Golf is fun, whether playing solo or with others. Having a basic understanding of the game’s rules makes it easier to enjoy the experience and improve your skills. In this periodic column, I provide brief explanations of golf rules and answer commonly asked questions.
Answer:Maybe. Although it may seem unfair, there would be a penalty of one stroke if Pat dropped her ball outside of the bunker, unless the course personnel had declared the bunkers marked as ground under repair to be through the green. If this was the case Pat could take a free drop outside the bunker in accordance with the rules. You can refer to the Rules of Golf for clarification on the definition of through the green. If you remember, some time ago Pat and John had a disagreement on how to proceed when John found his ball in a sand bunker full of casual water. Well, they are at it again. This time Pat finds her ball in a sand bunker that has been marked as ground under repair. John says that she needs to go ahead and play the ball as it lies because even though the bunker is ground under repair, she would incur a penalty stroke if she dropped outside of the bunker. Is John correct?
Tip: If you find yourself in this situation while playing in a tournament and are not sure if the bunker in question has been declared as through the green, then play two balls; one from the bunker and one from outside the bunker, and ask the pro shop personnel which one counts.
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf. E-mail me at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions.