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Unplayables in a Bunker - Page 6

post #91 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

OK, maybe not five, but four with the fourth launching over the green into another bunker.  I have seen that!

I really wasn't questioning the 5 strokes, but rather the characterization of that person as a "golfer"! a3_biggrin.gif
post #92 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 

 

What if such a high capper cannot get over a WH 50 meters of water? Should s/he be allowed to carry the ball over the WH? Or should s/he be demanded to work on the skills until s/he can?

 

If one's skills are not enough to manage a course then one should improve them. This may seem harsh but it is not too much to ask. And if one does not want to see the bother one should not bother of the score and just concentrate on enjoying the good shots and social aspect. After all, only those who want to make a score need to get out of a bunker according to the Rules.

Well, seeing as how pretty much every hole I can think of that has a pond in front of a green also has a drop area, which is almost always off to one side such that you don't have to attempt to hit over the pond again then ....

 

Yes.

 


Again, these types of arguments are red herrings.  Nobody is going to voluntarily take a penalty stroke when there is any chance they can play a shot.  The idea that there is a crowd of people out there who will jump up and down at this free new rule that allows them to never have to learn how to hit out of a bunker because it's some sort of get of jail free card is ludicrous.  It won't happen.

 

That said, I don't really care either way.  It's not going to have a big impact either way.

post #93 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Again, these types of arguments are red herrings.  Nobody is going to voluntarily take a penalty stroke when there is any chance they can play a shot.  The idea that there is a crowd of people out there who will jump up and down at this free new rule that allows them to never have to learn how to hit out of a bunker because it's some sort of get of jail free card is ludicrous.  It won't happen.

 

That said, I don't really care either way.  It's not going to have a big impact either way.

 

Agreed on the red herring nature of those counter-arguments.

 

If you can advance your ball, that's always the best option. You're hard-pressed to find situations where dropping your ball with a penalty stroke is a better decision (except in rare circumstances like the ball being buried under the lip of a bunker) where playing the shot isn't likely to produce better results.

 

If someone is so bad out of a bunker that this option is appealing to them for a regular bunker shot, they're a pretty lousy golfer.

 

Even if you're in a fairway bunker with a big lip, blasting out sideways or 20 yards forward is a better option than going backwards. Proximity to the hole has the strongest correlation of any other stat in golf… The closer you are to the hole before you hit your shot, the closer you're likely to be after that shot.

post #94 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Well, seeing as how pretty much every hole I can think of that has a pond in front of a green also has a drop area, which is almost always off to one side such that you don't have to attempt to hit over the pond again then ....

 

 

Very interesting. I have never played on a course with a DZ for a WH which takes that WH out of play. Then again, from the courses I have played in recent years I cannot from the top of my head remember any course with a DZ for a WH. Around here you MUST play your ball over any WH or go around it, if feasible. This I believe is one of the characteristics of golf.

 

This seems to be a big difference in the culture, although I can understand why that kind of DZ's are there for. Then again, IMO that is no longer real golf.

post #95 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Well, seeing as how pretty much every hole I can think of that has a pond in front of a green also has a drop area, which is almost always off to one side such that you don't have to attempt to hit over the pond again then ....

 

 

Very interesting. I have never played on a course with a DZ for a WH which takes that WH out of play. Then again, from the courses I have played in recent years I cannot from the top of my head remember any course with a DZ for a WH. Around here you MUST play your ball over any WH or go around it, if feasible. This I believe is one of the characteristics of golf.

 

This seems to be a big difference in the culture, although I can understand why that kind of DZ's are there for. Then again, IMO that is no longer real golf.

 

Same here.  A DZ is not supposed to remove the hazard completely, only shorten the carry to minimize the risk.  I've played very few courses which even have any holes with a dropping zone.  Those I have played have the drop area marked off to one side, but in a location where you still have to either carry part of the hazard, or just play a couple of chips around the edge (my wife has played a couple of local hazards that way, although they don't have drop zones on the holes).

 

A Decision on this topic:

 

Quote:
 

33-8/2

Local Rule Allows Drop on Green Side of Water Hazard When Ball Fails to Clear Hazard

Q.The design of a hole is such that a player must hit the ball about 100 yards in order to carry a water hazard. A Local Rule has been adopted to assist players who cannot drive over the hazard by allowing them to drop a ball, under penalty of two strokes, in a dropping zone that is located across the hazard. Is such a Local Rule authorized?

A.No. Such a Local Rule substantially alters Rule 26-1b as it allows the player to drop a ball on a part of the course (i.e., on the green side of the water hazard) that the Rule would not have permitted him to reach. Furthermore, the penalty for taking relief under the water hazard Rule (Rule 26) is one stroke, and may not be increased to two strokes by a Committee through a Local Rule – see Rule 33-8b.

 

Ignoring the 2 stroke part of the decision, you can see that taking the hazard out of play completely is not recommended unless there is a spot on the perimeter of the hazard where it could be possible to drop under Rule 26-1 which would also take the remainder of the hazard out of play (the part I put in bold).  I have seen a couple of overly generous dropping zones over the years, and I understand the thinking in placing them there - I just don't agree with it.  

 

If it is a tee shot, then there should instead be at least one teeing area available which would take the hazard out of play.  This is a much more common feature, at least it is in my experience.  I've seen holes where 2 of the 5 (or 1 of 3) tee boxes are on the hole side of the hazard, allowing playability for weaker players without fudging the rules.

post #96 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 

 

Very interesting. I have never played on a course with a DZ for a WH which takes that WH out of play. Then again, from the courses I have played in recent years I cannot from the top of my head remember any course with a DZ for a WH. Around here you MUST play your ball over any WH or go around it, if feasible. This I believe is one of the characteristics of golf.

 

This seems to be a big difference in the culture, although I can understand why that kind of DZ's are there for. Then again, IMO that is no longer real golf.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Same here.  A DZ is not supposed to remove the hazard completely, only shorten the carry to minimize the risk.  I've played very few courses which even have any holes with a dropping zone.  Those I have played have the drop area marked off to one side, but in a location where you still have to either carry part of the hazard, or just play a couple of chips around the edge (my wife has played a couple of local hazards that way, although they don't have drop zones on the holes).

 

A Decision on this topic:

 

 

Ignoring the 2 stroke part of the decision, you can see that taking the hazard out of play completely is not recommended unless there is a spot on the perimeter of the hazard where it could be possible to drop under Rule 26-1 which would also take the remainder of the hazard out of play (the part I put in bold).  I have seen a couple of overly generous dropping zones over the years, and I understand the thinking in placing them there - I just don't agree with it.

 

If it is a tee shot, then there should instead be at least one teeing area available which would take the hazard out of play.  This is a much more common feature, at least it is in my experience.  I've seen holes where 2 of the 5 (or 1 of 3) tee boxes are on the hole side of the hazard, allowing playability for weaker players without fudging the rules.

WH/DZ OT Stuff (Click to show)

Yeah, I've heard this on the forum (probably from you two;-)) before.  I understand the position, but around here they don't follow this recommendation.  There are several holes on several courses that have forced carry shots over hazards.  Here's my most easily retrievable example: http://thesandtrap.com/t/74450/what-relatively-common-golf-course-features-do-you-dislike/30_30#post_990756  (#15, Talega Golf Club, Sam Clemente, CA)

 

The picture is looking at the fairway (what fairway??) from the white tees of a medium/short length par 5.  If you are playing the whites, blues or coppers, then you have to carry that hazard (blindly, mind you) to reach the fairway.  If you don't, there is a DZ on the other side of the ravine.

 

There are also two par 3's on that course with carry over water required, and a DZ that is up and to the right of the water, requiring nothing more than a 50-70 yard pitch (and run if you want) to the green.  (Holes 5 and 7 for anybody curious)

 

Regardless, if this rule were to be removed, there are not going to be a bunch of people who start voluntarily taking penalty strokes, therefore the idea that it would be eliminating a key part of the game is silly.  Everybody is still going to try and hit out of the bunkers on most occasions because they realize it's their best option.  The use of that rule will still be as rare as the approach shot that plugs into the lip of the bunker.**

 

**Although as I wrote that I realized that perhaps on British Open courses, there are more situations where it would come into play.  You hit into a bunker that has a huge lip that you can't carry and your only option is sideways or backwards, and there is no rough, so a drop behind the bunker is likely going to give you as good of a lie as any shot out to the side, and be a lot less unpredictable as to what its going to leave you.  Hmmm, and I think either @David in FL or @Fourputt already said this, but if there were a way to set a guideline on what you are allowed to consider unplayable, that would be nice.  But I suspect that would be about as easy as defining a divot hole. :-P

post #97 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

**Although as I wrote that I realized that perhaps on British Open courses, there are more situations where it would come into play.  You hit into a bunker that has a huge lip that you can't carry and your only option is sideways or backwards, and there is no rough, so a drop behind the bunker is likely going to give you as good of a lie as any shot out to the side, and be a lot less unpredictable as to what its going to leave you.  Hmmm, and I think either @David in FL or @Fourputt already said this, but if there were a way to set a guideline on what you are allowed to consider unplayable, that would be nice.  But I suspect that would be about as easy as defining a divot hole. :-P

 

That's the strongest argument against deleting the paragraph that I've heard.

 

Making it a two-stroke penalty to move your ball out of a bunker would not be something I support, either.

post #98 of 202

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

**Although as I wrote that I realized that perhaps on British Open courses, there are more situations where it would come into play. You hit into a bunker that has a huge lip that you can't carry and your only option is sideways or backwards, and there is no rough, so a drop behind the bunker is likely going to give you as good of a lie as any shot out to the side, and be a lot less unpredictable as to what its going to leave you...

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

That's the strongest argument against deleting the paragraph that I've heard.

Making it a two-stroke penalty to move your ball out of a bunker would not be something I support, either.

 

It is good to see you are coming around to our point of view.  Six days ago this idea was dismissed as "meh, a boring shot."

post #99 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

It is good to see you are coming around to our point of view.  Six days ago this idea was dismissed as "meh, a boring shot."

I still don't agree. I don't think golfers would avail themselves of the option very often at all. I still support removing the paragraph.

I said it was the best argument. Not that it was a winning argument.

The unplayable ball rule lets you move backward WITH a penalty. Hit it in a bush or something and you don't have to play the shot from a bush. Hit it in a water hazard and you don't have to play your next shot from a partially submerged lie. Why have it for bunkers alone?
post #100 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


I still don't agree. I don't think golfers would avail themselves of the option very often at all. I still support removing the paragraph.

I said it was the best argument. Not that it was a winning argument.

The unplayable ball rule lets you move backward WITH a penalty. Hit it in a bush or something and you don't have to play the shot from a bush. Hit it in a water hazard and you don't have to play your next shot from a partially submerged lie. Why have it for bunkers alone?

I am still with you on this one.  I can't see why it is equitable for the unplayable lie in a bunker to give you a potential second bad lie when other unplayable lies don't.  It is a bit of double jeopardy.

 

You are not supposed to hit it into the water or a bush or other unplayable lie just as some argue you are supposed to avoid bunkers.  If a bush or small pond is next to the green, then the proximity argument is weak as well.  

post #101 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


The unplayable ball rule lets you move backward WITH a penalty. Hit it in a bush or something and you don't have to play the shot from a bush. Hit it in a water hazard and you don't have to play your next shot from a partially submerged lie. Why have it for bunkers alone?

 

Because you are supposed to play from a bunker in the first place. No, wait, in the first place you are supposed NOT to hit your ball there, and only should you fail in this mission you are supposed to play from the bunker.

 

Just that s**t happens and your ball buries under the lip every 25 years does not IMO justify the change. Golf is full of breaks, that is the absolute beauty and the ultimate challenge of this game.

 

P.S. I did not understand how you came up with a 2-stroke penalty from Golfindad's post. What he wrote is that if you drop with 1 PS behind the bunker you get more predictable lie than if you make a sideways stroke. That makes only 1 PS instead of a risk of failing in the sideways stroke. Wasn't that your ultimate goal with this change to free a player from a multitude of penalties/bad lies?

post #102 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 

 

Because you are supposed to play from a bunker in the first place. No, wait, in the first place you are supposed NOT to hit your ball there, and only should you fail in this mission you are supposed to play from the bunker.

 

Just that s**t happens and your ball buries under the lip every 25 years does not IMO justify the change. Golf is full of breaks, that is the absolute beauty and the ultimate challenge of this game.

 

P.S. I did not understand how you came up with a 2-stroke penalty from Golfindad's post. What he wrote is that if you drop with 1 PS behind the bunker you get more predictable lie than if you make a sideways stroke. That makes only 1 PS instead of a risk of failing in the sideways stroke. Wasn't that your ultimate goal with this change to free a player from a multitude of penalties/bad lies?

Again, your argument is always about a playable lie in a bunker or a situation where a player should do a sand shot.  We are talking about the rare occurrence of unplayable lie in a bunker (your once in 25 years example).  I play out every sand shot, even some unplayable ones I have had (I gave an example a few posts back).  You are vehemently against it, but have not explained why it should be more harsh a penalty than any other unplayable.  It is more harsh.

 

I don't recall making any comment about 2-stroke penalty.

post #103 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post

Because you are supposed to play from a bunker in the first place. No, wait, in the first place you are supposed NOT to hit your ball there, and only should you fail in this mission you are supposed to play from the bunker.

You're not supposed to hit your ball in the bushes either. Or the trees. Or super long grass. But you still get all three options in the unplayable ball rule don't you?

Your argument can't be "but you should learn to play from a bush." Because if so, then you should likely support removing the two-club length and "on a line from the hole" provisions from all unplayable ball situations. Play it or re-hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

I don't recall making any comment about 2-stroke penalty.

I made a quick comment about not supporting a two-stroke penalty for dropping outside the bunker, simply to say I wouldn't support that and to head off any discussion of that as a possible solution.
post #104 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


I still don't agree. I don't think golfers would avail themselves of the option very often at all. I still support removing the paragraph.

I said it was the best argument. Not that it was a winning argument.

The unplayable ball rule lets you move backward WITH a penalty. Hit it in a bush or something and you don't have to play the shot from a bush. Hit it in a water hazard and you don't have to play your next shot from a partially submerged lie. Why have it for bunkers alone?

I am still with you on this one.  I can't see why it is equitable for the unplayable lie in a bunker to give you a potential second bad lie when other unplayable lies don't.  It is a bit of double jeopardy.

 

You are not supposed to hit it into the water or a bush or other unplayable lie just as some argue you are supposed to avoid bunkers.  If a bush or small pond is next to the green, then the proximity argument is weak as well.  

 

This is an incorrect hypothesis.  The other methods of taking relief from an unplayable lie do not guarantee you a good lie.  Even relief from obstructions or GUR don't offer any such guarantees.  You might get a good lie, but you may also be required to play from a spot equally as bad as where the ball currently lies, depending on the situation.  

 

Sometimes there is no good choice, no matter what option you choose under rule 28.  If you play a stroke from the woods trying to fit the ball through a 2 foot wide slot, then hit a tree and bounce deeper into the woods, your best option is to replay that stroke (stroke and distance penalty), yet aren't guaranteed that the ball when dropped there won't bounce or roll into an even worse situation.  You could literally be in a situation where you would have to carefully chip the ball 3 or 4 times to get out and be able to post an actual score for the hole.  In a stroke competition, this is what you would have to do or be disqualified.

 

Relief from GuR or an obstruction only allows a very specific dropping area based on the location of the ball and the nearest point of complete relief.  If that puts you in bushes, or 2 foot rough, or embedded stones, then that's where you drop.  You don't get the best point of relief, only the nearest.

 

To say that you are always guaranteed a good lie when taking relief anyplace except in a bunker is clearly not true.

post #105 of 202

I think its inconsistent to dismiss the sideways pitch out as too infrequent to defeat the proposed change.  This is because we're already talking about a rule change to avoid a rare occurrence in the first place--an unplayable lie in a bunker.  In my experience, which is limited and anecdotal, both are rare and neither stands out to me as more likely than the other. Maybe others disagree, but that would surprise me.    

 

I'm confident that I can get out of the bunker in one try, but if I had the option of taking an unplayable, I would almost never pitch out.  I'd want to remove all uncertainty and pick a distance I like.  The only exception I can think of would be if the unplayable would leave me in really long rough and the a sideways pitch out could put me in the fairway.  There may even be close calls where where I'd go for the risky shot under the current rules, but without the uncertainties of pitching out (i.e., lie) I'd take the unplayable.    

 

 

On the other side, some have chalked the unplayable bunker lie as a bad break common to golf (for example, @Ignorant, above).  This is something that I initially agreed with but as I wrote out this post I completely changed my mind.  Yes, we play balls from divots, balls that find the crappy landscaping that should be marked GUR, and balls that have spike marks between them and the hole.  But with the unplayable you're already taking a penalty, and my understanding is that you could technically declare some of those situations unplayable and take the same relief (not sure about the ball on the green, but I'd imagine you can declare a ball in a divot unplayable if you wanted).  So the proposed rule change doesn't conflict with the idea that sometimes you just get bad breaks.  

post #106 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

Again, your argument is always about a playable lie in a bunker or a situation where a player should do a sand shot.  We are talking about the rare occurrence of unplayable lie in a bunker (your once in 25 years example).  I play out every sand shot, even some unplayable ones I have had (I gave an example a few posts back).

And I was only thinking of that same rare occurence as well, until yesterday.  The problem - and I know @David in FL already mentioned this a ways back - is that there are no qualifications that need to be met to declare your ball unplayable.  So removing this paragraph would potentially (I'm not sold yet, just pointing out), POTENTIALLY, open up a Pandora's box of people just not wanting to hit shots out of bunkers, even when it is perfectly playable.

 

I feel like most people (not counting one specific group, I'll get to them in a minute) would still consider the word "unplayable" to mean exactly that.  Most people, I believe, would still always try to make a stroke on a ball that they thought they could get a club on.  And the small fraction of people out there that would try to take advantage of this rule probably aren't nearly enough to matter.

 

However, I'll repeat my previous comment (and expand a bit) about British Open courses.  And, specifically, during the British Open.  Think about how many times you've seen pros struggle to get out of some of those bunkers.  Certainly, you have seen numerous times where guys have had to intentionally hit sideways or backwards to extricate themselves.

 

 

Now consider what would happen if this paragraph were removed.  I'd be willing to bet that you'd find players making the conscious decision to pick their ball up and drop it in the grass behind the bunker because that is going to give them a more predictable lie.  Certainly not always, but very likely sometimes.

 

Erik is right that the sideways or backwards bunker shot is "meh, boring," however, I would contend that picking your ball up and dropping it is even more boring, and even less "golf-y."  It just doesn't seem right.  And the shot in the video above is anything but boring, and it's likely that a lot of people (maybe not Tiger) would choose a drop over attempting this.

 

So, barring them coming up with some sort of definition of what you can consider unplayable (unlikely), I'm inclined to vote against this possible rule change now, and for the sole reason that I don't want to see pros putting their hands on their balls any more than they already do.

 

Think about how much we all hate the pros overuse of lift, clean and place.  I think if my hunch is true, we'd be bothered by this "abuse" of a rule in the same manner.  It goes against the very fabric of the "play it as it lies" basis of golf.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

This is an incorrect hypothesis.  The other methods of taking relief from an unplayable lie do not guarantee you a good lie.  Even relief from obstructions or GUR don't offer any such guarantees.  You might get a good lie, but you may also be required to play from a spot equally as bad as where the ball currently lies, depending on the situation.

 

Sometimes there is no good choice, no matter what option you choose under rule 28.  If you play a stroke from the woods trying to fit the ball through a 2 foot wide slot, then hit a tree and bounce deeper into the woods, your best option is to replay that stroke (stroke and distance penalty), yet aren't guaranteed that the ball when dropped there won't bounce or roll into an even worse situation.  You could literally be in a situation where you would have to carefully chip the ball 3 or 4 times to get out and be able to post an actual score for the hole.  In a stroke competition, this is what you would have to do or be disqualified.

 

Relief from GuR or an obstruction only allows a very specific dropping area based on the location of the ball and the nearest point of complete relief.  If that puts you in bushes, or 2 foot rough, or embedded stones, then that's where you drop.  You don't get the best point of relief, only the nearest.

 

To say that you are always guaranteed a good lie when taking relief anyplace except in a bunker is clearly not true.

I think he's mainly pointing to the inequity between bunkers and water hazards.  Certainly you're not always guaranteed a good lie after a drop outside of the hazard, but at least you don't have to drop in the water.

post #107 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

This is an incorrect hypothesis.  The other methods of taking relief from an unplayable lie do not guarantee you a good lie.  Even relief from obstructions or GUR don't offer any such guarantees.  You might get a good lie, but you may also be required to play from a spot equally as bad as where the ball currently lies, depending on the situation.

 

To say that you are always guaranteed a good lie when taking relief anyplace except in a bunker is clearly not true.

 

+1

 

I'll admit, I'm a purist when it comes to the rules, and I'm not generally in favor or changes to them such as this.   When I think about the spirit of the unplayable rule and the special exception made to bunkers, I think that it was very intentional for the following reasons.

 

1. You cannot control the other unplayable situations beyond the 3 options, you cannot say you must drop in a similar area, it's go back in line with the hole, two clubs or rehit from your previous spot.  Only the bunker is well defined by the rules, therefore can be controlled specifically, same for the green.

2. A drop in a bunker will ALWAYS result in a shot you can then play, even a plug in the back wall, you drop 3 times it rolls, you then place it.    This is not true in the bush or tree example, sometimes 2 clubs will give you zero relief, then you have to move back in line or rehit.  This is the rules "covering all bases".

3. You hit in the hazard, the rules want you to take your medicine.  "A hazard is an area of a golf course in the sport of golf which provides a difficult obstacle."

 

Just my take on it.

 

Brad

post #108 of 202
The old adage "Hard cases make bad law" comes to mind here.

Rather than having to argue for the retention of it, what's the real substantial argument for getting rid of it?

Bunkers are a unique feature they are not the same as water hazards or bushes. Why should they have the same relief?

People should be aware that it is a "drop" within the bunker, if you're getting a severely plugged lie from a drop..... then give arm day at the gym a miss ;)
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