Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ask Linda #710-Relief in damp bunker

Linda, I was wondering if you can help me with this rule? So yesterday we were golfing and my partner hit a ball into a bunker which seemed pretty damp, but no visible signs of water. As he stepped into the sand it was definitely damp. He asked me for relief, but I did not see a reason to give him any, so was I wrong? Does he get a free relief?
Any help on this would be appreciated. 

Thank you,
Lou from California

Dear Lou,

You were correct.

A player is entitled to free relief from casual water. Casual water is defined as “any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his stance.”

Damp sand is not an accumulation of water. Unless you were able to see water rising around the player’s shoes when he took his stance, he was not standing in casual water and was not entitled to free relief.

Soft, mushy earth anywhere on the course is not casual water unless you can see water on the surface before or after a player takes his stance [Decision 25/1].

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