Golf Rules 2019 – What’s new in bunkers?

Golf Rules 2019 – What’s new in bunkers?

Touching the sand in the bunker (Rule 12)

Previously, touching the sand in the bunker before the stroke was not permitted, except for very few exceptions.

Now, touching the sand incidentally is basically allowed, i.e. you are permitted to lean on your club. However, you are still not allowed to test the condition of the sand before the stroke is played, improve the line of play, ground the club in front of or behind the ball or touch the sand during practice swings.

Good to know: You therefore now do not have to be extra careful in bunkers, especially if you are not very close to the ball.

Loose impediments (Rule 15)

Previously, touching leaves, twigs, stones, branches and other loose impediments in bunkers was not allowed.

Now, you can remove them anywhere without penalty, including in bunkers.

Good to know: Please bear in mind that the ball is still not allowed to move when removing loose impediments.

Unplayable ball in the bunker (Rule 19)

Previously, the player had three dropping options – each incurring one penalty stroke – if he declared his ball in a bunker unplayable.

Now, a fourth option is available. You can also drop the ball directly behind the bunker. However, this option costs two penalty strokes instead of just one.

Good to know: You can use this option to avoid playing a bunker shot at all but in most cases it will not be worth it.

6 Responses to Golf Rules 2019 – What’s new in bunkers?

  1. Bill Whitten June 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm #

    I’m confused abut “touching the sand”. What do you mean by “you can lean on your club”? Who ever leans on their club?

    • G June 22, 2019 at 11:30 am #

      If it’s a steep bunker, sometimes you need to use the club as a cane to keep from falling.

  2. delaney June 11, 2019 at 7:55 pm #

    lots of people. ever watch golf on tv?

  3. Merv June 12, 2019 at 4:40 pm #

    How about if I hit my 3rd shot on a par 5 and saw the splash in the pond so I hit a provo but when I got there the ball had jumped out of the pond can I play that shot without penalty?

  4. Alfredo June 19, 2019 at 3:42 pm #

    I don’t think a player can nominate to hit a provisional ball if its virtually certain that – his/her first shot “splashed” into a water hazard (penalty area) or finished out of bounds.

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