Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ask Linda #1495-Player seeks relief for stance

Dear Linda,
My partner's ball landed on the top side of a green side bunker. If he was to play the ball onto the green, he would have to play with his stance in the bunker. However, because of the severity of the bunker slope and loose sand he was unable to take a stance. He claims he can seek relief, as he can’t make a stance. I do not agree. Please help clarify.
Thank you,
Lou from Malaysia

Dear Lou,

The Rules do not provide free relief for a difficult or impossible stance (unless there is interference from such problems as immovable obstructions or abnormal ground conditions). There is nothing unusual about having to hit a ball precariously perched on the top of a steep bunker. Note this pertinent information in Decision 13-2/1:

“The player is not entitled to a normal stance or swing. He must accommodate the situation in which the ball is found and take a stance as normal as the circumstances permit.”

If the player cannot figure out any way to make a stroke, he may declare the ball unplayable [see Rule 28 for the relief options for an unplayable ball].

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