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Unplayables in a Bunker


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The game of golf has a few basics ... a player who respects, enjoys and takes pride in his game knows that several types of strokes are expected of him.

He'll need to be able to hit the ball off the tee and not have it veer off of the golf course and he'll need to hit a variety of shots off of perfect and imperfect lies in the grass.

He'll have to figure out how to putt and lastly, should an errant shot end up in a bunker, he must have the skill to extricate himself without resorting to picking up the ball with his hand and dropping it onto some cushy patch of grass at the cost of a mere one penalty stroke.

Erik's heart is in the right place, but ....

I don't know, every time I see a golfer take 5 strokes to get out of the bunker just makes me think now if only they could declare an unplayable lie like every other shot on the course, and drop out of the bunker.

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I don't know, every time I see a golfer take 5 strokes to get out of the bunker just makes me think now if only they could declare an unplayable lie like every other shot on the course, and drop out of the bunker.

You have NEVER seen a golfer take 5 strokes to get out of a bunker! ;-) Seriously.....it really isn't that hard.

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The game of golf has a few basics ... a player who respects, enjoys and takes pride in his game knows that several types of strokes are expected of him.

He'll need to be able to hit the ball off the tee and not have it veer off of the golf course and he'll need to hit a variety of shots off of perfect and imperfect lies in the grass.

He'll have to figure out how to putt and lastly, should an errant shot end up in a bunker, he must have the skill to extricate himself without resorting to picking up the ball with his hand and dropping it onto some cushy patch of grass at the cost of a mere one penalty stroke.

Erik's heart is in the right place, but ....

This idea has been mentioned several times before - that people would abuse this rule - and I think it is a bit of a red herring.

People don't go around taking unplayables every time their ball is within 2 club lengths of the fairway just so they can bump it over onto a perfect lie.  I think golfers in general have too much pride to abuse rules like that.  I think the only time that I would ever see somebody take an unplayable, their ball is actually unplayable.  Either plugged somewhere, or under a bush.

I just don't see that this rule change would be that big of a deal.  I think it would be fine.

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I'm not much of a traditionalist and I'm for almost anything that simplifies the rules and speeds up play. I can't say that I've seen people whacking away in a bunker more than a few times but I have seen times that the only reason they ever got out of there was that they gave up and threw it over in the grass so they could hit it. The big "speed up" rule to me would be to consider OB as a lateral but that's OT. ;-)
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I'm not much of a traditionalist and I'm for almost anything that simplifies the rules and speeds up play.

I can't say that I've seen people whacking away in a bunker more than a few times but I have seen times that the only reason they ever got out of there was that they gave up and threw it over in the grass so they could hit it.

The big "speed up" rule to me would be to consider OB as a lateral but that's OT.

Right.  And also remember that the only type of person out there that would just pick up and drop outside of a bunker because they can't hit out of bunkers would be the guy who takes 2 or 3 EVERY SINGLE TIME to get out of a bunker.  I don't know that I've ever encountered somebody like this.  (Not counting total beginners, of course)  Anybody else would always want to give it a shot.

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I'm not much of a traditionalist and I'm for almost anything that simplifies the rules and speeds up play.

Remove all bunkers, water hazards, trees, rough and make the hole 10" across. That will do both.

But that would remove the challenge of the game.

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Our wise friend, "turtleback," said it so well, "Why should we change the Rules to accommodate people who don't play by the old Rules and wouldn't, in all likelihood, play by the new Rules?" B-)

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Remove all bunkers, water hazards, trees, rough and make the hole 10" across. That will do both.

But that would remove the challenge of the game.


And I wouldn't be for any of those things. Hence my use of the word "almost".

If I could make up any rule I wanted the game would probably be even tougher than it is now (because I like "tough shots") but would keep people moving along.

Most of my rule changes wouldn't affect good players much at all but would come into play fairly often for poor players (who would be under an entirely different handicapping system anyway).

But most of that is not only a moot point but OT.

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You have NEVER seen a golfer take 5 strokes to get out of a bunker!

Seriously.....it really isn't that hard.

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

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Quote:

Originally Posted by David in FL

You have NEVER seen a golfer take 5 strokes to get out of a bunker!

Seriously.....it really isn't that hard.

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

I've seen several times when the player never did get out by way of making a stroke.  Had those players continued to demonstrate their lack of prowess rather than tossing the ball out, their bones might even yet be bleaching white in those bunkers today.  Some people never seem to understand how focusing on a full follow-through will usually get them out of the sand despite their many other mistakes, while stuffing the club into the sand will rarely move the ball more than a couple of feet even if everything else is done right.

That isn't saying that they should necessarily be given a "get of jail with one stroke card".  The more I follow this thread the less I am willing to back such a proposal.  If there was a way to define " unplayable" to virtual certainty then I might swing back again.  I do not favor giving players an easy out just because they are too lazy or inept to learn how to hit a bunker shot.

Anyone... ANYONE can learn how to at least escape from a bunker.  It may take more effort to learn to play well from the sand, but just to learn a proper explosion shot to get the ball back in play should not be beyond the reach of anyone who aspires to play golf by the rules.  I don't care about those who do not so aspire - they may do as they like, since they already do that anyway.

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Our wise friend, "turtleback," said it so well, "Why should we change the Rules to accommodate people who don't play by the old Rules and wouldn't, in all likelihood, play by the new Rules?" B-)

That's not the issue. At all. Also… I saw a ball bury in the back of a bunker once. The player had no options but to play it. Took him four strokes and destroyed the lip of the bunker.

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?? S&D; comes to mind.

Yeah. Except that was not gonna happen on a busy course. Wasn't a tournament. I'm not married to this idea. Just seems like removing the paragraph would be fine and a small improvement.

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Quote:

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?

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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?

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.

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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"! :-D

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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.

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