fbpx
rules of golf bunker rules

Can I place a club in a bunker when playing a shot?

Spare club getting in the way? Can you chuck it in the sand, or carefully keep it away? Our expert has the answer to this golf bunker rule

 

Some shots just aren’t straightforward. Or maybe you’re in a buggy and want to cover your options without having to run back and forth.

However it’s happened, you’ve arrived on the scene with more than one club in your hand. If you’re in a bunker, what do you do? Can you place your spare club in the sand with you, or do you have to carefully keep it away? What’s the deal?

rake a bunker

Golf bunker rule: Placing clubs in a bunker

It’s all good. Set them down, chuck them in there, it’s all the same. Rule 12.2b (2) allows you to place clubs in a bunker. This extends to equipment and other objects but try not to leave the sand looking like it’s been attacked by fly-tippers.

People sometimes get hung up on the idea they may be testing the condition of the sand but you just need to think logically about it. Don’t go deliberately pulling, scraping, and other such adjectives, and you’ll be fine.

You will get the general penalty (two-strokes or loss of hole in match play) if you improve any of the conditions affecting your stroke in the sand.

What do I mean by that? It’s all covered in Rule 8.1 but it’s basically improving your lie, area of intended stance, line of play, and area of intended swing when you’re tossing your spare sand iron.

So be careful by all means, but rebuff anyone suggesting you’ve breached a rule for the mere act of placing a club in the bunker.

Got a question for our expert?

Despite the changes to the Rules of Golf at the beginning of 2019, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. I’ll try to help by featuring the best of your queries in this column.

What do you think of this golf bunker rule? Have you heard of it, or have you used it on the course? What about other golf bunker rules? Let me know with a comment on X, formerly known as twitter.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

Latest Posts

shane lowry ruling

Rules of Golf

Why couldn’t Shane Lowry play his second ball at The Open?

By

Read full article about Why couldn’t Shane Lowry play his second ball at The Open?

Rules of Golf

How do you get relief from an Open grandstand?

By

Read full article about How do you get relief from an Open grandstand?

Rules of Golf

Beware of the flying camera! An errant shot could be fatal at the Postage Stamp

By

Read full article about Beware of the flying camera! An errant shot could be fatal at the Postage Stamp
the open rules

Rules of Golf

You’ll never see these Open rules in play at your club!

By

Read full article about You’ll never see these Open rules in play at your club!
open pace of play

Rules of Golf

How are The Open cracking down on slow play?

By

Read full article about How are The Open cracking down on slow play?

Rules of Golf

I had a brain freeze! But did it ruin someone’s Open chances?

By

Read full article about I had a brain freeze! But did it ruin someone’s Open chances?
golf rules questions

Rules of Golf

5 Rules of Golf mistakes you’re all making

By

Read full article about 5 Rules of Golf mistakes you’re all making
2023 Rules of Golf changes replacing golf ball on spot

Rules of Golf

England Golf extend period for preferred lies

By

Read full article about England Golf extend period for preferred lies
rules beginner

Rules of Golf

What are the key rules beginner golfers should know?

By

Read full article about What are the key rules beginner golfers should know?