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CarlSpackler

Rules Question - Improving Lie in Bunker

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Situation - player's ball is in bunker and he removes some sand from behind the ball with his foot. The ball does not move, but is there a penalty for improving the lie?

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Yes, it's a violation.....whether he's in the bunker or not.

As an aside, you're not allowed to remove even loose impediments in a bunker. If there was a watermelon behind his ball in the bunker, he couldn't touch it! Play the ball as it lies, or declare it unplayable and take a drop under penalty of a stroke. The drop must remain in the bunker.......and BTW, when you drop in a bunker, the ball will plug.

God this game is fun, isn't it?!

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Pretty sure you can't even remove loose impediments in a bunker, much less the actual sand. It is a penalty.

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Thats a penatly. But why would you want to do that, anyway? You dont need to hit the ball when in a bunker.

I am not sure why he did it. I called him on it and he responded that he was drawing a line to help him know where to hit the sand. I reviewed rule 13-2 which appears to prohibit this, but I wanted to get other input.

Thanks.

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Drawing a line in the sand to aid the swing -- even if it weren't a penalty because it's sand, which it is -- would also violate that other rule about marking the ground to aid your swing.

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Regarding removing loose impediments in a bunker:

The Northern Nevada Golf Association is testing a local rule that allows players to remove them. They feel that the players shouldn't have to risk poking an eye out with a rock out of the sand...

I'm not too sure if I agree with this addition...but then again I haven't had to use it yet either...

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Unless you are Kenny Perry it's a penalty.

Regarding stones in bunkers there's a provision in Appendix I page 101 and 110 to allow local rules which let players remove stones from bunkers before hitting for safety reasons. If you aren't sure assume no local rule and play the ball as it lies.

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The USGA has made provisions for local rules that allow stones in bunkers to be removed. If it is not a stated local rule, no touchie, touchie.

Other objects such as a coke can are considered movable obstructions. You can move them and if your ball moves it is to be replaced without penalty. I am not really good at research because I get bored easily, but I think a watermelon in a bunker is an obstruction unless it is growing, or there are other watermelon plants in the area in which it could have fallen from the vine and into the bunker. I seem to remember something about if there was an apple tree near a bunker and a ball is against an apple on the ground. The apple was half eaten. Is he apple and obstruction or an impediment? Obstruction because it was half eaten. I could be wrong, but I have never come across this situation so I really don't think about it too much.

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I am not really good at research because I get bored easily, but I think a watermelon in a bunker is an obstruction unless it is growing, or there are other watermelon plants in the area in which it could have fallen from the vine and into the bunker. I seem to remember something about if there was an apple tree near a bunker and a ball is against an apple on the ground. The apple was half eaten. Is he apple and obstruction or an impediment? Obstruction because it was half eaten. I could be wrong, but I have never come across this situation so I really don't think about it too much.

Nope, the rule is almost as simple as natural = loose impediment, man-made = movable obstruction. In the case of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, what have you, the rule is simple. A watermelon is a loose impediment. The ruling you're thinking of is a half-eaten pear in a bunker, Ruling 23/3. They held that even though there was no pear tree nearby, the pear could not be removed without penalty.

The only real complication comes from the status of living creatures in the animal kingdom. Living animals are generally outside agencies. However, worms, insects, and the like are considered loose impediments. Poor little guys... Even if you get bored easily, reading through the Rule 23 decisions is pretty amusing. Dead land crab? Really?

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I looked at some of the decisions on the USGA web sight, but never did find what I was looking for. I have a hard time going through them all because I might not be searching that sight correctly. I have to a little more research to find the decisions book as a whole online so I can search through it.

Thanks for setting me straight before I make a big whopsie. I'll put that in the memory bank for (hopefully never to be needed) future use.

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how about if the ball lands in an unraked bunker, such as a footprint or club mark? whats the ruling there?

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Bunker not being raked... sounds like standard operation procedure for my course.... SOL, I'm afraid.

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Play it as it lies.

Although, for the next few weeks, all of the fairway bunkers allow you to take a fee drop, behind the bunker, because the sand has been scraped out of them, leaving a hard rock base. Their waiting for some new special sand that they ordered, might have come in today, but theres a lot of work to replace it all. I might go help sunday. Oddly enough I want my sand back.

Its amazing how deep the bunkers are before the sand is added though :O

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Below is my opponents response:

"Actually, I did not move any sand as an effort to improve my lie, swing, stance, or line of play as the rules specify below. I created a visible line in the sand 3.5" behind the ball (with my foot and not the club) with which to use as mental striking target. I believe you will find this is not an infraction of the rules.

Infraction of 8.2 - Indicating line of play?

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Im pretty sure your right. He's creating a visual aid. It would be like laying a club on the swing plane as a visual aid in my opinion.

Im no expert on the rules (im learning more and more all the time though, i only started this game at the end of last season), but I think your right.

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Note: This thread is 4097 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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