10th @Brokenhurst – Ball Embedded in the face of a bunker

The 10th is a long par 3 – a wood or even a driver for many golfers to reach the raised green. Bunkers left and right trap many shots and even if you hit the green a two putt isn’t straightforward if you are on the wrong tier. Most players are more than happy to walk off the green with a par.

My problem here is that I have thinned an attempted flop shot and the ball has become embedded in the bank of the bunker – what can I do? This is one rule where you can make your next shot much easier or much more difficult depending on your actions.

Some courses may have a local rule in place which would not allow free relief for a ball embedded in stacked turf or a soil face above bunkers – so do check before you act!

My ball is in the General Area (even though it is vertically above the Bunker it is not touching the sand, so it is not in the Bunker). The reference point for embedded ball relief is immediately behind the ball, so with the vertical face here that point is in the bunker. My Relief Area is then anywhere that is:

  • within 1 club length of the Reference Point, and
  • not nearer the hole than the Reference Point, and
  • within the General Area

If there is nowhere that satisfies all these conditions (e.g. the whole area is within the Bunker) then I am not able to take embedded ball relief and I will need to either play the ball as it lies or perhaps take an Unplayable Lie under penalty of 1 stroke.

Please have a look at this post which goes into a bit more detail on possible scenarios.

Ball Embedded in the Face of a Bunker

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