Friday, August 28, 2015

Ask Linda #1137-Remove divot from bunker

Hi Linda,
Can you please resolve this discussion/ruling?
During a boys’ tournament, a player outwith a bunker plays his shot and the divot goes into the bunker. Another player, who was in the same bunker, threw his divot back to him to place in the ground. A ruling was called and the player in the bunker was ruled a penalty but I disagree. I think that he has just used his etiquette and threw the divot back rather than the player walking into the bunker to retrieve it. What is the correct ruling please Linda?
Lou from Scotland

Dear Lou,

A player is entitled to the lie he had when his ball came to rest. If his ball lies in a bunker, and another player subsequently hits a shot that dislodges a divot, sending it into the bunker near the player’s ball, the player may remove the divot from the bunker [Decision 13-4/18]. This is not an etiquette issue; it is covered under the Rules.

If a pinecone, however, fell off a tree into the bunker after the player’s ball came to rest, he would not be permitted to remove it [Decision 13-4/18.5].

The difference in the rulings is a natural cause (falling pinecone) versus a man-made cause (divot).

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