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Unplayables in a Bunker

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What the hell is wrong with dropping in the damn bunker? If you take the two club-lengths provision, do it sideways, not backwards, the rule says no nearer to the hole... the rule doesn't say you must take 2 club lengths immediately behind your original position... do it laterally if you plug it under the lip, and your ball will never bury... because when you drop it will hit the upslope of the bunker and roll down... I played in a tournament a couple years ago, and I plugged one under the lip, knowing the rule, I took an unplayable lie and went two club lengths sideways, took my drop it rolled down to the flat (less than two club lengths), and I holed the bunker shot for par... Moral of the story bunkers aren't that terrible, occasionally you will get a terrible break in one, the rules though sometimes they seem very penal, are also there to help you if you understand the interpretation... I was questioned by the committee about the drop, and after it was explained to them they determined I had followed Rule 28 correctly...

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There was a time when you could have an unplayable in a bunker, if you took the distance option there was no penalty, the Open at Troon I want to say in 1950? Roberto DiVicenzo plugged his ball in the face of a bunker at No. 8, (the postage stamp) immediately went back to the tee stuffed it and made a 3... it was Whatever one the Troon was a par 70... DiVicenzo finished second... that's all I know...

But one doesn't even need the unplayable lie rule in a situation like this.  You can always replay a shot whose result you do not like, at a penalty of stroke and distance.  Rule 27-1 pretty well covers that, and needs no recourse to rule 28.

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But one doesn't even need the unplayable lie rule in a situation like this.  You can always replay a shot whose result you do not like, at a penalty of stroke and distance.  Rule 27-1 pretty well covers that, and needs no recourse to rule 28.

He hit it stone dead he didn't hole his next shot, auto-correct changed my "stiffed" to "stuffed", but he did make par... as in 1950 their was no stroke-and-distance provision in the unplayable lie rule, it was a distance rule, if you replayed from the original position there was no stroke added to the distance penalty... Maybe their is your solution Erik, get rid of the stroke part in provision A and leave B and C the same, but only on unplayable in bunkers... lol

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The suggestion seems fairly equitable and simplifying to treat all hazards similarly.

It might be perceived as allowing someone to avoid acquiring the skill to hit a shot that is an established part of the game. But you are still taking a penalty stroke to do it. It would likely make really deep fairway bunkers less penal, wouldn't it?

Would you also suggest allowing a casual water drop outside a bunker or still treat bunkers differently in that case?

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Casual water is water accumulated at low spots in the golf course and aren't part of normally in play. I'd still allow this drop. Bunkers? I'd allow a drop with a 1 stroke penalty.

There's one public course up here with a greenside bunker. You can hit into it, and the bunkers aren't well maintained so your ball is going to roll. Half of the bunker has a tree overhanging it such that it is impossible to hit out onto the green. It takes two strokes to hit out. One stroke to hit to another part of the bunker, and another to get out of the bunker. Plus there's rocks in it. If I hit that bunker I'm using a hand wedge + 1 stroke. I'm probably not playing with anyone anyway. It's just a practice round. Should be a 1 stroke penalty and drop no closer to the hole from point of entry.

Then there are these people who have these brilliant ideas of planting trees on the greenward side of fairway bunkers so that only the best players can actually hit out around the tree. Why? It's hard enough with the fairway bunker. So plant a tree and make it an even tougher penalty? Hit the tree and have the ball go OB, and you've got to drop in the bunker again. 1 stroke penalty and drop out of the bunker no closer to the hole from point of entry.

The thing about sand is that you can trace the point of entry very easily. ... usually.... unless it's from a high approach shot that hits like a meteor.

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Yesterday's round in CT had ice in the green side bunker. I considered it to be casual water but the rules don't specifically refer to "ice" and what to do. Just thought I'd drop in with my recent experience.

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What to do with ice is explained under the definition of Loose Impediments.

"Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player." So, in a bunker you would treat natural ice as casual water.

Edit:  Also remember you are not allowed to touch or move loose impediments in a hazard, (when your ball is in the same hazard,) so it would be a penalty to consider ice or snow a loose impediments and remove.

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What to do with ice is explained under the definition of Loose Impediments. "Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player." So, in a bunker you would treat natural ice as casual water. Edit:  Also remember you are not allowed to touch or move loose impediments in a hazard, (when your ball is in the same hazard,) so it would be a penalty to consider ice or snow a loose impediments and remove.

Sometimes, there is a local rule in place that allows you to remove stones from bunkers, because it could be potentially hazardous to your health... no pun intended...

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dormie1360

What to do with ice is explained under the definition of Loose Impediments.

"Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player."  So, in a bunker you would treat natural ice as casual water.

Edit:  Also remember you are not allowed to touch or move loose impediments in a hazard, (when your ball is in the same hazard,) so it would be a penalty to consider ice or snow a loose impediments and remove.

Sometimes, there is a local rule in place that allows you to remove stones from bunkers, because it could be potentially hazardous to your health... no pun intended...

That Local Rule designates those stones (normally loose impediments) in bunkers as movable obstructions, thus permitting their removal.

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That Local Rule designates those stones (normally loose impediments) in bunkers as movable obstructions, thus permitting their removal.

Bit of a tangent really but notice the subtle difference in that LR and the young trees LR.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Asheville

That Local Rule designates those stones (normally loose impediments) in bunkers as movable obstructions, thus permitting their removal.

Bit of a tangent really but notice the subtle difference in that LR and the young trees LR.

The magic of words ... we transform young trees into obstructions. (Old trees, however, just stand around and complain at the special treatment given the youth. "It wasn't like that in my day, no sir!" groused the stately oak.)

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The magic of words ... we transform young trees into obstructions. (Old trees, however, just stand around and complain at the special treatment given the youth. "It wasn't like that in my day, no sir!" groused the stately oak.)

I must admit I share the oak's sentiments at times but my point was  - we don't transform them into obstructions

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Basically the gross point we're trying to make here, is unplayables in bunkers, not young trees and old trees... Like I said, before if you have an unplayable in the bunker, if you choose the option of two club-lengths, go laterally from the spot where it is unplayable and take your two club-lengths from there... the only caveat of the two club-lengths is NOT NEARER TO THE HOLE the rule says absolutely nothing about the direction that you choose to go... So for example... You hit your shot underneath the lip of the bunker that has very soft sand, after your laced 4-iron from 200 yards, just didn't have enough... You're obviously not going to want to go back to 200 yards... So you will either go backwards within the bunker or take two club-lengths... If you take the backwards route your ball will almost certainly semi-bury, and the chances of saving 5 are almost out the window, same if you take your two club-lengths kind of diagonal... So if you were to drop in the bunker situate your drop so that your drop point is on the slope of the bunker, and let gravity roll the ball down the slope into the lower part of the bunker... You probably can save 5 half the time... hell you may even hole it... The rule that pisses me off is sand filled divots not being ground under repair... which they are by definition... but that is a different thread entirely

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I must admit I share the oak's sentiments at times but my point was  - we don't transform them into obstructions

Unless it happens to be the "Ticket Oak" then it would be an immovable obstruction... Trees are obstructions, but they're fixed or growing... so you don't get free relief...

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Trees are obstructions, but they're fixed or growing... ...

You are confusing the use of the words in the definition of a loose impediment .

Loose impediments ’’ are natural objects, .... provided they are not: fixed or growing,

An obstruction ’’ is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured ice,

Trees don't match that definition.

Perhaps you meant obstacle?

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Basically the gross point we're trying to make here, is unplayables in bunkers, not young trees and old trees...

Like I said, before if you have an unplayable in the bunker, if you choose the option of two club-lengths, go laterally from the spot where it is unplayable and take your two club-lengths from there... the only caveat of the two club-lengths isNOT NEARER TO THE HOLE the rule says absolutely nothing about the direction that you choose to go...

So for example...

You hit your shot underneath the lip of the bunker that has very soft sand, after your laced 4-iron from 200 yards, just didn't have enough...

You're obviously not going to want to go back to 200 yards...

So you will either go backwards within the bunker or take two club-lengths...

If you take the backwards route your ball will almost certainly semi-bury, and the chances of saving 5 are almost out the window, same if you take your two club-lengths kind of diagonal...

So if you were to drop in the bunker situate your drop so that your drop point is on the slope of the bunker, and let gravity roll the ball down the slope into the lower part of the bunker...

You probably can save 5 half the time... hell you may even hole it...

The rule that pisses me off is sand filled divots not being ground under repair... which they are by definition... but that is a different thread entirely

You make some assumptions which may or may not have any validity.  As far as the ball being semi buried when dropped, a lot depends on the bunker - firmness, shape, location taking relief from, etc.  It is possible that the ball just trickles into a bunker and falls in and stops against the back lip, with no swing that would allow you to advance the ball, and with no real option as to where you drop.  You could be forced to drop into a lie where you are hitting from the downslope at the back of the bunker, or there might even be no option at all for a drop and you either play out sideways or return to the original spot.  I've even seen sand that would leave a bad, buried lie from a failed flop shot, that could easily be unplayable on the downslope at the back of the bunker, with no drop that doesn't leave the same downhill lie.

As with any dropping situation, the smart golfer knows and examines all of his options under the rules when put in a difficult position.  He chooses the path of least resistance as quickly as possible and plays on.  Last Friday I was twice faced with my ball lying on the gravel/dirt cart path.  In both cases I played the ball as it lay because the NPR was less favorable than the cart path.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rulesman

I must admit I share the oak's sentiments at times but my point was  - we don't transform them into obstructions

Unless it happens to be the "Ticket Oak" then it would be an immovable obstruction...

Trees are obstructions, but they're fixed or growing... so you don't get free relief...

If you are going to give advice in the Rules section, you need to do a better job of reading the rule book, especially the definitions.  Applying the rules correctly is nearly impossible in some situations unless you know how certain terms are defined, and "obstruction" is one of those terms.  There is a reason why the Definitions section comes before the Rules section.

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Note: This thread is 2141 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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