The deep sandy areas at Ocean Court on Kiawah Island – the battlefield of the PGA Championship 2021 – are only subject to obstacles, instead of the penalty trap area at this year’s tournament.

In the local rule for the 103rd major at Ocean, the Organizing Committee – Professional Golf Association of America (PGAA) – disables technical barriers when golfers operate in sand pits – bunkers, including around the green. whether they are natural or man-made. Therefore, in these areas, even though they are still bunkers in terms of perception, players are entitled to brush their clubs, touch their clubheads in the sand, before or after the ball without penalty.

Besides, they can sand when looking for a ball in the “bunker”, no penalty for accidentally moving it but have to reset it.

Johnson hit the ball from the bunker of the 16th hole in the first round of the PGA Championship at Ocean Court on May 20.  Photo: AP

Johnson hit the ball from the bunker of the 16th hole in the first round of the PGA Championship at Ocean Court on May 20. Image: AP

Every day, the Organizing Committee will rake the sandy areas in the yard, in the morning before the round.

However, when the ball sinks in this area, the golfer must play from the existing position instead of freeing without penalty.

This is the situation Rory McIlroy met on the opening 16-round hole. At that time, McIlroy’s shadow stuck almost half of his body into the sand. He asked the referee to determine. According to local rules, the former world number one golfer must continue from there.

Ocean Court runs along the Atlantic Ocean, designed by legendary architect Pete Dye. As a golf links course, Ocean is windy with an 8 pattern, of which nine holes are counter-clockwise to the East, the rest of the same style but to the West. And in this yard, the wind is different in each hole and day by day.

Contrary to this week’s Ocean, the “bunker rule” was in effect in the sandy areas of the Whistling Straits when the field hosted the 2010 PGA Championship and Dustin Johnson fell victim. At that time, Johnson hit the sand that was torn by the audience’s footsteps. Before hitting the second shot, he touched the clubhead to the background of the obstacle.

That hole, Johnson thought to keep par and was awarded a title match with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. However, the referee announced that he was penalized two strokes for breaking the rules on the 72nd hole, so he was out of the playoff. The tournament ended with the championship belonging to Kaymer.

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