Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ask Linda #1213-Worsen lie in bunker

Linda, this is a "what if" question regarding a question that arose at my club today.

A player's ball is in a sand bunker lying well below his area of stance, which is also in the bunker. The sand is very soft and he is afraid to dig in to establish a firm stance for fear that sand will flow down and affect the lie of the ball.

How then does the player proceed if, while taking his stance, sand does flow down and accumulate around his ball but does not move it from its original position but makes the lie much more difficult?

And what is the procedure--and possible penalty--if the movement of sand after the player has taken his stance but before he has attempted to swing, actually caused the ball to move from its original spot?

I hope I have adequately described this situation and I would welcome and appreciate your comment.
Lou from Florida

Dear Lou,

If a player worsens his lie he may not restore it [Decision 13-2/29]. Thus, the player who accidentally causes sand to accumulate around his ball is stuck with the result. The penalty for restoring the lie would be loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play for a breach of Rule 13-2.

If a player causes his ball to move, he incurs a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2a and must replace his ball before he hits it.

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.