Rules Guy: Where can you drop from a bunker marked as ground under repair?

October 29, 2019

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

If part of a bunker is GUR (Ground Under Repair), can the nearest point of relief be in the bunker? Or is the free drop always outside the bunker? —ALEX BREESCH, SINT-TRUIDEN, BELGIUM

GUR … it can lead to both GERD and grrrrr! Under Rule 16.1c, you can take relief outside the bunker, but it will cost you a penalty stroke. It’s always a one-penalty stroke to move outside of a bunker.

For free relief, you need to find the nearest point of complete relief no closer to the hole, from which point you get one club length. Can’t establish a nearest point of complete relief in the bunker due to temporary water in the back of the bunker? At that point, the free relief option in the bunker has been used to the maximum available relief, which is finding the spot where you have the least interference and take relief using that point. Pardon my French, but you are now SOL vis-à-vis free relief from the GUR.

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