In talking with @david_wedzik this morning about a chapter in Lowest Score Wins, I pointed out to him that you could not take an unplayable ball in a bunker and drop within two club lengths or on a line back from the hole to escape the bunker.
He was surprised by this, and in thinking about it, it struck neither of us as "right" given the other Rules of Golf.
This, I quickly decided (and I may rethink it later, but for now I'm sticking to it and arguing this point), is the one Rule of Golf I would change.
Why, should a bunker penalize a player more than a water hazard? I'm aware of the fact that you can play a ball out of a bunker virtually every time, and 98% of the time out of a hazard you can't even find your ball without scuba gear and a few free hours - I'm talking about when you choose to take a penalty stroke.
So imagine this.
I have a bunch of little bushes. Next to them I have a small creek. Next to that, I have a bunker.
Three players tee off and each hits a ball into the bushes, the creek, or the bunker.
Each decides to take a penalty stroke and drop back, in the fairway, on the line from the hole through their ball. Except the guy in the bunker doesn't get to do it. If he is a poor bunker player, under the Rules of Golf, he could quite literally never get out unless he opts to re-play his tee shot (stroke and distance), effectively a two-stroke penalty while the other players only suffer a one-stroke penalty.
It's still early, and I'd love to hear opposition to this, but I'm seriously considering petitioning the USGA to change this rule. I realize that bunkers are not "through the green," but all it would take is the removal of the bolded lines here:
If the player deems his ball to be unplayable, he must, under penalty of one stroke:
b. Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or
c. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball orsubstitute a ball.
Just remove that paragraph. What's the harm? Bunkers suck. Most players will continue to play out of them most of the time, but if your ball buries under the lip and you want to take an unplayable, why should you be penalized MORE than if your ball buries in the mud of a creek in a water hazard by having to play from the hazard again?