Ball embedded in steep revetted face of a bunker - any change in 2019?

IanG

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Could someone more au fait with the rules changes comment on how, if at all, the new embedded ball rules affect the situation when a ball is embedded in a revetted bunker face.

My reading is that the bunker face (as before) is not part of the bunker and so an embedded ball is eligible for free relief. The reference point for the relief area is right behind the ball, so most likely still on the face. If the ball can't be dropped or placed within 1 club length (no nearer the hole) of the reference point without rolling into the bunker how does one proceed?

Reading 14.3c and the 14.2e it implies you find the nearest point (not nearer the hole and in the general area) where it will can be placed and remain at rest.

Related to this, the embedded ball rule 16.3a has an exception saying relief is not allowed when '... interference by anything other than your ball been embedded makes your stroke clearly unreasonable...' Could this apply to a ball embedded half way up a revetted face where no reasonable stance could be taken?

Thanks
Ian
 

IanG

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Yes it's as you say, free relief unless that is excluded by a local rule. Process is as you describe, however, R&A have just issued a "clarification" to say that in order to qualify for free relief there must be a part of the General Area within 1 club length of your Reference Point not nearer the hole.

https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/pages/resources-centre?filters=[2019 Rules Clarifications]&dm_i=49MT,G30Q,H7AEY,1U4GZ,1

Thanks for the reply - it was that clarification that started me thinking about this.
 

2blue

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Yes it's as you say, free relief unless that is excluded by a local rule. Process is as you describe, however, R&A have just issued a "clarification" to say that in order to qualify for free relief there must be a part of the General Area within 1 club length of your Reference Point not nearer the hole.

https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/pages/resources-centre?filters=[2019 Rules Clarifications]&dm_i=49MT,G30Q,H7AEY,1U4GZ,1

So what if there is no part of the General Area within 1 club length of your Reference Point not nearer the hole?
Am struggling to understand how you then proceed.
 

jim8flog

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I am not at home at the moment but I am sure I read somewhere (may be as a diagram in the new book) that under the new rules there is no relief without penalty for a ball so embedded.
 

2blue

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So what if there is no part of the General Area within 1 club length of your Reference Point not nearer the hole?
Am struggling to understand how you then proceed.
Play it or declare unplayable?
So the 'Reference Point' would simply be … the nearest point of relief outside of the bunker & not nearer.... then it's the usual 1 club measure... is that it??
 

Colin L

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So what if there is no part of the General Area within 1 club length of your Reference Point not nearer the hole?
Am struggling to understand how you then proceed.

That could happen if your ball is embedded at the very foot of the wall of a bunker. The reference point is immediately behind where ball lies and that could be in the bunker resulting in the club-length area being entirely within the bunker and therefore no relief area and no free relief. As Homer said, play it as it lies or decide it is unplayable and proceed accordingly.
 

IanG

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So on most occasions it is going to cost you a 1 shot penalty?

On most occasions the ball will likely be someway up the face and there will be a reference point on the grass below the ball on the face of the bunker. Even though the ball can't be placed there it is still a valid reference point. So you will get free relief by placing your ball at the nearest point in the general area not nearer the hole.

Assuming I've understood it right.

I'm keen to understand this correctly as it comes up regularly at our place and is a change for us as until now we've not had free relief for balls embedded in bunker faces as they were no 'closely mown'.
 

2blue

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On most occasions the ball will likely be someway up the face and there will be a reference point on the grass below the ball on the face of the bunker. Even though the ball can't be placed there it is still a valid reference point. So you will get free relief by placing your ball at the nearest point in the general area not nearer the hole.

Assuming I've understood it right.

I'm keen to understand this correctly as it comes up regularly at our place and is a change for us as until now we've not had free relief for balls embedded in bunker faces as they were no 'closely mown'.
Like-wise we have many rivetted bunkers at Seaton …… I think I'm getting clearer on it.
So you've got your Ref-point but the ball won't stay there....
Nearest point in the G-area is to the side of the bunker.... so fine to drop there with no penalty?
 

IanG

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Like-wise we have many rivetted bunkers at Seaton …… I think I'm getting clearer on it.
So you've got your Ref-point but the ball won't stay there....
Nearest point in the G-area is to the side of the bunker.... so fine to drop there with no penalty?

Forgive me being pedantic with the words because I think they are important in this one....

The reference point (on the face) is in the G-area. You need to find the nearest point in the G-area where the ball can be PLACED and will stay still. This may well be right on the lip of the bunker and mean you having a terrible stance or have to play left handed etc. but that is too bad.

Hope one of the guru's will confirm we're interpreting this right!
 

2blue

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Forgive me being pedantic with the words because I think they are important in this one....

The reference point (on the face) is in the G-area. You need to find the nearest point in the G-area where the ball can be PLACED and will stay still. This may well be right on the lip of the bunker and mean you having a terrible stance or have to play left handed etc. but that is too bad.

Hope one of the guru's will confirm we're interpreting this right!
God... why am I finding this so hard??
Surely you have 1 club-length from the ref-point?
 

thegoldenbear

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So the 'Reference Point' would simply be … the nearest point of relief outside of the bunker & not nearer.... then it's the usual 1 club measure... is that it??

No, if the free relief is not allowed you would be proceeding under Rule 19 unplayable ball, so options are back in line, location of previous shot or lateral relief within 2 club lengths of reference point, the reference point being the original position of the ball. The 2 club length lateral relief area or any part of it can be in the bunker, you don't just take the reference point outside the bunker as you describe.

If it's the free relief option under 16.3 then the reference point is immediately behind the embedded ball and you drop within one club length of that. If the ball rolls into the bunker, which it usually will unless the one club length takes you outside the bunker, then after the second drop attempt you can place it on the nearest place where it will remain still, generally just on the lip of the bunker not nearer the hole.
 

rulie

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No, if the free relief is not allowed you would be proceeding under Rule 19 unplayable ball, so options are back in line, location of previous shot or lateral relief within 2 club lengths of reference point, the reference point being the original position of the ball. The 2 club length lateral relief area or any part of it can be in the bunker, you don't just take the reference point outside the bunker as you describe.

If it's the free relief option under 16.3 then the reference point is immediately behind the embedded ball and you drop within one club length of that. If the ball rolls into the bunker, which it usually will unless the one club length takes you outside the bunker, then after the second drop attempt you can place it on the nearest place where it will remain still, generally just on the lip of the bunker not nearer the hole.
Close, but not technically correct. You would try to place it where the second drop hit the ground in the general area. If it won't stay on that spot then you keep trying to find the nearest spot in the general area, no nearer the hole, where it will come to rest. This may be near the edge of the bunker but going there directly is not correct.
 

thegoldenbear

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Close, but not technically correct. You would try to place it where the second drop hit the ground in the general area. If it won't stay on that spot then you keep trying to find the nearest spot in the general area, no nearer the hole, where it will come to rest. This may be near the edge of the bunker but going there directly is not correct.

Which illustrates why clubs should simply exclude free relief for embedded ball in the bunker face and let players proceed under rule 19. This situation creates huge confusion among members, free relief is also giving a get out of jail free card for what was a poor shot in the first place, but that's just an opinion
 

IanG

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Thanks guys I think I'm clear on it now.

Whether our course uses the LR to exclude embedded relief in bunker faces remains to be seen.
 

rulefan

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F-2 Limited Relief for Embedded Ball
Purpose. Rule 16.3 normally allows relief whenever a ball is embedded anywhere in the general area (other than in sand in areas that are not cut to fairway height or less).

But a Committee may choose:

  • To allow relief only when a ball is embedded in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less.
  • Not to allow free relief for a ball embedded in the wall or lip of a bunker (such as a stacked turf or soil face).
Model Local Rule F-2.1
“Rule 16.3 is modified in this way:

Free relief is allowed only when a ball is embedded in part of the general area that is cut to fairway height or less.

[Stacked turf faces above bunkers are not cut to fairway height or less for the purpose of this Rule.]

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a.”

Model Local Rule F-2.2
“Rule 16.3 is modified in this way:

Free relief is not allowed when a ball is embedded in [stacked turf faces] [soil faces] above bunkers.

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a.”
 

Colin L

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Thanks. I hadn't seen that one and was looking in the wrong place for it just now. I'm not finding the layout of Committee Procedures easy to follow. Maybe just me!
 
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