Loose Impediments and Movable Obstructions in Bunkers
Q.May I remove a loose natural object (loose impediment) in a bunker? What about an artificial object?
A.A loose natural object is a loose impediment and may be removed anywhere on the golf course (see Rule 12.2a). But, you’ll want to be careful that your ball does not move if you move a loose impediment or you will get one penalty stroke and must replace your ball. An artificial object is an obstruction. If it’s movable, it may be moved anywhere on the course, including in bunkers and penalty areas.
United States Open: Future Sites
No Play Zones
Q.What is a no play zone?
A.A no play zone is an area on the course that you may not play from. If your ball is in a no play zone, or you are going to stand in one or your swing will hit something in one when making your stroke, you must take relief (see Rule 17.1e). If you don’t take relief and instead play your ball as it lies, you get the general penalty of loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.
Starting the Hole (Teeing Area)
Ball Falls Off Tee
Q.What do I do if my ball falls off the tee?
A.If your ball falls off the tee before you play your stroke, there is no penalty and you may put your ball back on the tee. You may also choose to move your tee to another spot in the teeing area or change balls if you want (see Rule 6.3).
Relief for Ball in Ground Under Repair
Q.My ball is in ground under repair – what are my options?
A.You may either play your ball as it lies from the ground under repair or take free relief. To take relief, you must find the nearest point of complete relief from the ground under repair and drop your original ball or another ball away from the ground under repair and within one club-length of that point not nearer the hole (see Rule 16.1).
Q.My ball is in a fairway in a puddle of water (temporary water) – what are my options?
A.Your ball is in what the Rules call “temporary water.” You may play your ball as it lies or take free relief. You take free relief by finding the nearest point of complete relief where you are clear of the puddle and then drop your original ball or another ball away from the puddle and within one club-length of that point not nearer the hole (see Rule 16.1b). You may also take relief from a puddle of water if your ball is in a bunker or on the putting green (see Rule 16.1c for the bunker or Rule 16.1d for the putting green), but you do not get relief from a puddle inside a penalty area.
Unplayable Ball in Penalty Area
Q.May I decide my ball is unplayable when it is in a penalty area?
A.No, not when your ball is in a penalty area. If you don’t want to or decide you cannot play your ball as it lies, for one penalty stroke, you may take relief using the penalty area relief options (see Rule 17.1d).