Rule of the Week
April 26, 2016


Harry and Lloyd play golf together a couple times a week.  On the third hole, Harry's skies his tee shot towards the left greenside bunker.  Upon arriving at the area, Harry tells Lloyd, "my ball has embedded in the bunker, and I would like to proceed under the embedded ball rule."


Lloyd comes over to take a look.  Lloyd has just recently finished the Golf Canada online Level 2 Rules of Golf Seminar and tells Harry the following Rule. 


 "The ball can't be embedded in sand and it lies in a Bunker (which is also a hazard).  You can either play the ball as it lies or proceed under another rule, such as the three options available under the unplayable ball rule (Rule 28)." 


Harry is quite upset but agrees with Lloyd's assessment.  Harry takes a mighty slash at the ball and extricates it on the front of the green.  Quite frustrated with having to play what in his mind is an "Embedded Ball," he promptly 4 putts for a 6. 


 Was Lloyd correct?  Absolutely! ~ a ball cannot be embedded in sand!    


Rule 25-2 Embedded Ball Rule

QUESTION: On what part of the course is a player entitled to relief from an embedded ball?

ANSEWR: Under Rule 25-2, a player may only take relief from a ball that is embedded in a closely-mown area through the green. A closely-mown area is any area that is mowed to fairway height or less. However, the Committee may adopt a Local Rule that allows for relief from an embedded ball anywhere through the green. This Local Rule can be found in Appendix I; Part B of the Rules of Golf.


DECISION 25-2/0.5: When Ball Embedded in Ground

A ball is deemed to be embedded in the ground only if:

  • the impact of the ball landing has created a pitch-mark in the ground,

  • the ball is in its own pitch-mark, and

  • part of the ball is below the level of the ground.

Provided that these three requirements are met, a ball does not necessarily have to touch the soil to be considered embedded (e.g., grass, loose impediments or the like may intervene between the ball and the soil).  Any doubt as to whether a ball is embedded should be resolved against the player.

Happy golfing and remember the Rules of Golf Matter

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