GNN explains: What's up with the bunkers at Lytham today?
Open Championship

GNN explains: What’s up with the bunkers at Lytham today?

With overnight rains saturating Royal Lytham and St. Annes, many of the English track's 205 bunkers were filled with water on Friday for the second round of the Open Championship.

If a player's ball lands in the water in the bunker, however, they are not allowed to remove the ball from sand and drop into the fairway.

Instead, under Rule 25-1 (b) of the Rules of Golf, a player has two options for relief:

(a) Without penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above, except that the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker or, if complete relief is impossible, as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, on a part of the course in the bunker that affords maximum available relief from the condition; or

(b) Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped.

To avoid the penalty shot, most players are dropping in the bunker unless absolutely impossible.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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