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Nowhere to drop no nearer the Hole

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Nowhere to drop no nearer the Hole

Postby don » Tue May 19, 2015 9:59 am

Question sent to me by PM So I am re posting it here.

.We have just added steps down into 3 pot bunkers surrrounding a green.
The steps have been built so they do not protrude into the bunker at all and are completely outside of the bunker although they follow the contours of the bunker.
The Wooden steps leading into a bunker (photo below), are artificial and are therefore immovable obstructions and relief can be taken; but what about in the bunker as it is not possible to drop the ball in the bunker without it being nearer to the hole.
Please advise.
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Re: Nowhere to drop no nearer the Hole

Postby Johanna » Tue May 19, 2015 10:27 am

I received your rules question by a private message but I cannot see any pictures of the three pot bunkers with steps.
From your description the steps are outside the bunker so to get relieve from the steps you need not drop the ball in the bunker.

Rule 24-2b(i) says you should find the nearest place not nearer the hole and NOT in a hazard (bunker, water hazard) where the steps (immovable obstructions) don't interfere any more, and drop your ball within one clublength from that point without penalty.

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Re: Nowhere to drop no nearer the Hole

Postby Colin L » Tue May 19, 2015 10:38 am

I wrote this just as Johanna was answering, but I think the questioner was asking about when a ball is in the bunker and there is interference by the steps and so Im posting it.

I think you should advise him of the player's remaining options for a ball in the bunker where there is interference -play it as it lies, drop outside the bunker under penalty on a line from the hole through the ball and play under penalty from where he played his previous shot - and suggest that it's no big problem because interference from the step is probably no different from your ball being so close to the wall of the bunker that you have to play out sideways. It might even make it slightly easier. I'm not seeing the photo but if you cut steps into a steep to near vertical bank, you create a bit of a gap where there is less of the bunker wall to get in the road, don't you?
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Re: Nowhere to drop no nearer the Hole

Postby 999Q » Sat May 23, 2015 5:13 pm

I also received this question from mikewboz with this photo of the bunker steps;
Bunker steps.jpg

Here is my reply to his email;
"As you say, the artificial steps are outside of the bunker. If a player's ball lies in the bunker and the steps interfere with their intended stance or area of swing, they may take relief under Rule 24-2. If they cannot drop a ball in the bunker, not nearer the hole they have to choose whether to play the ball as it lies (sideways or backwards), take a penalty of one stroke and play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (Rule 28a), or drop a ball 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. Rule 24-2b(ii)b."

On re-reading my reply I see that I did not make it clear that the last option is ualso under penalty of one stroke.

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Re: Nowhere to drop no nearer the Hole

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Sat May 23, 2015 8:41 pm

The committee could declare the steps as being an integral part of the course but I would not recommend it as there would be no free relief and would be would be very harsh on the player.
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