By Rules Guy
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You take your stance in a greenside bunker and dig in your feet. You then change your mind about the type of shot to play and leave the bunker to switch clubs. You return to the bunker, smooth over your original footprints and take a new stance. Under the Rules, your actions:

A. Result in a one-stroke penalty.

B. Are not allowed and you should take the shot you originally planned for.

C. Are subject to a two-stroke penalty.

Go to the next page for the answer.

You take your stance in a greenside bunker and dig in your feet. You then change your mind about the type of shot to play and leave the bunker to switch clubs. You return to the bunker, smooth over your original footprints and take a new stance. Under the Rules, your actions:

A. Result in a one-stroke penalty.

B. Are not allowed and you should take the shot you originally planned for.

C. Are subject to a two-stroke penalty.

ANSWER: C. While the Rules allow you to take your stance in a bunker more than once, the Rules do not allow you to smooth the sand over your original prints. This unnecessary step is considered testing the conditions of the hazard, which violates Rule 13-4a. You should have taken your new stance by placing your feet in the footprints you had already made, or by digging your feet in at a different place without smoothing the first prints.

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