A player stood on ladder while playing a shot from the bunker!

Ladder - Rules of Golf

Are you allowed to use a ladder during a round of golf?

Well, creativity seems to have no limits when it comes to getting a good score!

See the video of the player whose ball was badly plugged in the lip of the bunker:


As you can see, this player moved the bunker-ladder closer to the ball, making it easier to play the ball because he stood on the ladder!

Was he allowed to do this? No. What he did was against Rule 8.1a(2) prohibiting building a stance. By doing so, he incurred a two-stroke penalty.

-> See the Rules School video (9th grade) about “Obstructions” (such as a ladder).

It could be argued that this player’s creativity should grant him a deduction of one stroke from his score – but unfortunately no Rule allows for that :-). Since the ball was not actually lying in the bunker (see the Definition of a “Bunker”) he could instead have taken relief without penalty for an embedded ball (Rule 16.3).

If you want to read more about the incident you can read this article from GolfMagic or see an Instagram post from my friends (David and Ross) from Golf Rules Questions.


  1. richard says

    Clarification: Player Not Always Allowed to Take Embedded Ball Relief

    If a player’s ball is embedded in the general area but neither the reference point nor any part of the course within one club-length of the reference point is in the general area, the player is not allowed to take free relief under Rule 16.3b.

    For example, free relief is not allowed if:

    a ball is embedded at the very base of the lip, wall or face above a bunker,
    the spot right behind the ball is in the bunker and
    within one club-length of and not nearer the hole from that reference point, there is no part of the relief area that is in the general area.
    (Clarification added 12/2018)

    1. OSWALD+ACADEMY says

      Thanks, Richard!!

      Best regards
      Brian Nygaard Oswald, THE OSWALD ACADEMY

  2. Tim says

    Is there any chance of an illustration to expand on this point please. I recently witnessed an embedded ball in half way up moss covered face of a bunker – the ball was definitely embedded and not in contact with any sand. There was nowhere in the general area with one club length that would not have been nearer the hole.

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