THE RULES EV­ERY GOLFER SHOULD KNOW

Ca­sual wa­ter in bunkers – Rule 25-1

Golf Monthly - - Gm Promotion -

and not nearer the hole than the “near­est point of re­lief” in the bunker.

If com­plete re­lief is im­pos­si­ble and there is nowhere within the bunker where you can drop the ball in ac­cor­dance with Rule 25-1b, you may take “max­i­mum avail­able re­lief” from the ca­sual wa­ter, again with­out penalty.

This “max­i­mum avail­able re­lief” ap­plies to both lie and stance, so it may be that your ball is clear of the ca­sual wa­ter, while you may still be stand­ing in it. You should drop your ball in the bunker as near as pos­si­ble to the spot where your ball lay, but not nearer the hole, at the spot that af­fords you max­i­mum avail­able re­lief. When tak­ing re­lief un­der these cir­cum­stances, it’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that there is no one club-length drop­ping area.

Al­ter­na­tively, un­der penalty of one stroke, you may drop out­side the bunker keep­ing the point where the ball lay di­rectly in line with the hole, If com­plete re­lief is not pos­si­ble, you may take max­i­mum avail­able re­lief with­out penalty with no limit as to how far be­hind the bunker the ball may be dropped. It would be fair to say that we re­ceive more Rules queries about the fair­ness or oth­er­wise of this sce­nario than any­thing else! And yes, on the face of it, it may seem un­fair that you should in­cur a penalty of one stroke if you choose to, or have no op­tion but to, drop out­side the bunker.

But it’s a ques­tion of bal­ance, and it must be re­mem­bered that bunkers are haz­ards that at times can be very pe­nal, es­pe­cially on links cour­ses. To drop the ball out­side of the bunker, the player needs to buy this right with a penalty stroke as the Rules do not per­mit the player to drop out­side of a haz­ard with­out penalty. This seeks to strike the right bal­ance be­tween the seem­ing un­fair­ness of a penalty drop, and the likely ease of the next shot from out­side the bunker rel­a­tive to how dif­fi­cult it may have been from within the bunker had the bunker not been flooded.

ith the sheer vol­ume of rain that has fallen across many parts of the coun­try in early sum­mer 2016, many cour­ses have been suf­fer­ing from high wa­ter ta­bles that have left bunkers par­tially or com­pletely flooded. So what can you do when you find your...

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