Guidelines Man

January 13, 2023

What do the principles say about touching the sand a number of occasions in a bunker?

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The Guidelines of Golf are difficult! Fortunately, we’ve bought the guru. Our Guidelines Man is aware of the e-book entrance to again. Received a query? He’s bought all of the solutions.

Throughout a males’s league match, my opponent wasn’t conscious of the rule in opposition to grounding his membership within the bunker. He took three observe swings into the sand earlier than blasting out. Is there a penalty for every infraction or only one? Additionally, does it make a distinction if it’s match play or stroke play? — Douglas Lind, Lewiston, Idaho

In our humble estimation, there needs to be a penalty for taking three observe swings anyplace, not to mention in a bunker.

Regardless, beneath Rule 12.2b, it’s the final penalty of two strokes in stroke play and lack of gap in match play for touching the sand in a bunker with a observe swing.

So, in match play, in the event you make a ruling request in regards to the infraction in time, your opponent loses the opening, irrespective of if he did it one or a dozen occasions.

In stroke play, the query of what number of two-stroke penalties he will get depends upon whether or not there was an intervening occasion. Did you inform him he couldn’t achieve this after the primary time and he did it once more anyway, or was there no dialogue or stroke in between?

If the previous, primarily the penalty is multiplied based mostly on when the intervening occasion occurred; if the latter, it’s a one-time two-stroke sanction.

Guidelines Man: In case your ball goes in a bunker, is it authorized to take observe swings that contact the sand in a unique bunker?


Guidelines Man

For extra bunker-related steering from our guru, learn on …

I used to be on the backside of a steep greenside bunker. Instantly after hitting my shot, I smoothed the sand with my foot — solely to then look as much as see the ball hadn’t cleared the lure and was rolling again to me. In fact, it stopped precisely within the spot I’d smoothed. Was this a penalty? — Tom Metzner, by way of e mail

Loyal readers of Guidelines Man know that, along with favoring the third-person plural when referencing ourselves, we frequently underscore the notion that being conscious of what’s happening round you, like realizing the Guidelines of Golf, usually works to 1’s benefit…besides, that’s, when the alternative is true.

This can be a case of the latter. Firstly, had been the ball outdoors the bunker if you had been smoothing, there isn’t any problem in any respect, even when the ball goes to roll again into the bunker. Now, when the ball is certainly within the bunker, no matter whether or not it ever left, issues can change.

In the event you smoothed the sand intentionally to have an effect on the ball in movement, that may be the final penalty of two strokes in stroke play or lack of gap in match play beneath Rule 11.3.

If, nonetheless, you had been blissfully unaware and easily smoothing to look after the course, there isn’t any penalty concerned, skirting the prohibitions beneath Rule 12.2b.

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