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Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Dear All,


I am baffled by this ruling when the ball is plugged in the lip of the bunker. Two instances of this has happened to me


1. Fairway bunker on 3rd hole at Royal County Down - i hit my ball outwards and it got caught in the hairy outline lip and was declared unplayable - was told that had to take a penalty drop out of the bunker as the ball was outside the bunker


2. Recently I hit a drive at my local club and the ball was plugged in the vertical lip of the bunker and as it was in the 'rough' rolled it out fortunately a flat surface was right by it. There is no free drop one club length wise.


The question I have why a free drop one club length?? this ruling to me is 'left hand and right hand' need more clarification regarding this


Cheers
Ben

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Dear All,


I am baffled by this ruling when the ball is plugged in the lip of the bunker. Two instances of this has happened to me


1. Fairway bunker on 3rd hole at Royal County Down - i hit my ball outwards and it got caught in the hairy outline lip and was declared unplayable - was told that had to take a penalty drop out of the bunker as the ball was outside the bunker


2. Recently I hit a drive at my local club and the ball was plugged in the vertical lip of the bunker and as it was in the 'rough' rolled it out fortunately a flat surface was right by it. There is no free drop one club length wise.


The question I have why a free drop one club length?? this ruling to me is 'left hand and right hand' need more clarification regarding this


Cheers
Ben

The grass face is not part of the bunker. Free drop. Same for plugged in the revetted face of a bunker.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
It's just the embedded ball rule. That rule used to be in effect in grass cut to fairway length or lower pre-2019 (but the USGA typically extended it via the option through the green), but that was flipped in 2019: it's in effect for the whole general area with an option to limit it to fairway height or less.

See Committee Procedures, Section 8; Model Local Rule F-2 (the Committee may adopt a Local Rule allowing relief only for a ball embedded in an area cut to fairway height or less).

https://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-clarifications/rules-and-clarifications.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=16&subrulenum=3

As Sean said, the grass face of a bunker is not part of the bunker.

The relief area must be in the general area (i.e. it can't be in the bunker).
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I generally ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

JohnVDB

  • Karma: +0/-0
We do have the Local Rule for no relieve from reverted faces in effect at Dornoch.  Always read the Local a rules!


Also, there is a new Clarification on what to do if the point directly behind the ball is not in the General Area:


Quote

16.3b/1 – Taking Embedded Ball Relief When Spot Immediately Behind Ball is Not In General Area
When a player is allowed to take relief from a ball embedded in the general area, there are situations where the spot immediately behind where the ball is embedded is not in the general area.
When this occurs, the relief procedure requires the player to find the nearest spot in the general area that is not nearer the hole to the spot immediately behind where the ball embedded, and this spot becomes the reference point for establishing a relief area under Rule 16.3b.
While this spot is normally very close to the spot behind where the ball embedded, it could be some distance away (such as when a ball embeds just outside a penalty area and, based on the shape of the penalty area, the player would need to go some distance to the right or left in order to find a spot in the general area that is not nearer the hole).
This procedure also applies when a ball is in bounds but embeds right next to out of bounds or when it embeds in the wall or face right above a bunker. (New)

Carl Johnson

  • Karma: +0/-0
"Also, there is a new Clarification on what to do if the point directly behind the ball is not in the General Area:
"Taking Embedded Ball Relief When Spot Immediately Behind Ball is Not In General AreaWhen a player is allowed to take relief from a ball embedded in the general area, there are situations where the spot immediately behind where the ball is embedded is not in the general area.When this occurs, the relief procedure requires the player to find the nearest spot in the general area that is not nearer the hole to the spot immediately behind where the ball embedded, and this spot becomes the reference point for establishing a relief area under Rule 16.3b.


So, JohnVDB, are you saying that the drops awarded to Hovland and Conners were wrong, since the spot immediately behind the embedded ball appeared to be in the bunker?

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Dear All,


I am baffled by this ruling when the ball is plugged in the lip of the bunker. Two instances of this has happened to me


1. Fairway bunker on 3rd hole at Royal County Down - i hit my ball outwards and it got caught in the hairy outline lip and was declared unplayable - was told that had to take a penalty drop out of the bunker as the ball was outside the bunker


2. Recently I hit a drive at my local club and the ball was plugged in the vertical lip of the bunker and as it was in the 'rough' rolled it out fortunately a flat surface was right by it. There is no free drop one club length wise.


The question I have why a free drop one club length?? this ruling to me is 'left hand and right hand' need more clarification regarding this


Cheers
Ben

The grass face is not part of the bunker. Free drop. Same for plugged in the revetted face of a bunker.

Ciao


I know the grass face is not part of the bunker - its outside the bunker and at RCD they did not have relief from the wispy grass outline and it was unplayable for me the caddie was a member of RCD and said it was a penalty drop. My club doesn't have rules re embedded ball in bunker face so agreement with playing partners is that i roll it out to the side as it was plugged.


Have discussed it with other golfers they were baffled why there was no penalty drop which I think it should have been as they planted the ball there which they shouldn't have and go let off too easily because of a local rule 

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0

[size=78%]they planted the ball there which they shouldn't have and go let off too easily because of a local rule [/size]


They both made double from slightly miss-hit fairway bunker shots, so I don’t really think they got off easily.

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm missing something. It wasn't plugged in the sand. It was plugged in the grass. In what world are you not getting a free drop?
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

Pete_Pittock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Out here we have something called the "Oregon Vortex", along I-5 north of Medford. It is an old shack which plays with your vision, distorting what you believe is up and down. Is something off in the constructed bunker which affected professional golfers into hitting mirror image bad shots. Since Conners and Hovland are non-US, is the Ryder committee involved.


Regarding the ruling, unless the grass bank is vertical or concave, there would be a point directly behind which is not in the bunker, b ut it could be infinitesimally small

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm missing something. It wasn't plugged in the sand. It was plugged in the grass. In what world are you not getting a free drop?


Its just a personal view like if you were right by a tree or wall you don't get a free drop this is disparity in terms of the rules. One club length is not great either.

Have spent most of this winter and spring moving plugged lies (as it has been so wet in the UK this spring) by just rolling the ball out of the plugged lie which is fairer not free drop of one club length which is an easy way out in my opinion.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2023, 02:52:03 PM by Ben Stephens »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm missing something. It wasn't plugged in the sand. It was plugged in the grass. In what world are you not getting a free drop?


Its just a personal view like if you were right by a tree or wall you don't get a free drop this is disparity in terms of the rules. One club length is not great either.

Have spent most of this winter and spring moving plugged lies (as it has been so wet in the UK this spring) by just rolling the ball out of the plugged lie which is fairer not free drop of one club length which is an easy way out in my opinion.

You get your stance off the free drop. Don't have to stand in the sand, no?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
I was grilling dinner and admittedly only looked quickly while walking back and forth, but was it clear that it was in the grass? When I saw it, it just as easily could have been called in the bunker - ie it was plugged on the edge. I'd actually have said it was more bunker than grass, but again, I didn't see it that closely.


I look forward to JVDB's response, he is my rules guru... :)
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Dan_Callahan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Connor's ball looked like there was a very good chance it was still in sand. And the rules official only gave that a casual glance. The bigger question to me was the very liberal use of "one club length" on the drops. The is no way Connor's club was even close to the tee marking the point at which he could measure. It looked more like he put the head of his driver at the top of that mound and then the rules official checked to make sure it was no closer to the hole. But he completely ignored the fact that the grip end of his driver was about 6 inches (or so it looked on tv) from the relief point.

David Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Connor's ball looked like there was a very good chance it was still in sand. And the rules official only gave that a casual glance. The bigger question to me was the very liberal use of "one club length" on the drops. The is no way Connor's club was even close to the tee marking the point at which he could measure. It looked more like he put the head of his driver at the top of that mound and then the rules official checked to make sure it was no closer to the hole. But he completely ignored the fact that the grip end of his driver was about 6 inches (or so it looked on tv) from the relief point.


The Scheffler drop on 18 at the 2021 Masters looked like the grip end of his driver was at least a few inches away from the ball as well.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

JohnVDB

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm missing something. It wasn't plugged in the sand. It was plugged in the grass. In what world are you not getting a free drop?


Its just a personal view like if you were right by a tree or wall you don't get a free drop this is disparity in terms of the rules. One club length is not great either.

Have spent most of this winter and spring moving plugged lies (as it has been so wet in the UK this spring) by just rolling the ball out of the plugged lie which is fairer not free drop of one club length which is an easy way out in my opinion.


Before 2019 you had to drop as near as possu or to where it was embedded, but the ball could roll up to two club lengths.  Now you can drop within one club length and the ball has to stay within that area, so you might end up better off or worse than before.  But no “rolling” you ball as that is effectively placing will will always mean you get the lie you want.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm missing something. It wasn't plugged in the sand. It was plugged in the grass. In what world are you not getting a free drop?


Its just a personal view like if you were right by a tree or wall you don't get a free drop this is disparity in terms of the rules. One club length is not great either.

Have spent most of this winter and spring moving plugged lies (as it has been so wet in the UK this spring) by just rolling the ball out of the plugged lie which is fairer not free drop of one club length which is an easy way out in my opinion.


Before 2019 you had to drop as near as possu or to where it was embedded, but the ball could roll up to two club lengths.  Now you can drop within one club length and the ball has to stay within that area, so you might end up better off or worse than before.  But no “rolling” you ball as that is effectively placing will will always mean you get the lie you want.


Was it in the new rule changes by R&A and USGA back in 2019?


Sometimes rolling the ball just outside the plugged lie doesn't improve the lie or the lie you want and in my opinion the drop from the knee and choice of area to target is more likely to improve your lie.


Imagine if the pros rolled the ball out of the face it would fall into the sand right up to the face - is that unfair some may say it is and others no


It is a cloudy area in terms of the rules

JohnVDB

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm missing something. It wasn't plugged in the sand. It was plugged in the grass. In what world are you not getting a free drop?


Its just a personal view like if you were right by a tree or wall you don't get a free drop this is disparity in terms of the rules. One club length is not great either.

Have spent most of this winter and spring moving plugged lies (as it has been so wet in the UK this spring) by just rolling the ball out of the plugged lie which is fairer not free drop of one club length which is an easy way out in my opinion.


Before 2019 you had to drop as near as possu or to where it was embedded, but the ball could roll up to two club lengths.  Now you can drop within one club length and the ball has to stay within that area, so you might end up better off or worse than before.  But no “rolling” you ball as that is effectively placing will will always mean you get the lie you want.


Was it in the new rule changes by R&A and USGA back in 2019?


Sometimes rolling the ball just outside the plugged lie doesn't improve the lie or the lie you want and in my opinion the drop from the knee and choice of area to target is more likely to improve your lie.


Imagine if the pros rolled the ball out of the face it would fall into the sand right up to the face - is that unfair some may say it is and others no


It is a cloudy area in terms of the rules


It was in the 2019 Rules change. 


There is nothing cloudy about it to me.  Not sure what you mean by that. If the Committee doesn’t want the player to get the break, they can prohibit relieve from either reverted faces like we do at Dornoch or prohibit relief from embedded balls anywhere other than the fairway, which the R&A does at the Open I believe.

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