I too have played with players who picked up or threw the ball out of a bunker after repeated failed attempts to play it out.
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r
I am leaning towards a "no" on this one....
Contrary to what some others have said, I believe there are a number of players at my club that would take a penalty drop outside of a bunker quite often (the guys I'm thinking of are older and struggle with the strength/technique it takes to get out of sand - it's not uncommon for them to just pick up their ball after their 3rd failed attempt). What if one of these guys won a "net" tournament by 1 stroke while utilizing this proposed rule twice in the round. That would certainly garner some controversy.
Would the guys who found the win controversial prefer that these players spend their final days trying to get out of that bunker (and remain their until their bones turned white, or whatever 4 putt quoted)? I know that I certainly don't want to play behind a group of inept bunker players who decide to exercise the stroke and distance option every time they get into a deep trap they think they may never escape from.
If these guys routinely pick up after 3 failed attempts, then their handicap doesn't reflect what they would truly shoot in tournament under current rules because of ESC- they would have absolutely no chance to win a "net" tournament unless they completely avoided the bunkers.
Question- if they were in a tournament and took 20+ attempts to get out of a bunker, would you subject them to a slow play penalty? What about a slow play penalty for exercising the stroke and distance option too often? Or maybe there should just be a rule that DQs them after 5 failed bunker attempts.
For most bogey golfers or better, Erik's proposed simplification/deletion changes the game negligibly while making it slightly less penal/difficult for novices and high cappers- I don't see the harm in that and like the change as it eliminates a rules variance that is really not necessary. Remember, he is not saying to give them a bowling alley or get out of jail free card, just take a drop with a stroke penalty attached to it. This is an option that saves players strokes after hitting shots way more off line than those that end up in bunkers, so why not allow it for bunkers also?