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Unplayable ball in the bunker

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Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby david » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:40 pm

Hi all, I'd like to ask a question re Unplayable Ball Rule 28. This rule gives three choices in the event of declaring a ball unplayable; A/playing from original spot from which original ball was played, B/ Dropping behind the point where the ball lay keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped with no limit to how far behind that point, or C/ drop a ball within two club lengths of the spot where the ball lay not nearer the hole. However it clearly states that 'if the ball is in a bunker,the player can proceed under A,B,or C but if he elects to proceed under BorC the ball MUST BE DROPPED IN THE BUNKER. A number of my club colleagues argue that such a player is entitled to proceed under all these clauses and do not have to drop back into the bunker. (under penalty of course). I believe they are wrong and would be grateful for your ruling before the argument becomes more heated!! Many thanks.
.
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby RJM » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:14 pm

No need for a "ruling" as the Rule itself is very clear - if the ball in a bunker is deemed unplayable, and the player wishes to proceed under option b) or option c), the ball MUST be dropped in the bunker. Only option a) permits the player to drop where his last stroke was made, which may be outside the bunker.
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby david » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:47 pm

Thankyou, One further point if I may; what if a bunker is completely full of water? I know that the rule here is that (although perhaps unfair) the ball has to be dropped outside the bunker under penalty! I assume that the ball can be returned to the original spot last played but if the player does not wish this, what is the alternative procedure? Does he drop back from the bunker two club lengths?
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby Doug » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:29 am

As you say, he may play under stroke and distance but the comes under the casual water rule not unplayable.
He may take a free drop in the bunker at the point he gets maximum relief, not nearer the hole. ie the ball or his feet may still be in water.
Or 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.

See http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-dec ... 5,d25-1b-8

Ideally, the committee should declare the whole bunker as GUR (which means it is now Through the Green and not a hazard).
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby david » Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:34 am

Thanks Doug for making this so clear, this happens regularly on my course and, to my knowledge, nobody has ever mentioned the casual water rule! The problem we have on my course is that most of the bunkers fill completely with water and it just not possible to drop anywhere in the bunker so as you say, we have no alternative but to drop outside under penalty on one stroke. I also take your point re GUR and will approach the committee accordingly. Anyway thanks once again for your help!
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby Doug » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:28 pm

David

It may be worth noting that if more than 50% of your bunkers are 'out of play', competitions are deemed to be non-qualifiers in England. The other home unions haven't published a figure to the best of my knowledge .
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby Colin L » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:28 pm

I can confirm that I was unable to get any figure from Scottish Golf.
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby david » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:01 am

Thanks again Doug and also Colin. Gents, one more query if I may, under normal rules with regards to Casual Water, a player would have a free drop? So am I correct in saying because the ball is in a bunker this would not be the case and the player would receive a one stroke penalty? (If that is the case it seems rather unfair but if that is the rule.......... ! Thanks again
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby Doug » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:27 am

David
There is no penalty if the ball is dropped in the bunker, only if he drops outside.

This only applies if the bunker is 'in play'. If it is 'out of play' (ie declared GUR by Local Rule and no longer a bunker but simply through the green), there is no penalty at all.
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Re: Unplayable ball in the bunker

Postby david » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:08 pm

Thanks Doug that's very clear. Ill leave you alone now until the next time!!
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