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JerseyThursday

If you scuff the sand on the backswing in a sand trap...

7 posts in this topic

...is it grounding?

Say you are in a sand trap, and address the ball without touching the sand with the clubhead. But, during the backswing your clubhead comes into contact with the sand (scuffing it). Is this considered grounding?

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No it's not grounding, however there is still a 2 stroke penalty. The rule you are breaking is R13-4b which prohibits touching the ground in a hazard, or water in a water in a water hazard with your hand or club. There are some exceptions to this rule....including allowing the touching of the hazard when making a stroke.......however the stroke starts with the forward movement of the club with the intent of striking the ball. The backswing is not part of the stroke. Decision 13-4/31 Touching Sand in Bunker During Backswing Q. A player playing a shot in a bunker accidentally touched the sand when making his backswing. What is the ruling? A. The player was in breach of Rule 13-4b when he touched the ground in the bunker with his club before making the stroke – see Definition of "Stroke."
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'Grounding'

The following relates to a ball in the rough but the principle applies anywhere.

If the grass had been compressed to the point where it would support the weight of the club , the club is considered grounded.

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If this guy was a few feet further back in the trap and touched the slope of sand in his backswing he would incur a two stroke penalty?

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Well, Jersey, if he touched the sand while moving the club backwards that is a violation, regardless of the slope or his intentions.

But what if he touched some blades of grass on the top edge of that bunker, but not the sand?  No violation.

What if he touched the grass and some sand obviously moved and he was called out, by other player or spectator,  for touching the sand?  What then?

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Well, Jersey, if he touched the sand while moving the club backwards that is a violation, regardless of the slope or his intentions.

But what if he touched some blades of grass on the top edge of that bunker, but not the sand?  No violation.

What if he touched the grass and some sand obviously moved and he was called out, by other player or spectator,  for touching the sand?  What then?

As long as the club didn't touch the sand with the club then there is no penalty.  The fact that sand moved doesn't constitute a penalty.  Sand moves when you walk into a bunker.

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As long as the club didn't touch the sand with the club then there is no penalty.  The fact that sand moved doesn't constitute a penalty.  Sand moves when you walk into a bunker.

It's also worth a reminder of the importance of understanding the definitions when interpreting the Rules.  Oftentimes a rules question can be answered simply by reading the appropriate definition.

Bunker

A “ bunker ’’ is a hazard consisting of a prepared area of ground, often a hollow, from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand or the like.

Grass-covered ground bordering or within a bunker , including a stacked turf face (whether grass-covered or earthen), is not part of the bunker . A wall or lip of the bunker not covered with grass is part of the bunker . The margin of a bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards

.

A ball is in a bunker when it lies in or any part of it touches the bunker .

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