Animal hole in bunker face.

backwoodsman

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A player's plays his ball from within a bunker, but instead of it coming out onto the green, it ends up in a hole in the top edge of the bunker face. To describe - the bunker has a steep sandy face, then at the top, above the sand, there is a vertical soil/turf face of about 8 inches height - then above that, the greenside grass surface. The hole, about 4 inches in depth, has been dug into this vertical face, right where the sand stops and the vertical cut starts. The ball sits on the edge of the hole. Looking vertically down from above, about 1/3 of the ball overhangs the sand and about 2/3 lies below the grass surface.

We assumed the hole has been dug by an animal - there was some debris below it and the rest of the face had been neatly, and recently, cut by by the greens team. Is free relief available, and if yes, where?
 

jim8flog

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In the situation you describe if there is clear evidence that it is a hole dug by an animal you would get relief under Rule 16.

If it is a hole dug by a greenkeeper for some reason e.g soil sample you would also get relief

Ground Under Repair/1 – Damage Caused by Committee or Maintenance Staff Is Not Always Ground Under Repair

A hole made by maintenance staff is ground under repair even when not marked as ground under repair. However, not all damage caused by maintenance staff is ground under repair by default.
 

Colin L

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Given the position of the ball on a vertical face, the nearest point of relief might be a distance from the ball - to the side or perhaps in front of the bunker.
 

backwoodsman

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Given the position of the ball on a vertical face, the nearest point of relief might be a distance from the ball - to the side or perhaps in front of the bunker.
I'm presuming that the ball would be deemed to be outside the bunker - and therefore, the NoPR couldn't be in the bunker?
 

Steven Rules

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The ball is in the general area not in the bunker. See definition of bumker and Rule 12.1, including Diagram 12.1.

Therefore the reference point (the nearest point of complete relief) and the relief area must also be in the general area. See definition of nearest point of complete relief and Rule 16.1b.

In defence of Colin L's well deleted post - depending on the geography and geometry of the situation it may, in some unique circumstances, be difficult to find a viable relief area, in which case the only options might be to play it as it lies or take an uplayable (including stroke and distance).
 

backwoodsman

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Thanks all. Seems like I advised the right thing.

Attached image shows the thing - NoPR was on grass directly above the ball's actual position, right on edge of bunker. Player then took relief 1CL sort of south-west (ish) as you look at image, which gave just about room to take stance and still play towards hole
bunker6.png
 

Colin L

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......depending on the geography and geometry of the situation it may, in some unique circumstances, be difficult to find a viable relief area, in which case the only options might be to play it as it lies or take an uplayable (including stroke and distance).

Over nearly 40 years I've gained and often renewed inside knowledge of every bunker on my course and can't think of any that would be a problem and given the usual surroundings of bunkers wonder what the unique circumstances would be. This is golf, however, and so no matter how improbable, if something is possible it will happen.

Edit. No sooner posted than it occurred to me that you could end up in some instances with your feet in the bunker and a relief area chest high, could you not??
 
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williamalex1

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It would be a kindness if you deleted this ! I deleted my post almost immediately after posting it, hoping that no-one would have seen it. Too late to save embarrassment, alas. I was thinking of an embedded ball. I don't know how your post came in between the deletion and the rewrite.
:LOL: If you're not fast your last :p I deleted mine .
 

Steven Rules

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Over nearly 40 years I've gained and often renewed inside knowledge of every bunker on my course and can't think of any that would be a problem and given the usual surroundings of bunkers wonder what the unique circumstances would be. This is golf, however, and so no matter how improbable, if something is possible it will happen.
For example, narrow sliver of general area between bunker and green. Quite viable to have the reference point there but the related relief area is tiny and either requires the precarious stance to be in the bunker with the ball at hip height, or play the shot opposite-handed with the back of the club out of thick rough. Something like that.

We have a potential 'wrong green' scenario at our club along these lines where there could theoretically be a similar relief situation in the very rare event that the ball finishes in a certain quadrant of the wrong green.

Or maybe there is a tree occupying the relief area.

I did indicate such circumstances would be rare - but they are entirely plausible.
 

Colin L

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I caught on to what you were looking at when I belatedly noticed you were talking of viable relief areas, my mind having wandered off on the question of whether there could ever be a situation in which there simply was no available relief area. I can't think of any.

By coincidence, during my pre-Chanpionship tour round our course last Monday, I spotted a rabbit hole (complete with some small round clues at its entrance) in the vertical face above the sand in one of our bunkers and checked out how the relief would work out (it pays to know answers in advance of being asked questions!). Unfortunately, I was less than percipient regarding a change to the configuration of a no play zone in a penalty area originally set up to protect a wild flower area. I had spent an hour or more checking out the placement of stakes for the original area to ensure there would be a relief area no matter where the ball crossed the edge but hadn't done the same when recently the area was enlarged to enclose newly planted shrubs. I had to guide a player through taking relief in a tiny wedge of a relief area on a slope steep enough to require two drops, a placing which wouldn't hold and successive attempts to find place where the ball would stay at rest. You can't expect club golfers to deal with a situation like that on their own: it was, to be sure, an example of very bad course marking.
 

Foxholer

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I caught on to what you were looking at when I belatedly noticed you were talking of viable relief areas, my mind having wandered off on the question of whether there could ever be a situation in which there simply was no available relief area. I can't think of any.

By coincidence, during my pre-Chanpionship tour round our course last Monday, I spotted a rabbit hole (complete with some small round clues at its entrance) in the vertical face above the sand in one of our bunkers and checked out how the relief would work out (it pays to know answers in advance of being asked questions!). Unfortunately, I was less than percipient regarding a change to the configuration of a no play zone in a penalty area originally set up to protect a wild flower area. I had spent an hour or more checking out the placement of stakes for the original area to ensure there would be a relief area no matter where the ball crossed the edge but hadn't done the same when recently the area was enlarged to enclose newly planted shrubs. I had to guide a player through taking relief in a tiny wedge of a relief area on a slope steep enough to require two drops, a placing which wouldn't hold and successive attempts to find place where the ball would stay at rest. You can't expect club golfers to deal with a situation like that on their own: it was, to be sure, an example of very bad course marking.
Would marking a DZ, in a more convenient place, have helped?
PS. Thanks for the new word!
 

Colin L

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Would marking a DZ, in a more convenient place, have helped?
PS. Thanks for the new word!

It would have, indeed. It would now be difficult to mark the edge of the PA in such a way as to ensure reasonable relief areas but there's no escaping the slope. I'll be recommending a DZ.
 

jim8flog

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I caught on to what you were looking at when I belatedly noticed you were talking of viable relief areas, my mind having wandered off on the question of whether there could ever be a situation in which there simply was no available relief area. I can't think of any.

By coincidence, during my pre-Chanpionship tour round our course last Monday, I spotted a rabbit hole (complete with some small round clues at its entrance) in the vertical face above the sand in one of our bunkers and checked out how the relief would work out (it pays to know answers in advance of being asked questions!). Unfortunately, I was less than percipient regarding a change to the configuration of a no play zone in a penalty area originally set up to protect a wild flower area. I had spent an hour or more checking out the placement of stakes for the original area to ensure there would be a relief area no matter where the ball crossed the edge but hadn't done the same when recently the area was enlarged to enclose newly planted shrubs. I had to guide a player through taking relief in a tiny wedge of a relief area on a slope steep enough to require two drops, a placing which wouldn't hold and successive attempts to find place where the ball would stay at rest. You can't expect club golfers to deal with a situation like that on their own: it was, to be sure, an example of very bad course marking.


Would marking a DZ, in a more convenient place, have helped?

PS. Thanks for the new word!

It would have, indeed. It would now be difficult to mark the edge of the PA in such a way as to ensure reasonable relief areas but there's no escaping the slope. I'll be recommending a DZ.


Having recently done some research to find an old decision I am wondering if the decision would apply in principal these days.

Decision 33.8/19

...... such a local rule/dropping zone just to avoid such adverse circumstances is not appropriate. "It is not abnormal for areas adjacent to paved paths to have dense underbrush, trees, sharp slopes, etc, thereby providing no practical relief.....Furthermore, it would not be appropriate to establish dropping zones on the fairway side of the path to alleviate the problem."
 

Foxholer

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Having recently done some research to find an old decision I am wondering if the decision would apply in principal these days.

Decision 33.8/19

...... such a local rule/dropping zone just to avoid such adverse circumstances is not appropriate. "It is not abnormal for areas adjacent to paved paths to have dense underbrush, trees, sharp slopes, etc, thereby providing no practical relief.....Furthermore, it would not be appropriate to establish dropping zones on the fairway side of the path to alleviate the problem."
I've not investigated to the extent required to comment. It was really simply a question of how to cover an unlikely, but possible, situation best/simplest.
FWIW...Haven't (or is it Hasn't) the 'Decisions on the Rules of Golf' docs been replaced by the 'Official Guide to the Rules of Golf'? Done, I believe in conjunction with the revision/modernisation of 'The Rules of Golf'. So reference to/use of those Decisions docs is largely irrelevant, though there's a 'mapping' doc to identify the appropriate area in the 'new' reference doc.
 
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