Relief From Casual Water in a Bunker

Situation:

During a tournament round after heavy rains, several bunkers are almost completely filled with water. The player hit his ball into one of these bunkers. His ball was in water about two inches deep and he requested relief from the casual water. The problem the player faced was the entire bunker was filled and no area was without casual water. Along the inside edge of the bunker the water was only about a quarter of an inch deep. The player claimed he should get relief outside of the bunker since casual water completely covered the bunker. Does the player get free relief outside the bunker in this case?

Decision:

No he does not. Rule 25 discusses relief from abnormal ground conditions, in this case casual water. The player is entitled to relief except when the ball is in a water hazard, or a lateral water hazard. In this situation, the ball is in the bunker and the player is permitted maximum available relief within the bunker. Along the inside edge of the bunker is the least amount of  casual water and would therefore be the area of maximum available relief.

If the player would like to drop along the inside edge of the bunker, he may do so without penalty. If he would like to drop outside the bunker he may do so under penalty of one stroke.

Note: The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this rule. In almost every case when relief is allowed without penalty, remember water hazards, lateral water hazards, bunkers and putting greens have slightly different rulings.

 

Do you have a Rules question you would like answered? Contact me. Gary@thenextgolfshot.com

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