball in sand.

a . Searching for or Identifying Ball Covered by Sand

If the player’s ball lying anywhere on the course is believed to be covered by sand, to the extent that he cannot find or identify it, he may, without penalty, touch or move the sand in order to find or identify the ball. If the ball is found, and identified as his, the player must re-create the lie as nearly as possible by replacing the sand. If the ball is moved during the touching or moving of sand while searching for or identifying the ball, there is no penalty; the ball must be replaced and the lie re-created.

In re-creating a lie under this Rule, the player is permitted to leave a small part of the ball visible.

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

13-4/0.5

The club that you hold in your hands, you can not touch the hazard with it until the downward movement of your stroke to strike the ball.  So with this club, you can not touch the bunker, accidently or otherwise, until then.

There are some exceptions.  One is to prevent falling.  Another is in searching for a ball in sand.

I’m getting the jest of the rule but it’s kind of odd. If you walk into a trap with a single club and touch the surface (with the club) before you make your swing its a penalty stroke for grounding your club. But if you bring two clubs, lay one on the surface and switch between the two (even possibly multiple times) its no penalty and not considered grounding.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyThursday View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

13-4/0.5
The club that you hold in your hands, you can not touch the hazard with it until the downward movement of your stroke to strike the ball. So with this club, you can not touch the bunker, accidently or otherwise, until then.

There are some exceptions.  One is to prevent falling.  Another is in searching for a ball in sand.

I’m getting the jest of the rule but it’s kind of odd. If you walk into a trap with a single club and touch the surface (with the club) before you make your swing its a penalty stroke for grounding your club. But if you bring two clubs, lay one on the surface and switch between the two (even possibly multiple times) its no penalty and not considered grounding.

That's because laying a club on the ground is not the definition of "grounding".  Grounding is lightly resting the club on the ground either in front of or behind the ball preparatory to making a stroke.  You may not press harder than what the weight of the club would be or you will be in breach of rule 13-2.

The prohibition you are referring to is Rule 13-4:

Quote:
the player must not:

a. Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard ;

b. Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club; or

c. Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard .

The exceptions are specific and conditional on you doing nothing which could be construed as testing the surface.  Decision 13-4/0.5:

Quote:

13-4/0.5

Meaning of "Test the Condition of the Hazard" in Rule 13-4a

Q. What is meant by "test the condition of the hazard" in Rule 13-4a ?

A. The term covers all actions by which the player could gain more information about the hazard than could be gained from taking his stance for the stroke to be made, bearing in mind that a certain amount of digging in with the feet in the sand or soil is permitted when taking the stance for a stroke.

Examples of actions that would not constitute testing the condition of the hazard include the following:

  • digging in with the feet for a stance, including for a practice swing, anywhere in the hazard or in a similar hazard;
  • placing an object, such as clubs or a rake, in the hazard;
  • leaning on an object (other than a club) such as a rake while it is touching the ground in the hazard or water in a water hazard;
  • touching the hazard with an object (other than a club) such as a towel (touching with a club would be a breach of Rule 13-4b ); or
  • marking the position of the ball with a tee or otherwise when proceeding under a Rule.

Examples of actions that would constitute testing the condition of the hazard in breach of Rule 13-4a include the following:

  • digging in with the feet in excess of what would be done for a stance for a stroke or a practice swing;
  • filling in footprints from a previous stance (e.g., when changing stance to make a different type of stroke);
  • intentionally sticking an object, such as a rake, into sand or soil in the hazard or water in a water hazard (but see Rule 12-1 );
  • smoothing a bunker with a rake, a club or otherwise (but see Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 );
  • kicking the ground in the hazard or water in a water hazard; or
  • touching the sand with a club when making a practice swing in the hazard or in a similar hazard (but see Exception 3 to Rule 13-4 )
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Originally Posted by Fourputt

That's because laying a club on the ground is not the definition of "grounding".  Grounding is lightly resting the club on the ground either in front of or behind the ball preparatory to making a stroke.  You may not press harder than what the weight of the club would be or you will be in breach of rule 13-2.

Lightly resting? How is that determined?

I always thought grounding is touching the sand (in a sand trap) with your club at any point prior to your swing. Not just at address.
Like Dustin Johnson in the 2010 PGA Championship.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyThursday View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

That's because laying a club on the ground is not the definition of "grounding".  Grounding is lightly resting the club on the ground either in front of or behind the ball preparatory to making a stroke.  You may not press harder than what the weight of the club would be or you will be in breach of rule 13-2.


Lightly resting? How is that determined?

I always thought grounding is touching the sand (in a sand trap) with your club at any point prior to your swing. Not just at address.
Like Dustin Johnson in the 2010 PGA Championship.

The act of touching the sand would include grounding, but is not limited to that.  Did you read my whole post?  I said that grounding is essentially letting the weight of the club rest on the ground.  Pressing harder than that is a 2 stroke penalty for improving your lie or line of play.  Meaning that you cannot use the act of addressing the ball to press down grass or other debris more than the weight of the club would do.  This only applies when the ball does not lie in a hazard.  In a hazard you may not even touch the ground in the act of addressing the ball, but you may touch anything living or growing as long as nothing is done to improve your lie, stance, or area of intended swing.

Quote:

the player incurs no penalty if the action occurs:

Grounding the club is part of the act of "addressing the ball".

Quote:

Addressing The Ball

A player has “ addressed the ball” when he has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance .

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Good grief, this is way more complicated than it needs to be.

Wouldn’t be easier for the rules to simply state: “When entering a sand trap you cannot touch the sand with your club until you make your shot. If you touch the sand with your club while falling down or bring an extra club and touch the sand with it you are penalized."

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Originally Posted by JerseyThursday

Good grief, this is way more complicated than it needs to be.

Wouldn’t be easier for the rules to simply state: “When entering a sand trap you cannot touch the sand with your club until you make your shot. If you touch the sand with your club while falling down or bring an extra club and touch the sand with it you are penalized."

Which part is actually complicated? Is this complicated “When entering a sand trap you cannot touch the sand with your club until you make your shot. If you touch the sand with your club while falling down or bring an extra club and touch the sand with it you are not penalized."

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Originally Posted by bkuehn1952

I agree with your answer.  You seem to enjoy discussing the Rules of Golf, as do I.  You certainly appear to be knowledgable in that area.  Perhaps some of the other online participants, including me, would benefit from an explanation was to why you say "no".  When you respond with the minimal response of "no",  Jersey Thursday and other interested readers are left with no real explanation of the Rules other than an unknown person with a pseudonym of "Rulesman" said "no".

I would normally expand an answer if I thought it helpful.

In this case there isn't a rule or decision that I could refer to. It just seemed obviuos that if you are allowed to place your club in a hazard without penalty (as you had said in a post above) then you would be allowed to pick it up again without penalty.

I could have expanded on 'grounding' but I felt that the question was really about a possible penalty and did not want to blow the whole thing up. In the event, perhaps I should have done because it has got a bit messy.

The danger ia always that the htread can get out of hand. eg smoothing a bunker with a club, searching for a ball (Rule 12-1a, b &c;).

But let's not go there in this thread.

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Originally Posted by JerseyThursday

Good grief, this is way more complicated than it needs to be.

Wouldn’t be easier for the rules to simply state: “When entering a sand trap you cannot touch the sand with your club until you make your shot. If you touch the sand with your club while falling down or bring an extra club and touch the sand with it you are penalized."

No, because then a player who slips or otherwise loses his footing while getting into the bunker would automatically end up with a penalty no matter what the reason.  The rules are not intended to be penal.  Penalties are graded at different levels to ensure that a player doesn't not gain an advantage from the breach of a rule or procedure.  A player who slips on soft ground or wet grass should not be penalized as if he was intentionally testing the condition of a hazard.  That would be contrary to the spirit of the rules.

He also should not be required to walk in and out of the hazard several times trying to select the correct club.  That would put him in jeopardy of being in breach of a pace of play policy, and virtually every person on this forum would be opposed to a requirement which slowed play unnecessarily.

If you want to just walk into a bunker with one club, make your stroke, then walk out and rake, then fine.  But think about it the next time you have to enter a bunker which doesn't offer a nice level path to the sand, or the bank of a stream or pond which might be a bit muddy.

This photo is typical of the bunkers at one of the courses I play.  There is literally no good entry point.  The sand is soft and deep.  I've seen more than one person slip going down that grassy slope.

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