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Spare club falls into sand trap before your shot. Penalty? - Page 2

post #19 of 41

Actually most rules questions have simple answers.

 

It's just that given the myriad of variables and dynamics of playing golf, the rules can get complicated when you have to cover all the possibilities.  The simplest thing to remember about bunkers is you cannot touch the sand with your club until you are actually striking the ball.  To save time, the rules have an exception that allows you to lay clubs in the bunker if you are unsure as to what club to use.

 

The rules also give you a break if you are falling down.  They don't want you to "kill" yourself to prevent a 2 stroke penalty.

 

The above covers the majority of what can occur with your club in a bunker.

post #20 of 41

I think this is a case where the rules are either simple or complicated depending on how you approach them. Those more familiar with the rules can better see the logical progression, but if you're just jumping in, the collection of rules and decisions can look like a bit of a mess.

 

The way I think about it, starting from the basic concept and adding practical wrinkles, is as follows.

 

1) You cannot test the condition of the bunker because that uncertainty is integral to penalizing effect of the bunker.

 

So by default, you may not touch the surface of the bunker. But to play the game, you have to be able to address the ball... so

 

2) You can walk up to your ball and take a stance, but you cannot take any action beyond those reasonable and necessary to address the ball. You can't ground your club because that's not necessary for making a stroke.

 

This is fine, but as Fourputt and others said, it can be dangerous to approach or walk around in a bunker. The rules are important, but it's more important to avoid injuries. So

 

3) If you slip or fall, you're allowed to do whatever it takes to avoid injury, even if this involves touching the sand. (But if you move the ball or affect the lie, you're still on the hook.) It would be unreasonable to penalize someone for having reflexes.

 

And this is all great, but especially when playing with a shared cart, a golfer can save a lot of time by bringing more than one club with him. If he has to keep all his clubs out of the bunker, it's going to mean a lot of walking back and forth. That wastes time, disturbs the bunker because of the extra traffic, burns more time cleaning up the footprints, and still gives the golfer additional information about the conditions because of the extra walking around. So...

 

4) You can set your extra clubs down in the sand.

 

I think it's a fairly logical progression. The exceptions to the "don't touch the sand" rule are either necessary to playing the game, or are both beneficial and easily distinguished from acts that might be construed as testing the conditions. E.g., you could allow grounding the club, but then you have to make tough calls as to whether a golfer pressed more than he was entitled to, etc.

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

I believe this happen to Michelle Wie one time. She placed the club down on the ground to balance herself. They had to look at the video to determine if she was really using the club to keep from falling. If not then it was a penalty. 

post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

I believe this happen to Michelle Wie one time. She placed the club down on the ground to balance herself. They had to look at the video to determine if she was really using the club to keep from falling. If not then it was a penalty. 

 

I remember that one.  She said she placed the club down to balance herself.  I thought the rules officials bent over backwards with patience letting her plead her case for 20 minutes. I thought it was an easy call.

post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 

In this instance, she sets her club down (forgetting that her ball is still in the hazard).

 

 

post #24 of 41

Yep, although I was watching the US telecast....little easier to follow.  :-)

post #25 of 41

At least one golf pro i know believes that digging into the sand with your feet constitutes 'making a stance' is ought to be penalized. This pro also knows that most other golfers do not agree. Imagine yourself on a very steep hillside and you dug tiny steps into the soil with your shoes, to provide a bit more stability for the next shot. FOUL, all would say.  But in the sand you can dig around with your shoe all you like? 

post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

But in the sand you can dig around with your shoe all you like? 

 

No. You can't dig around "all you like."

 

13-4/0.5:

Quote:

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).
post #27 of 41

Ha Ha Ha.  Very subjective.  Normal in the fairway or tee box hardly describes what i see going on in the sand box. 

post #28 of 41

Shuffling your feet on level sand in order to get a relatively firm stance is one thing. Moving sand around on a slope in order to get a level stance is something very different.

post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyThursday View Post
 

 

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.

         Didn't Dustin take a practice swing in the bunker, which was why he was penalized.

         He explained later, he considered the area "waste area" and concluded it was a mental error on his part.

        

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

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.  

 

The bunker looks really cool. but I would guess your Green Keeper has his hands full keeping them maintained....... on a regular basis.........

 

This past summer, I laid my putter outside the bunker which had a steep slope and it rolled into the bunker.

I had to get a ruling from our Pro, because I was unsure if it would be a penalty.

Glad I read this thread, it enlighten another of the many rules and decisions which occur on a rare occasion.

 

Thanks, Club Rat

post #30 of 41

Continuing this discussion --

 

Scenario:  You take 2 clubs into the bunker with you, make a decision to use one and lay the other one down in the bunker as allowed by the rules.  Then change your mind and decide to use the club you laid down, are you now penalized for touching the surface of the hazard with that club?  Decision 13-4/0.5 says:

 

Quote:
 

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.

 

The two items I put in bold would seem to be contradictory.  One says you can lay clubs in the hazard, while the other says that you can't touch the hazard with a club.  As the rules teach us "a" club means any club, not just the one selected for the stroke.  I don't see where one point ends and the other takes over.  

post #31 of 41

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); 

 

Exception 1 says 

 

 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 (a) touches the ground or loose impediments in any hazard or water in a water hazard as a result of or to prevent falling, in removing an obstruction, in measuring or in marking the position of, retrieving, lifting, placing or replacing a ball under any Rule or (b) places his clubs in a hazard.

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

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); 

 

Exception 1 says 

 

 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 (a) touches the ground or loose impediments in any hazard or water in a water hazard as a result of or to prevent falling, in removing an obstruction, in measuring or in marking the position of, retrieving, lifting, placing or replacing a ball under any Rule or (b) places his clubs in a hazard.

 

I am well aware of that.  It's not what I asked.  I asked if it would be a penalty to then pick up the club you laid in the bunker to use it to play your stroke.  If not how do you get around the apparent contradiction which both allows and disallows touching the surface, depending on the action? 

 

I can understand the allowance for laying a club down in the hazard, but I question whether it would then be a penalty to pick that club back up and use it.  You have now touched the hazard with a club, not when laying the club down, but when picking it up.  Also, what is the ruling if you accidentally touch the sand with your hand while picking up the club?  That is also not allowed under 13-4.

post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

  I asked if it would be a penalty to then pick up the club you laid in the bunker to use it to play your stroke.

 

.  Also, what is the ruling if you accidentally touch the sand with your hand while picking up the club?  That is also not allowed under 13-4.

 

No penalty to either.  The exception on placing clubs in bunkers covers this along with the allowance to touch a hazard when picking up an obstruction.

post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

  I asked if it would be a penalty to then pick up the club you laid in the bunker to use it to play your stroke.

 

.  Also, what is the ruling if you accidentally touch the sand with your hand while picking up the club?  That is also not allowed under 13-4.

 

No penalty to either.  The exception on placing clubs in bunkers covers this along with the allowance to touch a hazard when picking up an obstruction.

 

Okay, to extend this (and at the risk of sounding like MeFree), how do you come to that conclusion?  The assumption in the exception is that the clubs you laid down will not be picked up until after you have played your stroke.  If you don't follow that assumption and pick up the extra club(s) prior to making your stroke, what do you see in the rules that absolves you of any penalty?  I'm really just trying to see where the line is being drawn, and to find out how that determination is made from the way that the rule and decision is worded at present.  How many times can you pick up and lay down clubs, touching the surface in the process, before your motive comes into question?

 

Personally, I can't remember ever laying a club in a bunker, simply because I never saw any reason for it.  It's just as easy to walk over and lay them down outside of the hazard.  I've know that it was allowed for as long as I've been following the rules, but I just never needed to do it.  

post #35 of 41

Are you really suggesting there should be a specific statement that says you may pick up and use a club that you had previously laid down in a bunker?

 

Remember, if it doesn't say you can't then you can.

post #36 of 41

Wow, what a "Low Blow" on MeFree while he's tied up during Ski season and not around to defend himself !!!!!!!

 

I'm sure when spring time comes and he's back, there will be repercussions, Fourputt !!!!! :-D

 

Club Rat

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