This week I will explain the different options when our ball is in abnormal ground conditions.
1- Your tee shot is struck toward a bunker. When you arrive at the area you don’t find your ball. The bunker is full of water or snow.
The first thing to do is to determine if it is virtually certain the ball is lost in the bunker. After that we must determine where the ball likely crossed the beginning of the casual water.
Without penalty, we may drop a ball in the bunker. If it is not possible to drop a ball in the bunker we may drop a ball outside the bunker keeping a line between the point of entry and the flag. We must add a 1 stroke penalty.
NOTE: The committee may put into effect a local rule to consider this bunker as Ground Under Repair (GUR) and there is no penalty if we play the ball outside the bunker.
2 – The ball lies in a bunker almost full of casual water, only a small area of dry sand.
-A The dry area is closer to the hole OR
-B No area in the bunker is dry
The same ruling as #1 if we play the ball outside the bunker. In a bunker it is possible to drop a ball in an area not closer to the pin even if we are still in casual water. We don’t have the obligation to take complete relief.
3- Your ball lies in a bunker in a deep crack in the sand and it is not possible to put the club on the ball.
You must ask a ruling from a rules official. If the crack is deep, it is possible the official will grant a free relief.
4- The ball lies near a bees nest and the bunker is very small.
The Rules allow a player to drop a ball in a similar bunker without penalty.
5- Half of the bunker is full of water, you can see your ball but can’t recover it
6- Your ball lies in a bunker near a big branch that has fallen overnight.
This branch is a loose impediment and you may not remove or touch this branch. The Committee may consider this area GUR and a free relief could be granted.
BALL LOST – A FEW QUESTIONS
A – You hit your ball toward a green and it is a blind shot. You are not certain of the result so you hit a provisional ball. Arriving near the green, we can’t find the original ball, and you continue the play of the hole with the provisional. 6 minutes later and after making 4 strokes at the provisional, you find the original ball in the hole…
B – Your ball lies in the woods, you make a stroke and the ball disappears, you don’t have any idea where the ball went, it may be embedded in the ground or elsewhere and you can’t find it.
C – Your ball lies on dry ground in a water hazard. You make the stroke, the ball moves a few feet. You try again and the ball goes in deep water, lost…
D – You are searching for your ball. After 3 minutes you tell everybody to stop the search, you declare the ball lost and you go back at the tee. Before hitting the shot someone waves to you saying they found a ball. 4 minutes 50 seconds has elapsed and it will take you 30 seconds to go and identify if it is your ball…