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Waste Area

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Waste Area

A fairly typical golf course "waste area."

J.D. Cuban / Getty Images
Definition: A waste area - also known as a waste bunker - is an area on a golf course that is not a water hazard and not a bunker; that is (typically, but not always) unmaintained or unprepared by grounds crew; and that has a sandy or gravelly surface area. There may or may not be vegetation growing within a waste area, and the surface is often a mixture of finer material (such as sand) with larger particles (such as crushed shell, for example).

Waste areas are not bunkers as defined by the Rules of Golf, and are not hazards under the rules, and golfers are not entitled to relief from waste areas. A golfer plays from a waste area just as he would from the rough (you can ground your club in a waste area, for example). Sometimes there are local rules in place that change how waste areas should be played, so if you are playing a course with waste areas it's a good idea to clarify their status before the round.

Waste areas are sometimes naturally occurring, but are often created during the course design process to provide a different look.

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