Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ask Linda #1379-Relief from casual water in bunker

Dear Linda,
My wife yesterday played a stroke competition after a very rainy morning.
Her ball landed in a bunker covered with 80% water. The only 20% sandy place left was nearer to the hole. She decided to play outside the bunker. Her fellow competitor said OK.
She chipped in a birdie.
At the next tee the competitor told her that she actually was not allowed to play outside the bunker. My wife told her that casual water exists also in bunkers.
Was she right or not? 
The competitor agreed with my wife’s statement, but was she right?
Lou, a Frenchman living in Pakistan

Dear Lou,

Casual water does exist in bunkers, but players are not entitled to free relief if they drop outside the bunker.

Here is the Rule:
• In order to get free relief, the player must drop in the bunker, no closer to the hole.
• If there is no place to drop in the bunker that is not closer to the hole, the player must drop outside the bunker and add one penalty stroke to her score. Draw an imaginary line from the hole through the spot where the ball lay in the bunker and drop anywhere on that line behind the bunker [Rule 25-1b (ii)]. This is the line that I now refer to as the “flagline.”

The player also has the option to play a ball under stroke and distance, meaning she would add one penalty stroke to her score and play a ball from the spot where she hit her previous shot.

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