USGA Explanation On Status Of "Waste Bunkers"


The recent ruling involving Stewart Cink in the playoff at the MCI Heritage Classic at Harbour Town Golf Links has given rise to a number of inquiries regarding the status of 'waste areas' or 'waste bunkers.'

The Rules of Golf do not define such areas. By Definition, a bunker is a prepared area of ground from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand or the like.

On the other hand, a natural sandy area is not a hazard, and a player whose ball lies in such an area may ground his club lightly in, or remove loose impediments from, the area as the area is through the green. The PGA Tour Rules Committee identified a number of these areas around the Harbour Town Golf Links, referred to them as "waste areas" on their Local Rules sheet and treated them as areas through the green for the competition.

It is a fact that the removal of loose impediments (in accordance with Rule 23-1) may incidentally cause the removal of a small amount of sand or similar material. However, if the player removes more sand or like material than would incidentally occur in the removal of such loose impediments and this action improves the lie of the ball, then a breach of Rule 13-2 occurs.

For the PGA Tour's statement regarding the ruling given to Stewart Cink, go to http://www.pgatour.com/story/7270134


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