Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ask Linda #1289-Bunker in middle of green

Hi Linda,
At our Jack Nicklaus-designed course we have a bunker inside the green. I hit my ball onto the green but it landed in an area where the bunker blocked my putting line to the hole. Our local rule is this....
''You can drop and pitch outside the green within one club length maintaining line of sight.''
Where do I drop?
 Outside the green but still on the putting line which is still being blocked by the bunker, or can I drop in a lateral area still away from the hole and outside the green but the bunker is not blocking my shot anymore and I have a clear pitch shot?
Lou from the Philippines

Dear Lou,

I have a problem answering this question, since this Local Rule at your course is not acceptable under the Rules of Golf. All Local Rules must be consistent with the Local Rules in Appendix I at the back of the rulebook. The course would need special permission from the USGA to implement this unauthorized Local Rule.

A bunker in the middle of a green is unusual, but not unheard of. You may putt around it, you may chip over it, or you may declare the ball unplayable and choose one of the relief options in Rule 28, all of which include one penalty stroke.

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