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The discussion is ALSO about changing a rule of the game.... which would surely warrant a holistic approach it.

No, this is about unplayable balls in a bunker. I'm not going to quote back the lines of discussion that got us here, except to point out that yes , generally bunkers are less penal than water hazards. This change suggest that it should be the case more often, specifically when a player takes an unplayable.

Also, it's bizarre to me that people want to continue to hammer away at things that don't sway my opinion at all, despite the fact that I've been very clear and honest about the one argument that does hold sway… :P

Finally, please multiquote.

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This is an incorrect hypothesis.  The other methods of taking relief from an unplayable lie do not guarantee you a good lie.  Even relief from obstructions or GUR don't offer any such guarantees.  You

I just don't get why bunkers are so special. Heck lets say a person was in some 6 inch tall rough. just on the top lip of a bunker. He would have a crazy hard shot to make, near impossible stance. Cou

Here's a question. Suppose I hit a 200 yard approach shot, it crosses the green into a greenside bunker, where it embeds in the wall at the farthest end of the bunker, and is unplayable. Here's the pr

No, this is about unplayable balls in a bunker. I'm not going to quote back the lines of discussion that got us here, except to point out that yes, generally bunkers are less penal than water hazards. This change suggest that it should be the case more often, specifically when a player takes an unplayable.

Also, it's bizarre to me that people want to continue to hammer away at things that don't sway my opinion at all, despite the fact that I've been very clear and honest about the one argument that does hold sway… :P

Finally, please multiquote.

Apologies on so many accounts.

I got carried away hammering with all the slamming of doors that was going on.

And I was wrong to think it this was a discussion rather than a task to sway your opinion.

I'm not trying to sway your opinion... I'm hammering away saying I don't agree with it

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Yes, lots of data, the only problem is deciding on which course of the 1000's that converted all their bunkers into water hazards to use (slight hint of sarcasm)

Of course there is no data to show this to be true.

I am using Erik's workings, you had no problem using these workings yourself.

Ball out of bunker: 1.75

Ball into water hazard (formerly bunker) : 2.5

The 2.5 being the penalty stroke and the 1.5 used for greenside rough (after drop)

So without asking my local course to do me a favour and convert there bunkers to water hazards... yes, scores would go up!

Discussion is always good as long as we don't let it get us upset or make our responses personal.  I respect your opinion.  What is being debated is whether one should be allowed to drop outside a bunker with an unplayable.  My reference to the above numbers, which were hypothetical, was that the average golfer would not take the penalty just to get out of the bunker with a good lie.

In my experience, when I was a higher handicap, whether I hit into a bunker or a green side pond, both represented a challenge to score par or bogey or more.  With the pond, I have the option of replaying the shot or taking the drop, both times I am taking the same penalty stroke but hitting a different distance.  And with both, I still have to hit it over the pond again.

The unplayable lie in a green side bunker requires me to drop in a bunker and presents the same challenge as a good lie in the bunker with the added stroke.  The pitch over the bunker is also a challenge for the higher handicap.  So I don't see it as that much of a gift to be allowed to drop outside.  It is just an option.  Right now we are not presented that option with the rules the way they are written.

What I am trying to understand is the intent of the difference in rules.  I don't think pitching over a pond is any easier or harder than pitching over a green bunker.

I will have to read The Principles of the Rules of Golf again to see if that was covered.

Lastly, I am not an expert, but I think a bunker would be cheaper to create and maintain than a pond.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hopefulhacker

Yes, lots of data, the only problem is deciding on which course of the 1000's that converted all their bunkers into water hazards to use (slight hint of sarcasm)

Of course there is no data to show this to be true.

I am using Erik's workings, you had no problem using these workings yourself.

Ball out of bunker: 1.75

Ball into water hazard (formerly bunker) : 2.5

The 2.5 being the penalty stroke and the 1.5 used for greenside rough (after drop)

So without asking my local course to do me a favour and convert there bunkers to water hazards... yes, scores would go up!

Discussion is always good as long as we don't let it get us upset or make our responses personal.  I respect your opinion.  What is being debated is whether one should be allowed to drop outside a bunker with an unplayable.  My reference to the above numbers, which were hypothetical, was that the average golfer would not take the penalty just to get out of the bunker with a good lie.

In my experience, when I was a higher handicap, whether I hit into a bunker or a green side pond, both represented a challenge to score par or bogey or more.  With the pond, I have the option of replaying the shot or taking the drop, both times I am taking the same penalty stroke but hitting a different distance.  And with both, I still have to hit it over the pond again.

The unplayable lie in a green side bunker requires me to drop in a bunker and presents the same challenge as a good lie in the bunker with the added stroke.  The pitch over the bunker is also a challenge for the higher handicap.  So I don't see it as that much of a gift to be allowed to drop outside.  It is just an option.  Right now we are not presented that option with the rules the way they are written.

What I am trying to understand is the intent of the difference in rules.  I don't think pitching over a pond is any easier or harder than pitching over a green bunker.

I will have to read The Principles of the Rules of Golf again to see if that was covered.

Lastly, I am not an expert, but I think a bunker would be cheaper to create and maintain than a pond.

The real point is that since the 3 normal options under Rule 28 would allow a drop either in or out of the bunker, it's only logical and equitable that the penalty should be more severe when allowed to escape the sand that it is for dropping in the sand.

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Also, it's bizarre to me that people want to continue to hammer away at things that don't sway my opinion at all, despite the fact that I've been very clear and honest about the one argument that does hold sway… :P

It doesn't happen often enough to matter IMO.   I reflected back on the 100s of rounds I have played and not once have I found myself with an unplayable in a bunker.  I have stood in near vertical sand to hit out before, which I did successfully by some miracle.

I don't think it's worth the effort to petition and would rather you petition to add a rule to address a ball that comes to rest in a divot.  I would bet the average golfer experiences this more often and it would be an easier, clearer rule to write/enforce.

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It doesn't happen often enough to matter IMO.   I reflected back on the 100s of rounds I have played and not once have I found myself with an unplayable in a bunker.  I have stood in near vertical sand to hit out before, which I did successfully by some miracle.

I don't think it's worth the effort to petition and would rather you petition to add a rule to address a ball that comes to rest in a divot.  I would bet the average golfer experiences this more often and it would be an easier, clearer rule to write/enforce.

True. It did happen to my son, though. He might be inclined to vote for a rules change. B-)

On the other hand, it only cost him one stroke to knock it back out again. It was funny that we looked for the ball everywhere, and when the search time was almost over he saw it under the lip.

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We know that you're not applying that rule, but it's still relevant. Just as bushes are. Similar situations should be treated similarly, and since water hazards and bunkers are both hazards, they're quite relevant. That's why bushes are relevant - they aren't hazards at all, but they tie in via the unplayable ball line of thought.

Here's some basic math. Let's assume that a player averages 1.75 strokes to get up and down from a bunker. They average 1.5 from a lie in the grass near the green.

Scenario 1: Ball hit into greenside rough:

Total shots to hole out: 1.5

Scenario 2: Ball hit into bunker.

Total shots to hole out: 1.75.

Scenario 3: Ball hit into bunker, buries, takes unplayable.

Total shots to hole out currently: 2.75.

Total shots to hole out if paragraph deleted: 2.5.

Scenario 3b: Ball hit into front of pot bunker, player takes unplayable.

Total shots to hole out if player just whacks away (no unplayable): ???

Total shots to hole out currently: 2.75.

Total shots to hole out if paragraph deleted: 2.5.

Scenario 4: Ball hit into water hazard instead of bunker:

Total shots to hole out: 2.5.

So in some ways, it boils down to this question: why should luck dictate whether a ball burying under the lip makes a bunker more penal than a water hazard (going from 2.5, which matches a water hazard and increases the shot 0.75 strokes over a ball in the middle of the bunker, to 2.75, 0.25 shots more than a water hazard)? I know you can't legislate against luck, but in this case "luck" is clearly costing the player a full stroke rather than the 0.75 it could cost him with the paragraph deleted.

I agree that you can't fully legislate luck out of the game of golf, but, as you point out, the rules can be written in a way to increase or decrease the role luck plays.  Personally, I would like the rules be written in a way that reduces the role of luck when practical, but I guess that is why I prefer to play poker or blackjack as opposed to slot machines that offer no skill element.  Slot machines tend to be more popular with the general public (based on space given on the average Vegas casino floor), so maybe the majority of people favor having a stronger luck element in their games of choice.

I don't think it's worth the effort to petition and would rather you petition to add a rule to address a ball that comes to rest in a divot.  I would bet the average golfer experiences this more often and it would be an easier, clearer rule to write/enforce.

I completely disagree that it would be easier to write/enforce a rule about divot relief.  Erik's proposal simply removes a paragraph that takes away an option that is currently present everywhere but a bunker- no writing is required and the enforcement is exactly the same as the current unplayable lie rule outside the bunker.  A divot rule would have to define what is a divot- not so clear IMO.  This has been discussed in other threads, but how old a divot would you be able to take relief from?  What if it was 10% or 50% or 90% healed?

In regards to the role of luck discussion, a divot rule would reduce the role luck plays but playing from bad lies is a skill that would also be made less important by adopting a divot relief rule.

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" water hazards and bunkers are both hazards"

That is the only thing they have in common. They are hazards. It is simply a word used to indicate they are not TTG, putting greens or teeing grounds. It also indicates that its not a good idea to get involved with them as they are a "danger or risk"

Why should the procedures involved be the same if the physical attributes are not?

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" water hazards and bunkers are both hazards"

That is the only thing they have in common. They are hazards. It is simply a word used to indicate they are not TTG, putting greens or teeing grounds. It also indicates that its not a good idea to get involved with them as they are a "danger or risk"

Why should the procedures involved be the same if the physical attributes are not?

The physical attributes of a bush, a boundary fence/wall, deep rough and trees are also different.  Would you advocate having different unplayable lie procedures for each of these?  From a simplicity standpoint, I favor having 1 procedure or set of options apply to as many situations as possible rather than having different procedures/options for minimally different situations.

Several have stated that having the same unplayable lie procedure for bunkers could lead to some players avoiding bunker shots completely by always taking a penalty drop outside the bunker, thus obviating the need to learn to play from bunkers.  What % of golfers who actually follow all the rules do you think would do this?

My thinking is that only bad golfers would consistently take penalty drops outside bunkers and that very few bad golfers actually follow all the rules.  Put another way, of those that currently play by the rules of golf, very few would actually "abuse" or "overuse" the ability to take a penalty drop outside a bunker as playing bunker shots without penalty is almost always going to be the better option.  Also, the ones who always dropped outside bunkers would score higher than those who learned to play it from the bunker meaning that good bunker play would still be a worthwhile skill to have even if you were allowed to take an unplayable lie drop outside bunkers.

I think there are really only 2 valid/logical arguments for having unplayable lies from bunkers treated differently:

1.  Increase the role luck plays- i.e. with a ball buried in the lip of a bunker, you would have been much better off if the ball had carried a couple feet more OR less.

2.  Have the penalty for hitting into certain bunkers be more than 1 stroke- i.e. pot bunkers where your best option is going to be equal or worse than a penalty drop behind the bunker.

I prefer to reduce the role of luck.  While avoiding pot bunkers adds a strategic element and seeing Tiger on his knees hitting out sideways does make for good TV, I think pot bunkers do add to the role luck plays for the following reasons:

1.  An unusually hard or crooked bounce can put a well played/well thought out shot into one of these bunkers while some poorly played/thought out shots might miss the bunker due to a crooked or soft bounce.  Sure, good and bad bounces are part of the game, but pot bunkers make them more beneficial or costly.

2.  Many of these bunkers are blind and located in what one would assume is fairway, so good luck or extensive course knowledge is needed to avoid them.

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I prefer to reduce the role of luck.  While avoiding pot bunkers adds a strategic element and seeing Tiger on his knees hitting out sideways does make for good TV, I think pot bunkers do add to the role luck plays for the following reasons:

1.  An unusually hard or crooked bounce can put a well played/well thought out shot into one of these bunkers while some poorly played/thought out shots might miss the bunker due to a crooked or soft bounce.  Sure, good and bad bounces are part of the game, but pot bunkers make them more beneficial or costly.

2.  Many of these bunkers are blind and located in what one would assume is fairway, so good luck or extensive course knowledge is needed to avoid them.

It seems to me that you are only preferring to reduce the role of BAD luck.

Besides you seem to mix Rules and course planning. Good course planning means all hazards are visible from the tee which brightens the idea behind them: plan your play to avoid them....

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Besides you seem to mix Rules and course planning. Good course planning means all hazards are visible from the tee which brightens the idea behind them: plan your play to avoid them....

I disagree with that (as would the Old Course at St. Andrews). Anyway… As I've said, given how infrequently this ruling would actually benefit those (ball plugs in face of bunker), and the greater likelihood of possible abuse (ball is in front corner of sod-faced Scotland bunker), I agree that the current ruling is fine. #mindchanged #devilsadvocate :D

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I disagree with that (as would the Old Course at St. Andrews).

Anyway… As I've said, given how infrequently this ruling would actually benefit those (ball plugs in face of bunker), and the greater likelihood of possible abuse (ball is in front corner of sod-faced Scotland bunker), I agree that the current ruling is fine.

#mindchanged

#devilsadvocate :D

#quitter. :-D

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I would definitely sign that petition.

One of the city courses ( @saevel25 probably knows which one I'm talking about) has horrible bunkers full of crappy sand and big rocks. I want to drop outside just to save face, the face of my sand wedge that is.

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I disagree with that (as would the Old Course at St. Andrews).

Anyway… As I've said, given how infrequently this ruling would actually benefit those (ball plugs in face of bunker), and the greater likelihood of possible abuse (ball is in front corner of sod-faced Scotland bunker), I agree that the current ruling is fine.

#mindchanged

#devilsadvocate :D

Speaking of sod-faced bunkers, this is the pic depicting the thread on this site.....

Interestingly, it's tough to tell from this pic, but if this were a sod-faced (stacked turf) bunker, the player would be entitled to drop as far back behind the bunker as he likes, keeping this point between him and the hole.

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Speaking of sod-faced bunkers, this is the pic depicting the thread on this site.....

Interestingly, it's tough to tell from this pic, but if this were a sod-faced (stacked turf) bunker, the player would be entitled to drop as far back behind the bunker as he likes, keeping this point between him and the hole.

Interesting.  Is that because the ball is not technically IN the bunker?  To be considered IN the bunker, would it have to be touching sand?

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Interesting.  Is that because the ball is not technically IN the bunker?  To be considered IN the bunker, would it have to be touching sand?


No, it's because bunker walls constructed of stacked turf are not part of the bunker - see definition of bunker.

Dirt walls are part of the bunker.

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Thanks for playing devil's advocate.

I don't know that I agree with A. Bunkers might sometimes turn out to be more penal than a hazard (and this rule is a big part of that), but I don't know that they're "supposed" to be. Who says? I think the overwhelming majority of the time, they're less penal, and they're generally regarded as such. Take for example the Road Hole bunker… people have managed to hole out from it. If instead of sand there were two feet of water there, everyone would take a one-stroke penalty.

And I don't know that I agree with B either. Water hazards have distinct lines, and thus you can estimate where they crossed the lines. There are no such lines in tall grass (through the green), and since you've lost track of your golf ball, stroke and distance makes sense.

Hazards (water or sand) are not through the green. You can play your ball - without grounding your clubs - from either hazard. Yet from a bunker, you can't drop outside the bunker as you can from a water hazard, despite there being a very clear line that separates "bunker" from "through the green."


I remember watching the Memorial a few years back - and it was discussed that Jack removed every other tyne from the rakes, so that the bunkers couldn't be raked perfectly smooth. As the bunkers should be a penalty... and the way bunkers are manicured on most courses, players almost always prefer a bunker opposed to being in the rough.

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I remember watching the Memorial a few years back - and it was discussed that Jack removed every other tyne from the rakes, so that the bunkers couldn't be raked perfectly smooth. As the bunkers should be a penalty... and the way bunkers are manicured on most courses, players almost always prefer a bunker opposed to being in the rough.

I think that was the same year they had the Open at Oakmont because I remember the discussion about this coming up in regards to the Open as well.  I guess "furrowed" bunkers was a thing a long time ago, and he and the USGA were considering the idea of bringing them back.  That would be fine by me.

It's simply about knowing what to expect.  I don't have any problem with hard bunkers or soft bunkers, but I should be able to plan for it.  I would be able to plan for intentional furrows.  It's the unraked footprints that can be a little frustrating, because they can make what should have been a do-able shot into a really difficult shot.  The other thing about bunkers that's frustrating is when they vary a lot within a course.  Some really hard, some really soft sand, some in between.

There is nothing at all wrong with bunkers being penal unless it's a situation that you can't plan your strategy around.

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