QUESTION: Leo and Ken are playing in a tournament. On one particular hole, there is an area within a sand bunker that is grass covered. Leo strokes his ball into the bunker and when he arrives at the bunker, deems his ball unplayable in the grass. He decides to drop a ball directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is to be dropped under a penalty of one stroke and that spot is behind the bunker. Ken says he must drop the ball in the bunker. Is Ken correct?
ANSWER: A grass covered area within a bunker is not part of the bunker. Under Rule 28, Leo may go back as far as he wants to drop the ball as he has and does not have to drop the ball in the bunker. Leo has proceeded correctly. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 28/9. Ken is incorrect.
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Alan Jeffery is a professional golf instructor at GMNGC.