May 26, 2015
A playing partner knocked his approach shot into a water-logged bunker. I was sure that he had to stay in the bunker even if it meant dropping nearer to the hole. Others in our group said he could drop outside the bunker, no nearer the hole and take a one stroke penalty. Who is right?
Rule 25-1b(ii) gives him his options "If the ball is in the bunker, the player may take relief from an abnormal ground condition by lifting the ball and dropping it either:
a) Without penalty, and the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker or, if complete relief is impossible, as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but no nearer the hole, in the bunker that affords maximum available relief from the condition.
b) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker while keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped".
Happy golfing and remember the Rules Matter.