Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ask Linda #372-GUR near bunker

Hi Linda–

At our usual Wednesday competition, at the 3rd tee par 5, my partner hit his approach shot and landed in a bunker. To hit his shot, he would have one leg standing in a GUR just outside the bunker.

A dispute arose:

(1) Is he entitled to any relief?  His  BALL is NOT in the GUR but in the hazard although one of his legs or even both his legs are standing in a GUR.

(2) If he is entitled to relief, how is that to be taken? He said he is entitled to relief by dropping the ball IN THE BUNKER not nearer the hole so that he does not stand in the GUR.

(3) Can he hit the ball in the bunker as the ball lies, still with his feet in the GUR?

We could not find any ruling in the Decisions for Golf Rules. Please help.

Thank you

Dear Lou,

A player is entitled to free relief if ground under repair interferes with his stance or the area of his intended swing [Rule 25-1a]. Since the player in your scenario had to place one foot in GUR in order to take his stance, he was entitled to relief. However, his relief was somewhat restricted, because his ball was in a bunker.

The player has three choices:

1. Play the ball as it lies. There is no requirement that you take relief from GUR, unless the Local Rules specify that players are not permitted to enter GUR. An example of such prohibition would be if the area designated as GUR were newly planted grass.

2. Drop the ball in the bunker within one club-length of the nearest point of relief [Rule 25-1b (ii) a].

3. Drop a ball behind the bunker under penalty of one stroke anywhere on the line-of-sight to the hole [Rule 25-1b (ii) b].

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.