No.31 Two Balls in a Bunker


Question 1:

Two fellow competitors' balls, A and B, lie close together in a bunker;

a) Which ball should be played first?

b) May the player making the first stroke require that the other ball is marked and lifted?

c) May the ball be marked to the side rather than behind where it is at rest?

d) May the player who lifted their ball clean it before it is replaced?

e) What is the procedure if the first player's stroke alters the second player's lie or stance?

f) Who may restore the second player's lie or stance in the bunker?


Answer 1:

a) Ball B, as it is farther from the hole.

b) Yes, under Rule 22-2, Ball Interfering With Play.

c) Yes, the ball may be marked to the side.

d) No, a ball that has been lifted because it interfered with another player's ball may not be cleaned.

e) The second player is entitled to have the area of the bunker around where their ball was at rest restored to its original condition before replacing their ball.

f) Anyone may restore this area of the bunker to its original condition.

Part of Rule 22-2 states;

Except when a ball is in motion, if a player considers that another ball might interfere with his play, he may have it lifted.

A ball lifted under this Rule must be replaced (see Rule 20-3). The ball must not be cleaned, unless it lies on the putting green (see Rule 21).

Note: When moving a ball or ball-marker to the side to prevent it from interfering with another player's stance or stroke, the player may measure from the side of the ball or ball-marker. In order to accurately replace the ball on the spot from which it was lifted, the steps used to move the ball or ball-marker to the side should be reversed.

Decision 13-4/19 states;

Q. The balls of A and B lie in the same bunker, with B's ball farther from the hole. B plays and his ball comes to rest nearer the hole than A's ball. Is A entitled to have the bunker restored to its original condition?

A. Yes. In addition to Exception 2 to Rule 13-4, which allows the player to smooth sand or soil in a hazard at any time for the sole purpose of caring for the course, A would be entitled, in equity (Rule 1-4), to restore the bunker to its original condition by raking or other means, even if this involves an area covered by Rule 13-2 with respect to his next stroke. The bunker may be restored by anyone.


Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,


Good golfing, 

The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes 2011/12 and may not be copied without permission