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?
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.
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