QUESTION: Mary and Jim are playing in a tournament. On the 4th hole Jim strokes his second shot into an unplayable lie in the front sand bunker. The ball lies a bit under the lip of the green near the pin. He drops a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped behind the bunker, with no limit to how far beyond that point the ball may be dropped. He then strokes the ball. Mary says he should be penalized. Is Mary correct?
ANSWER: Jim is allowed to drop a ball as he did as long as he drops the ball in the bunker. If he is in the bunker, he may drop a ball within two club lengths of where the ball lay, not nearer the hole. Again, the ball must be dropped within the bunker. He may also proceed under the stroke and distance penalty keeping the ball as close as possible to the spot the original ball was played. Mary is correct.
See Rule 28, Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2014-2015.
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Alan Jeffery is a golf professional at GMNGC.