Golf Australia

VIDEO: Penalty relief always allowed from bunker (0.55min)

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2019 Rule: The player will have an extra option allowing relief outside the bunker using the back-on-the-line procedure, but for a total of two penalty strokes (Rule 19.3b).

Reasons for Change:

It is not uncommon for a player to need to take unplayable ball relief in a bunker, such as when the ball is very close to the bunker wall or lip.

Playing from a bunker can be very difficult for some players, especially when the bunker has steep walls.

  • This can present particular problems in stroke play because the player must finish the hole and so cannot simply pick up and move to the next hole after multiple tries to play the ball from the bunker.
  • Giving those players an option for taking relief outside the bunker will allow them to keep playing rather than be disqualified.

This extra option will result in a total of two penalty strokes, to make sure that:

  • The penalty is consistent with the significant amount of relief being allowed, and
  • This option does not become commonly used by players who are able to play from a bunker.


Posted by Martin at
15/07/2018 09:04 AM
Yes, correct. Straight line back from the flag, as far back as you want.
Posted by John at
14/07/2018 07:31 AM
Why not give an option of a 4 shot penalty and the ball is in the hole. No need to develop a skill, like a bunker shot, even better, let them score from the bar, this will help speed up play and of course improve the bottom line through expenditure at the bar. However they must spend at least $50.
Posted by Greig at
13/07/2018 01:28 PM
The video states that 'the ball must be dropped and played from the relief area'. So not two club lengths no nearer the hole from where dropped anymore?

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