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joekelly

Danger stones in hazard

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I know that if i am in a sandy bunker and my ball is up against or near some stones i am permitted to remove the stones so to remove any danger to self or others when the shot is played.

Last week my ball landed in a dry lake bed, full of stones. Sure it was marked as a water hazard but no water. I also know that touching any stuff in the hazard prior to my downswing, except growing things, is taboo. But now i feel that the rules may be in conflict between these 2 hazards. I did want to remove the stones from the ball area and play a nice shot without damaging my club or shooting a stone out towards my fellow competitor. I did not touch anything and no club damage but what are my 'rights' under these conditions?

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Although bunkers and water hazards are Hazards the rules are significantly different.

Removing stones from a bunker is only permitted if there is a Local Rule allowing it. This Local Rule is not applicable to water hazards. Further, there are many courses around the world where the LR is not in force.

There are a number of other differences.

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Yeah, unless it's specifically posted somewhere, stones in a bunker are just another loose impediment, and treated no differently than a leaf or a branch.  I think I've only played one course which had the local rule in effect allowing you to move them for safety reasons.  In a water hazard that local rule doesn't apply.  Play the shot or take the penalty and drop outside of the hazard.

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The use of the LR is more prevelant in the UK than in the US.

In so many courses in the UK (particularly links courses) the sand is the naturally occuring subsoil and is therefore likely to contain many stones. Even many non-links courses import their sand from natural sources.

In the US much of the sand is proceseed/refined/screened at the quarry before being transported to golf courses and therefore there should be little chance of finding stones.

The reason it is an optional local rule is that the USGA didn't agree with the R&A; that it should be a 'fully fledged' rule as thery couldn't see the need so they compromised.

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When in doubt, take the stroke penalty and save your wrists.  One stroke is not worth missing a bunch of golf.  I do this when my ball comes to rest against rock or tree roots, etc.  In New England, there is a ton of granite.  You will often find it exposed off the fairway.

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I know that if i am in a sandy bunker and my ball is up against or near some stones i am permitted to remove the stones so to remove any danger to self or others when the shot is played.

Just re-clarifying for the original poster that this is not part of the Rules of golf, and such "relief" is not permitted unless the Committee in charge of the course or competition has implemented the required local Rule for that course/competition.  Touching/removing stones in a bunker when the local Rule is not in place is a breach of Rule 13-4 and the player incurs a penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.

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I played once at a course that had a local rule regarding the bunkers that said:  "Any concrete chips in the bunkers are not loose impediments and may be removed".  I noticed the first time I was in one of them that there were little chunks of white concrete hidden in the sand.  I asked about it after the round and he said they had gotten a horrible delivery of sand and noticed they were in there.  Luckily they were small enough not to cause any damage, but it sure did make a mess of the sandwedge when you hit one of them.

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And just to remind, you do not always have to hit a full shot if in this type of situation...
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First, your wrong about moving the stones in a hazard, unless it's a local rule.  You cannot move any loose impediments in a hazard, unless foreign to the hazard.  Most local rules allow for a free drop to avoid damage or injury, with varying exceptions (protected trees, power boxes, etc.); and as long as you do not advance the ball or leave the hazard area.

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Keep in mind for the water hazard that most courses allow for free relief from a dry bed as long as you remain in the hazard boundary.

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Originally Posted by stangmark

First, your wrong about moving the stones in a hazard, unless it's a local rule.  You cannot move any loose impediments in a hazard, unless foreign to the hazard.  Most local rules allow for a free drop to avoid damage or injury, with varying exceptions (protected trees, power boxes, etc.); and as long as you do not advance the ball or leave the hazard area.

NO!

You may not move stones or any other Loose Impediment in any Water Hazard. A Local Rule purporting to allow this is not permitted.

You may move them in a bunker if there is a Local Rule.

Being foreign to a haxard (od any type is irrelevant)

Local Rules cannot allow for a free drop from a Loose Impediment.

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Originally Posted by stangmark

Keep in mind for the water hazard that most courses allow for free relief from a dry bed as long as you remain in the hazard boundary.

Clubs don't have any say in the matter.

The Rules specifically allow you to play a ball from a Water Hazard whether it is dry or not. The ball may not be touched or moved and your club may not be grounded.

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