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Waste Bunker

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Waste Bunker

A waste bunker.

J.D. Cuban / Getty Images
Definition: A waste bunker (also known as a waste area) is an area on a golf course that is typically sandy, usually very large, that might also have rocks, pebbles, shells or various types of vegetation in it. Unless otherwise covered by a local rule, a waste bunker is not a hazard under the Rules of Golf. So when in a waste bunker, golfers may do things - such as ground the club - they cannot do in a normal bunker.

Although waste bunkers are not considered hazards under the rules, they certainly can be hazardous to golfers' scores. They are not common in golf course architecture, but aren't exactly rare, either. Sometimes they run alongside a fairway, and when waste bunkers do appear on courses they are sometimes in positions where they come into play with regularity on errant shots.

As noted, when a course has waste bunkers it might also have local rules governing those waste bunkers. So if you are playing a course where you know they exist, it's a good idea to clarify their status before beginning play.

Also Known As: Often used interchangeably with "waste area."
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