Is this in the bunker?

yandabrown

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I found myself in a hole in some sand. We decided that this was an animal scraping but couldn't really decide if it was in the bunker or not. To be safe I dropped it in the bunker. The bunker was clearly defined and followed an obvious curve apart from this little bit. Had the hole been the entirety of the "extra" bit I think we would be happy but it wasn't entirely clear. Any advice that can be provided from a rules perspective please?


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wjemather

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If unsure and the committee are not immediately available to give a ruling, the safest option is to follow the procedure in Rule 20.1(c)(3) and play two balls (i.e. one taking relief inside the bunker, and another taking relief outside) and report to the committee later, before handing your card in.
 
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salfordlad

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While it appears this was never intended to be part of the original bunker shape, over time it has become part of the bunker as a consequence of the grass not growing and the bunker grooming process apparently getting a lot of sand into the area. IMO, this is an example of a failure of appropriate course management but that doesn't change the ruling here.
I've seen bigger examples along the same lines resulting from greenkeeping staff taking machinery into a bunker using the same entry point all the time, resulting in grass being killed off and the area evolving into a raked sand area about the width of the course machinery.
If unsure and the committee are not immediately available to give a ruling, the safest option is to follow the procedure in Rule 21.3(c)(3) and play two balls (i.e. one taking relief inside the bunker, and another taking relief outside) and report to the committee later, before handing your card in.
There's a typo there, 20.1c(3).
 

Voyager EMH

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I saw this happen to a chap I was playing with in a County Open Championship.
There was a rules official not far away and we waved him over.
The gouged out turf was visible making it clearly obvious where the edge of the bunker should have been.
Player was allowed a free drop outside the bunker..
The rules official said the ball was not in the bunker, but in a place outside the bunker where an animal had dug a hole and had moved sand that had been in the bunker.

I think the visible gouged turf made the difference between that scenario and this one.
 

IanM

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I'm a little confused by this. In definitions it says an area where the sand has spilled outside the prepared area is not in the bunker.

To me, that looks a lot like a damaged area where the sand has spilled over.

But I'd be delighted to know what ruling you'd give if a player asked for relief. Cos I'm not sure.
 

rulie

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I'm a little confused by this. In definitions it says an area where the sand has spilled outside the prepared area is not in the bunker.

To me, that looks a lot like a damaged area where the sand has spilled over.

But I'd be delighted to know what ruling you'd give if a player asked for relief. Cos I'm not sure.
The ball is in the bunker in an abnormal course condition (animal hole). Free relief is available inside the bunker. Find the nearest point of complete relief (NPCR) from the animal hole, in the bunker, and drop within one club-length of that NPCR.
 

rulie

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Thanks... that's fine. Really interesting, as I'd have got this quite wrong.

Looks like I've misinterpreted the definition of the bunker. It looks like over spill damage to me.... why isn't it?
Doesn't look like "spillage" to me; it looks like the edge of the bunker has been changed.
 

rulie

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Is there a scenario where relief can be taken nearer the hole?
Sometimes dropping zones may be nearer the hole than the reference point - depends on how the Local Rule for the dropping zone is written. For example, it could be written as, "the player must use the nearest dropping zone." But when there are multiple dropping zones (such as for a large TIO), it is probably better to say, "the player must use the nearest dropping zone that is not nearer the hole than the reference point."
 

rulefan

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Is there a scenario where relief can be taken nearer the hole?
If for some odd reason there is a Dropping Zone.

Edit: I thought I had pressed the button before rulie replied but I went to have my dinner a couple of hours ago and seemingly hadn't. So rather belatedly Have done it now.
 

salfordlad

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Is there a scenario where relief can be taken nearer the hole?
Dropping Zone aside (I've never seen one used for relief from a bunker), the answer is no. The only alternative (to play as lies) would then become penalty relief outside the bunker.
 
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