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Ball against bunker bulkhead

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This is a golf hole from the Heathland course down in Myrtle Beach. If a ball in the bunker rolls up against the pilings in the bulkhead - note red X - what is the ruling? Would a player have to take a penalty stroke and drop back, or what? I'm not sure if pilings are considered part of hazard.

BulkheadGolf.thumb.jpg.16905717d3327a99be366d5ec5b9ae83.jpg

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You may take normal relief from an Immovable Obstruction without penalty, by dropping the ball within the bunker. Or you may drop the ball outside the bunker with a 1 stroke penalty.

Extract from Rule 24-2b

(ii) In a Bunker: If the ball is in a bunker, the player must lift the ball and drop it either:

(a) Without penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above, except that the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker; or

(b) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped.

Full rule here:-

http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!rule-24,24-2

Edited by Rulesman

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I think that is integral to the course and thus not an obstruction therefore play it as it lies or take unplayable.

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I looked at the scorecard, and the issue isn't addressed on it.  If you get a chance, you might want to ask in the pro shop about the status of the wood pilings adjacent to the bunker, is it defined as part of the bunker, or is it an obstruction.  If it was me, in an informal situation (like most Myrtle Beach excursions), I'd have said to play it as an obstruction, under the rule that @Rulesman quoted.

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4 hours ago, Rulesman said:

I should have added that you may have to check the Local Rules at that course.

Absolutely agree with checking with the course/committee.

In the absence of specific evidence to the contrary though, I'd have a hard time seeing such a wall as anything but an integral part of the course.  In reality, no different than a stacked turf bunker face even though the material chosen by the designer is "unnatural".  As such, I couldn't, in good conscience, allow (or take) relief from an obstruction.

Play it as it lies, or declare it unplayable and take relief under Rule 28.

 

6 hours ago, ev780 said:

I think that is integral to the course and thus not an obstruction therefore play it as it lies or take unplayable.

Agree.

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David, since it meets the Definition of obstruction, it must be considered so unless the Local Rule says otherwise.

Edited by Asheville

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8 minutes ago, Asheville said:

David, since it meets the Definition of obstruction, it must be considered so unless the Local Rule says otherwise.

Got  it.  Thanks.

If I were the committee, or we were acting as our own committee, I don't see how we could do anything but consider it an integral part of the course though.

Courses, especially resort courses, do some weird things though, so I understand.  

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We played a PGA Carolinas Section event there and the NtC declared it to be an integral part of the course, which is correct imo. 

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5 hours ago, David in FL said:

Courses, especially resort courses, do some weird things though, so I understand.  

 

30 minutes ago, Martyn W said:

We played a PGA Carolinas Section event there and the NtC declared it to be an integral part of the course, which is correct imo. 

I wouldn't be surprised if, for normal "resort" play, the course defined these bulkheads as obstructions.  The last thing the course wants is a player injuring himself by trying to hit a shot and striking the railroad ties instead, and allowing relief would probably speed play slightly.  I'm definitely not surprised that for a proper competition that they were defined as an integral part of the course.

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14 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I wouldn't be surprised if, for normal "resort" play, the course defined these bulkheads as obstructions.  The last thing the course wants is a player injuring himself by trying to hit a shot and striking the railroad ties instead, and allowing relief would probably speed play slightly.  I'm definitely not surprised that for a proper competition that they were defined as an integral part of the course.

Exactly.  If I was playing there (not in a tournament or have money on the line) I would move the ball back just enough to remove any doubt about injury and still keeping myself playing the next shot within the spirit of where the ball originally lie...most likely sideways.

One course I play down here is tight and tree-lined (dense at that).  The men's golf association has a "root" rule that you can move the ball as minimally as you can to avoid injury.  Often times those roots are not within the tree line but in areas where you wouldn't expect it.  In tournaments we play it down and with normal rules but on regular days or leagues they allow some relief.  In the years I've played there i've only ever moved the ball 2-3 times. One time, in our club championship, I had a pretty good shock in my left wrist hitting a shot though...

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1 hour ago, Martyn W said:

We played a PGA Carolinas Section event there and the NtC declared it to be an integral part of the course, which is correct imo. 

How about exposed portions of bunker liners?  I thought those were considered immovable obstructions (including a reference I saw from carolinasgolf.org).  I would have thought these pilings would be treated similarly.

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1 hour ago, NCGolfer said:

Exactly.  If I was playing there (not in a tournament or have money on the line) I would move the ball back just enough to remove any doubt about injury and still keeping myself playing the next shot within the spirit of where the ball originally lie...most likely sideways.

One course I play down here is tight and tree-lined (dense at that).  The men's golf association has a "root" rule that you can move the ball as minimally as you can to avoid injury.  Often times those roots are not within the tree line but in areas where you wouldn't expect it.  In tournaments we play it down and with normal rules but on regular days or leagues they allow some relief.  In the years I've played there i've only ever moved the ball 2-3 times. One time, in our club championship, I had a pretty good shock in my left wrist hitting a shot though...

The "root rule" seems very strange to me as there is already the unplayable lie rule to take care of that situation.  But that group can play whatever rules they want, just don't post the scores.

Being by a root is probably the most common situation where I take relief and a penalty under the unplayable lie rule.

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1 hour ago, NCGolfer said:

Exactly.  If I was playing there (not in a tournament or have money on the line) I would move the ball back just enough to remove any doubt about injury and still keeping myself playing the next shot within the spirit of where the ball originally lie...most likely sideways.

One course I play down here is tight and tree-lined (dense at that).  The men's golf association has a "root" rule that you can move the ball as minimally as you can to avoid injury.  Often times those roots are not within the tree line but in areas where you wouldn't expect it.  In tournaments we play it down and with normal rules but on regular days or leagues they allow some relief.  In the years I've played there i've only ever moved the ball 2-3 times. One time, in our club championship, I had a pretty good shock in my left wrist hitting a shot though...

There is actually a 'root rule' which was revised in 2012. Prior to that no relief at all was available.

33-8/8

 

Local Rule Providing Relief from Tree Roots

Q.May a Committee make a Local Rule providing relief without penalty if a player's stroke is interfered with by exposed tree roots?

A.A Local Rule is authorized only if an abnormal condition exists. Generally, the existence of exposed tree roots is not abnormal. However, if the exposed tree roots are encroaching on to the fairway, a Committee would be authorized to make a Local Rule providing relief under Rule 25-1 for interference from exposed tree roots when a ball lies on a closely-mown area. The Committee may restrict relief to interference for the lie of ball and the area of intended swing.

1 hour ago, Missouri Swede said:

How about exposed portions of bunker liners?  I thought those were considered immovable obstructions (including a reference I saw from carolinasgolf.org).  I would have thought these pilings would be treated similarly.

Bunker liners are IOs, pilings are used (for the most part) to prevent the bunker from collapsing making them, by definition, an Integral Part of the Course.

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3 minutes ago, Martyn W said:

There is actually a 'root rule' which was revised in 2012. Prior to that no relief at all was available.

33-8/8

 

Local Rule Providing Relief from Tree Roots

Q.May a Committee make a Local Rule providing relief without penalty if a player's stroke is interfered with by exposed tree roots?

A.A Local Rule is authorized only if an abnormal condition exists. Generally, the existence of exposed tree roots is not abnormal. However, if the exposed tree roots are encroaching on to the fairway, a Committee would be authorized to make a Local Rule providing relief under Rule 25-1 for interference from exposed tree roots when a ball lies on a closely-mown area. The Committee may restrict relief to interference for the lie of ball and the area of intended swing.

That's good to know and I like that rule.  I wish that would just be a regular rule as opposed to a local rule.

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Another odd local rule, this time from both Talamore and MidSouth in Pinehurst.  At those courses a ball out of bounds is simply moved to the nearest location in bounds, without penalty. Again, I'm sure this is a decision made to minimize slow play.  I doubt that the Newport Cup will be played with that particular rule in effect.

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Note: This thread is 809 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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