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Rule regarding unplayable ball on side of bunker


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So last week I'm playing and my tee shot goes into a fairway bunker but doesn't land in the sand, lands on the back of the upslope if that makes sense.

 

The upslope isn't just grass tho, it's got plywood almost like you see on some coastal courses and the plywood has grass growing thru the cracks.

 

My ball got stuck on a clump of grass that prevented it from actually rolling into bunker.  It was by no means playable give the slope of the wood and how slippery it was. In fact I climbed up the wood to get the ball and slipped down and tore my shorts.

 

I was so mad I just dropped behind the bunker and took a stroke...was that the right play or did I have to even take a stroke? No human without mountain climbing shoes on could've stood there and played the ball as is.

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The tricky rules bit here - and hard to tell from your description - is the definitive call on a) whether you had relief from an immovable obstruction (as Sawgrass notes, answer could well be yes); bu

I’m not the OP, just an interested learner, but I agree with everything else 🙂     I really appreciated the thoroughness of @antip’s post given the myriad possible situations, but yeah using th

Yes,  Antip  was referring to taking unplayable ball relief Back on the Line  in preference to free relief from the IO.   Playing from a wrong place would not come into that.   If the player

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https://www.usga.org/RulesFAQ/rules_answer2019.asp?FAQidx=206&Rule=0&Topic=3

 

However it doesn't sound like it was actually in the bunker, so you have the standard unplayable lie options outlined in 19.

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=pe&section=rule&rulenum=19

 

In your case you would have to take the stroke, as long as it was in line with the pin you did the right thing. 

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I don’t have a clear idea of what you are saying, but if your stroke or stance was getting interference from built-in plywood, you would be granted free relief irrespective of whether the ball was in a bunker or in the general area. (Unless the wood was deemed an integral object, as the railroad ties on the face of the bunker near the green on #13 at Harbour Town are.)

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The tricky rules bit here - and hard to tell from your description - is the definitive call on a) whether you had relief from an immovable obstruction (as Sawgrass notes, answer could well be yes); but also b) whether the ball is in the bunker or not. The latter question may influence the penalty for your going back on line action. If you had IO interference, that back on line relief is one stroke penalty regardless of whether ball is in the bunker or not (different rules are involved but they both have one stroke penalty). If the ball was in the bunker but no IO interference, the relief you took costs 2 penalty strokes (19.3b). 

IF: ball was not in bunker and there was IO interference, then free relief into the general area would have been available via a relief area based on nearest point of complete relief - but it seems unlikely that the relief you took behind the bunker would have meet that requirement.

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2 hours ago, Colin L said:

Could you expand on that, please?

It would be easy to take those words out of context.  What that sentence says is if the player with IO interference intends to take BOL penalty relief behind the bunker (eg because it delivered a superior position for the next stroke), that would be 1SP if the ball was not in the bunker (via 19.2b) or 1SP if the ball was in the bunker (via 16.1c(2)). That's all. Still, if offered LGG the opportunity to climb on his high horse, something he clearly enjoys.

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1 hour ago, antip said:

It would be easy to take those words out of context.  What that sentence says is if the player with IO interference intends to take BOL penalty relief behind the bunker (eg because it delivered a superior position for the next stroke), that would be 1SP if the ball was not in the bunker (via 19.2b) or 1SP if the ball was in the bunker (via 16.1c(2)). That's all. Still, if offered LGG the opportunity to climb on his high horse, something he clearly enjoys.

Thanks.  I appreciated what it was saying in context but thought the juxtaposition of IO relief and a penalty might  be misunderstood.

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11 minutes ago, Colin L said:

Thanks.  I appreciated what it was saying in context but thought the juxtaposition of IO relief and a penalty might  be misunderstood.

Fully understand Colin, the wording could be misunderstood. The OP had indicated that they had taken BOL relief outside the bunker and was uncertain of the rules implications, and there were uncertainties about the presence of an IO, location of bunker edge, etc. Multiple rules permutations were possible. 

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1 hour ago, SNIPERBBB said:

Just to throw another wrinkle, if you did take relief from the obstruction instead of the unplayable, this could be a possible wrong place issue yes?

Yes. Relief from an immovable obstruction requires use of a relief area based on nearest point of complete relief.

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5 hours ago, antip said:

It would be easy to take those words out of context.  What that sentence says is if the player with IO interference intends to take BOL penalty relief behind the bunker (eg because it delivered a superior position for the next stroke), that would be 1SP if the ball was not in the bunker (via 19.2b) or 1SP if the ball was in the bunker (via 16.1c(2)). That's all. Still, if offered LGG the opportunity to climb on his high horse, something he clearly enjoys.

 

No offense antip but that is (still) a pretty convoluted description and you still haven't clearly established what you meant. It's almost like an English teacher would try to trip up his/her student(s).

 

I read it similarly to Colin. But the key is "because it delivered a superior position". i.e. he dropped in the WRONG PLACE, NOT because he dropped BOL outside the bunker.

 

FWIW I envision the OP's situation similar to the pic below. Imagine there is sand in the bunker and it is NOT GUR.

 

Visualize the entire area above the bunker covered in those same planks and the ball lying on them.

 

Then it would appear the nearest point of complete relief would be back behind the bunker and all would be right with the world situation if he took his drop BOL outside the bunker, yes ?

 

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4 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

No offense antip but that is (still) a pretty convoluted description and you still haven't clearly established what you meant. It's almost like an English teacher would try to trip up his/her student(s).

 

I read it similarly to Colin. But the key is "because it delivered a superior position". i.e. he dropped in the WRONG PLACE, NOT because he dropped BOL outside the bunker.

 

FWIW I envision the OP's situation similar to the pic below. Imagine there is sand in the bunker and it is NOT GUR.

 

Visualize the entire area above the bunker covered in those same planks and the ball lying on them.

 

Then it would appear the nearest point of complete relief would be back behind the bunker and all would be right with the world situation if he took his drop BOL outside the bunker, yes ?

 

Renovating golf course bunkers: In-house vs. hiring out - GCMOnline.com

 


I thought the point of “because it delivered a superior position” was to clarify why someone would would choose penalty relief under 16.1c(2) instead of free relief under 16.1c(1). 
 

If the ball was actually dropped BOL and the player took one penalty stroke, I can’t see why it’s wrong place.  Under what rule? 

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18 hours ago, antip said:

The tricky rules bit here - and hard to tell from your description - is the definitive call on a) whether you had relief from an immovable obstruction (as Sawgrass notes, answer could well be yes); but also b) whether the ball is in the bunker or not. The latter question may influence the penalty for your going back on line action. If you had IO interference, that back on line relief is one stroke penalty regardless of whether ball is in the bunker or not (different rules are involved but they both have one stroke penalty). If the ball was in the bunker but no IO interference, the relief you took costs 2 penalty strokes (19.3b). 

IF: ball was not in bunker and there was IO interference, then free relief into the general area would have been available via a relief area based on nearest point of complete relief - but it seems unlikely that the relief you took behind the bunker would have meet that requirement.

 

9 hours ago, antip said:

Fully understand Colin, the wording could be misunderstood. The OP had indicated that they had taken BOL relief outside the bunker and was uncertain of the rules implications, and there were uncertainties about the presence of an IO, location of bunker edge, etc. Multiple rules permutations were possible. 

 

1 hour ago, jimbo123 said:


I thought the point of “because it delivered a superior position” was to clarify why someone would would choose penalty relief under 16.1c(2) instead of free relief under 16.1c(1). 
 

If the ball was actually dropped BOL and the player took one penalty stroke, I can’t see why it’s wrong place.  Under what rule? 

 

Re-reading it yet again I believe you are correct.

 

My photo was trying to portray what I believe was your original situation(?), where your nearest point of relief from the general area would be BOL in the GA.

 

But yes, if you want to take BOL instead of nearest relief you would be taking an unplayable. <--- Had antip used the term "unplayable" there likely wouldn't have been much more discussion; at least not on my part. :classic_wink:

 

That said, while I suppose it's possible that nearest relief could put you in an "impossible" position, one where you'd be tempted to take an unplayable, I think it pretty unlikely. Then again. shrug.gif

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13 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

 

 

Re-reading it yet again I believe you are correct.

 

My photo was trying to portray what I believe was your original situation(?), where your nearest point of relief from the general area would be BOL in the GA.

 

But yes, if you want to take BOL instead of nearest relief you would be taking an unplayable. <--- Had antip used the term "unplayable" there likely wouldn't have been much more discussion; at least not on my part. :classic_wink:

 

That said, while I suppose it's possible that nearest relief could put you in an "impossible" position, one where you'd be tempted to take an unplayable, I think it pretty unlikely. Then again. shrug.gif

I’m not the OP, just an interested learner, but I agree with everything else 🙂  
 

I really appreciated the thoroughness of @antip’s post given the myriad possible situations, but yeah using the word unplayable probably would have helped a lot. 

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2 hours ago, jimbo123 said:


I thought the point of “because it delivered a superior position” was to clarify why someone would would choose penalty relief under 16.1c(2) instead of free relief under 16.1c(1). 
 

If the ball was actually dropped BOL and the player took one penalty stroke, I can’t see why it’s wrong place.  Under what rule? 

 

Yes,  Antip  was referring to taking unplayable ball relief Back on the Line  in preference to free relief from the IO.   Playing from a wrong place would not come into that.

 

If the player took free relief from the IO and wrongly thought he could do so BOL, then playing from a wrong place would be the likelihood.  If the bunker is wide and short from front to back, there would, however, be a possiblity that BOL could by chance result in playing dropping in and playing from the correct relief area.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Colin L said:

 

Yes,  Antip  was referring to taking unplayable ball relief Back on the Line  in preference to free relief from the IO.   Playing from a wrong place would not come into that.

 

If the player took free relief from the IO and wrongly thought he could do so BOL, then playing from a wrong place would be the likelihood.  If the bunker is wide and short from front to back, there would, however, be a possiblity that BOL could by chance result in playing dropping in and playing from the correct relief area.

 

 

 


Agreed, but the OP took a penalty stroke so it couldn’t be a “free relief but wrong place” situation.

 

 (Not trying to be pedantic; there’s just so many variations that narrowing it down via the facts from the OP’s post seems helpful) 

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22 minutes ago, jimbo123 said:


Agreed, but the OP took a penalty stroke so it couldn’t be a “free relief but wrong place” situation.

 

 (Not trying to be pedantic; there’s just so many variations that narrowing it down via the facts from the OP’s post seems helpful) 

 

But the OP was asking what his options were.

 

The fact that he (properly ?) took the a correct action was kinda sorta secondary. patriot.gif

 

 

 

 

BTW, Happy Father's Day everybody.

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15 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

No offense antip but that is (still) a pretty convoluted description and you still haven't clearly established what you meant. It's almost like an English teacher would try to trip up his/her student(s).

 

I read it similarly to Colin. But the key is "because it delivered a superior position". i.e. he dropped in the WRONG PLACE, NOT because he dropped BOL outside the bunker.

 

FWIW I envision the OP's situation similar to the pic below. Imagine there is sand in the bunker and it is NOT GUR.

 

Visualize the entire area above the bunker covered in those same planks and the ball lying on them.

 

Then it would appear the nearest point of complete relief would be back behind the bunker and all would be right with the world situation if he took his drop BOL outside the bunker, yes ?

 

Renovating golf course bunkers: In-house vs. hiring out - GCMOnline.com

 

The key feature of my first post - that was not understood by some readers - was that it was directed to identifying to the OP what the most likely implications were for him taking the BOL relief that he advised he had taken. The previous responses were not as ambitious. 

 

Of course, there are multiple permutations of how relief may need to be taken (depending on the facts) and what rule applied, relief options including: free relief based on NPCR (potentially to the side of the bunker, in the bunker or even behind in the unusual case you raise); one stroke penalty under 16.1c(2) or 19.2b or two stroke penalty under 19.3b. 

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