We are already in August. More than half the season is gone (at least for golfers East of Trois-Rivières).
Because of Covid-19, golf course did not put any rakes in bunkers. Golf Quebec suggested that every golf courses adopt a local rule stating that when a ball lies in a bunker the player may take relief under the preferred lie local rule. One club length but the ball must stay in the bunker.
In the past 2 ½ months, I received many questions on this local rule and I am under the impression this local rule is not known that well and it should apply everywhere in Quebec.
Question A: Can I pick up the ball, smooth the sand with my foot and place the ball on the smooth surface?
Answer A: No. A player is not allowed to fix the surface before putting back the ball in play. The penalty is 2 strokes.
Question B: My opponent has a good lie in the bunker, but he is close to the edge. I don’t want him to take relief because he will get an advantage.
Answer B: Another player or opponent does not have anything to say about the decision to use the preferred lie option. It is the player’s decision. But it is important to make sure the ball does not end up closer to the hole.
Question C: My ball is plugged in the sand and there is no place in the bunker where I can place the ball without being closer to the hole. What are my options?
Answer C: In that case, the only option is to declare the ball unplayable and use the different options with a one stroke penalty
– back on the line relief or two club lengths – staying in the bunker
– go back to where the previous stroke was made
– drop a ball outside the bunker with a penalty of 2 strokes.
EAST COAST PRO TOUR
In Quebec, we have a mini tour where the best pros from Quebec and Ontario compete at a very high level. In our first tournament, we had 90 players and it would not have been practical to have volunteer at each bunker to rake the sand. This may be possible only with small fields.
We have decided that the preferred lie local rule in bunkers is also in effect. This local rule is not only for amateurs.
MESSAGE TO THE CAPTAINS
Many golf clubs and members are not aware of that local rule. It is the job of the captain to make sure all the members are aware of that local rule
Grounding the club: It is important to know it is not permitted to ground the club on the sand and we must not touch the sand on our backswing.