Steps in bunker.

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clubchamp98

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We have had some steps installed by a contractor in some of our bunkers.
They go into the bunker by about 2’.
They have been imo placed in the wrong spots .
On 1st hole steps are at the very back of the bunker , and when the pin is on the front of the green there is nowhere to take relief from the steps. As steps are in farthest part of bunker so all bunker is nearer the hole.
All other pin positions are ok .
Similar thing on 16th but other way around ie front ok back pin nowhere to drop!

I landed on steps and only option without penalty was to play off the step. ( thinned as could not get club under the ball)
Put letter in to greens committee but nothing from them for three weeks.

What is the official line here if there is no place for relief.?
 
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Is it not 16.1c that applies? You can have free relief in the bunker, not nearer hole etc. But if that's not available (or, if you just so choose) you can have relief outside the bunker under a 1 stroke penalty?
 
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clubchamp98

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Is it not 16.1c that applies? You can have free relief in the bunker, not nearer hole etc. But if that's not available (or, if you just so choose) you can have relief outside the bunker under a 1 stroke penalty?
I thought taking relief outside of a bunker was 2 shots? Didnt realise it was a different penalty for an immovable object as opposed to an unplayable?
 

Colin L

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16.1c(2) Relief outside a bunker from an abnormal course condition in it (which includes an immovable obstruction) = 1 penalty stroke. Not new.
19.3b Relief outside a bunker from an unplayable ball in it = 2 penalty strokes. New in 2019.
 

rulie

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16.1c(2) Relief outside a bunker from an abnormal course condition in it (which includes an immovable obstruction) = 1 penalty stroke. Not new.
19.3b Relief outside a bunker from an unplayable ball in it = 2 penalty strokes. New in 2019.
And a variant, eg, for movable obstructions in a bunker, Interpretation 14.2e/1.
 
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clubchamp98

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Yes it is. Relief outside would be 'Back on Line'. 16.1c(2)
Noticed on the tv at the weekend Hillside gc had steps in the bunker right at the back.
This would create the same problem with the pin in certain places.
Is there anyone who has guidelines where they should be.
 
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duncan mackie

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Noticed on the tv at the weekend Hillside gc had steps in the bunker right at the back.
This would create the same problem with the pin in certain places.
Is there anyone who has guidelines where they should be.
The guidelines are obvious....they should be in a position such that (1) a player can always drop somewhere else within the bunker without being nearer to any pin (2) a player will not be playing a normal shot to a pin at, or over, them (safety).
This will normally mean that they are situated in the sides towards the rear.
It will not always be possible to meet all the criteria - safety should always prevail.
The other, often forgotten, point is that frequently for interference at the rear of the bunker the player wouldn't be able to play towards the green from that position without the steps being there - so now they get to drop it out rather than play out backwards! Unfortunately, when faced with such situations most fail to see any benefit and just blame the designers.
 
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clubchamp98

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Our are in the sides near the rear.
It’s only certain pin placements that there is a problem.
My suggestion was use them pins for social golf but make sure in comps there is somewhere to drop in the bunker if interference from steps occurs.
Thanks.
 

wilspa

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Noticed on the tv at the weekend Hillside gc had steps in the bunker right at the back.
This would create the same problem with the pin in certain places.
Is there anyone who has guidelines where they should be.
A bunker is vertically upwards from the sand so if the step is on the side of the bunker (outside of the sand) it is not in the bunker. The relief is for an immoveable obstruction in general area ie free relief within one club length not nearer the hole. But if the offending step is within the vertical margin of the bunker it would have to be dropped in the bunker but without any penalty.
 

jim8flog

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A bunker is vertically upwards from the sand so if the step is on the side of the bunker (outside of the sand) it is not in the bunker. The relief is for an immoveable obstruction in general area ie free relief within one club length not nearer the hole. But if the offending step is within the vertical margin of the bunker it would have to be dropped in the bunker but without any penalty.
At any golf course the first course of action is to read the local rules. I have seen a couple I did not agree with regards to steps in to a bunker.
 

salfordlad

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A bunker is vertically upwards from the sand so if the step is on the side of the bunker (outside of the sand) it is not in the bunker. The relief is for an immoveable obstruction in general area ie free relief within one club length not nearer the hole. But if the offending step is within the vertical margin of the bunker it would have to be dropped in the bunker but without any penalty.
You have the right answer but the wrong reason. A bunker is not defined to extend vertically upwards, otherwise anything overhanging the bunker (eg part of a tree or vegetation) would be "in" the bunker. For an immovable obstruction that has part of the object touching sand in the bunker, that part of the obstruction is in the bunker.
 

wilspa

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I wasn't talking about trees or shrubs outside of the bunker as they are irrelevant for this question. If the step in question is outside the vertical line they are not inside the bunker and free relief would be granted.


The first thing to note when your ball is in the sand is determining if your ball is considered in the bunker of not. According to Rule 12.1, your ball is considered in the bunker if “any part of it touches sand on the ground inside the edge of the bunker.” Your ball is also considered in the bunker if it’s inside the edge of the bunker and rests on the ground where sand would normally be, or “on a loose impediment, movable obstruction, abnormal course condition or integral object.”

A bunker is defined as a specially prepared area of sand. A lip or face at the edge of a prepared area consisting of soil, grass, stacked turf or artificial materials is not part of a bunker.
Rule 12-1 states that a ball is in the bunker when any part of the ball touches sand on the ground inside the edge of the bunker.
Clearly then the steps are outside the bunker. This will be the case if any part of the steps lies within the area of the bunker but above the sand.

But if the step where your ball is at rest is in the sand/bunker they would have a free drop but would have to have a free drop in the bunker.
 

Colin L

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A bunker is vertically upwards from the sand so if the step is on the side of the bunker (outside of the sand) it is not in the bunker. The relief is for an immoveable obstruction in general area ie free relief within one club length not nearer the hole. But if the offending step is within the vertical margin of the bunker it would have to be dropped in the bunker but without any penalty.
What's the relevance of whether an obstruction is outside or partly in a bunker? What matters is where your ball lies. If it is in the bunker and there is interference by an obstruction on the course, you may take free relief with the proviso that the relief area is in the bunker or, with a one stroke penalty, back on the line relief outside the bunker See Rule 16.1c

Are you getting mixed up with an obstruction that is partly in a penalty area and partly outside it?
 

wilspa

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I am not getting mixed up. I am stating that if my ball is on a step that is outside of the bunker (on side of the bunker) I would get free relief outside of the bunker as I was not in it. One club nearest point of relief not nearer the hole.
 

salfordlad

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I am not getting mixed up. I am stating that if my ball is on a step that is outside of the bunker (on side of the bunker) I would get free relief outside of the bunker as I was not in it. One club nearest point of relief not nearer the hole.
I agree with what you say here - my previous comment was a different observation. Andy McFee would be the very first to tell you that a bunker does not extend vertically upwards - penalty areas and OOB do that.
 
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