Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ask Linda #1129-Remove stone under ball in bunker

Linda, we know a local rule allows players to remove rocks from a sand trap but what if the rock lies directly under your ball?
Lulu from Mansfield, Texas

Dear Lulu,

Ordinarily, stones are loose impediments. Players are not permitted to touch or move loose impediments in a bunker (two-stroke/loss of hole penalty).

The Local Rule that allows players to remove stones from bunkers permits the Committee to label the stones “movable obstructions,” which means that Rule 24-1 explains how to proceed.

Under Rule 24-1, players are permitted to take free relief from movable obstructions. If the ball does not lie on the obstruction, the obstruction may be removed. If the ball moves because of moving the obstruction, it must be replaced, no penalty.

If the ball lies on the obstruction, the ball may be lifted and the obstruction removed. In a bunker, the ball must then be dropped (not placed) as closely as possible to where it lay, no closer to the hole.

The answer to your question, as you can see, is “yes.” If your ball is lying on a stone in a bunker, you may lift the ball, remove the stone, and drop the ball, no penalty.

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