Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

The Loop

There's no taking relief from reading about Whistling Straits' bunkers

August 10, 2015

HAVEN, Wis. -- Go to get a little relief and get no relief.

Just in case players were thinking of grounding their club in one of Whistling Straits' 1012 bunkers, the PGA of America has made sure to get the word out in advance of the 2015 PGA Championship. The hosts of this week's final major have posted a bright yellow notice in a location that all but the most bladder-strong contestants will see: above the locker room urinals.


The notices are a repeat of the same sheet posted in 2010. Unfortunately, those were not enough to stop Dustin Johnson from grounding his club in the 18th hole bunker and costing himself a shot at victory.

Getting the word out is a good thing. The not so good?

Players doing their business may get confused by what they are reading.

Here's what the notice says:

*1. All areas of the course that were designed and built as bunkers, filled with sand, will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they've been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well as some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints, trash and tire tracks during the play of the Championship Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions. All bunkers inside the ropes will be raked each morning prior to play as normal.

For those keeping score at home: fans can step in a raked bunker, have a picnic, watch a television cart roll through the same bunker and yet a player won't get relief from any of this madness. But if there is a pebble near your ball -- which is normally a loose impediment and not movable on most courses -- be our guest and move it!

There is good news for the players, however. If you thought the mention of "trash" in point one of the notice meant no relief from litter, the PGA of America's Kerry Haigh confirms that good old fashioned rubbish is still a movable obstruction. Now that's a relief.