Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ask Linda #1085-Dangerous conditions

Hello Linda,
Who determines dangerous conditions in a hazard? I was playing a round of golf with others and one of the women determined that the sand wasps or bees in the bunker were dangerous conditions and decided to take relief. I played out of the same conditions on a previous hole and have played from the bunkers with the same conditions with no problem.
Should this be a Local Rule, or can anyone deem their own dangerous conditions?
Player took relief laterally out of the hazard. 
Thank you for your help.
Lulu from Rockland, Massachusetts

Dear Lulu,

Under the Rules, rattlesnakes, bees’ nests, alligators, and the like would be considered dangerous. These are unusual occurrences on a golf course, and would clearly pose a danger to the golfer [Decision 1-4/10]. On the other hand, dangerous plants such as poison ivy and cacti, while unpleasant, are common on a golf course, and players would not be entitled to free relief [Decision 1-4/11].

You don’t need a Local Rule to take relief from truly dangerous, life- or health-threatening situations. However, if the ball lies in a bunker, free relief does not lie outside the bunker. The player must drop a ball within one club-length and not nearer the hole than the nearest spot in the bunker that is free from danger. If there is no safe place in the bunker, the ball may be dropped in a nearby, similar bunker. If the ball must be dropped outside the bunker, the player must drop behind the bunker on the line-of-sight to the hole and add one penalty stroke to her score.

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