1. Local Rule for Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green

 

Rule 18-2 provides for a one-stroke penalty if a player causes his ball in play to move, unless certain exceptions apply. Decision 18-2/0.5 explains that when it is uncertain what caused a ball to move, all relevant information must be considered and the weight of the evidence must be evaluated. If it is more likely than not that the player caused the ball to move, the player incurs a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 and the ball must be replaced. Otherwise, the player incurs no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies unless some other Rule applies (e.g. Rule 18-1).

Starting 1 January 2017, the Committee have adopted a Local Rule that modifies Rule 18-2 by providing that there is no penalty if a player accidentally causes his ball on the putting green to move. For consistency, this Local Rule also modifies Rule 18-3 to eliminate the similar penalty in match play when an opponent accidentally causes the player’s ball on the putting green to move.

As a related issue, this Local Rule also modifies Rule 20-1 by providing that there is no penalty if a player or his opponent accidentally causes the player’s ball-marker on the putting green to move.

The wording of the Local Rule is as follows:-

 

Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green

Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows: -

 

When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

 

The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

 

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

 

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.”

 

2. Protection of Young Trees

 

Narrative

 

Most golfers assume that they may take relief from young trees that are staked. Whilst this is often the case, it is only true when there is a Local Rule affording relief. The Rules of Golf do not provide relief from staked trees.

LOCAL RULE:

Protection of young trees identified by a stake or tube (sleeve), if such a tree interferes with a player’s stance or the area of his intended swing, the ball must be lifted, without penalty, and dropped in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Rule 24-2b (Immovable Obstruction). If the ball lies in a water hazard, the player must lift and drop the ball in accordance with Rule 24-2b(i), except that the nearest point of relief must be in the water hazard and the ball must be dropped in the water hazard or the player may proceed under Rule 26. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Local Rule.

 

Exception: A player may not obtain relief under this Local Rule if (a) it is clearly unreasonable for him to make a stroke because of interference by anything other than the tree or (b) interference by the tree would occur only through use of an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes”

 

 

3. Course Conditions – Mud, Extreme Wetness, Poor Conditions and Protection of the Course

 

a. Relief for Embedded Ball  (Normal conditions)

 

Through the green, a ball that is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.

 

Exceptions:

 

1. A player may not take relief under this Local Rule if the ball is embedded in sand in an

             area that is not closely mown.

2.          A player may not take relief under this Local Rule if it is clearly unreasonable

             for him to make a stroke because of interference by anything other than the

             condition covered by this Local Rule.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.”

 

b. Relief for Embedded Ball  (ABNORMAL conditions)

 

A ball that is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course.  This rule applies ONLY when the Committee have declared that abnormal conditions exist, and the Local Rule can be used

 

 

c. Cleaning Ball

 

Conditions, such as extreme wetness causing significant amounts of mud to adhere to the ball, may be such that permission to lift, clean and replace the ball would be appropriate. In these circumstances, the following Local Rule shall apply:

 

“Within a 6 inch area a ball may be lifted, cleaned and replaced without penalty.

 

Note: The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted under this Local Rule – see Rule 20-1.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.”

 

c. “Preferred Lies” and “Winter Rules”

 

“A ball lying on a closely-mown area through the green may be lifted, without penalty, and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within six inches of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

 

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it is placed, Rule 20-3d applies. If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.

 

If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.

 

Note: “Closely-mown area” means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.

 

*PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.

 

*If a player incurs the general penalty for a breach of this Local Rule, no additional penalty under the Local Rule is applied.”

 

 

d. Aeration Holes

 

Through the green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be lifted, without

penalty, cleaned and dropped, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the

hole.   The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.

 

On the putting green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be placed at the

nearest spot not nearer the hole that avoids the situation.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.”

 

e. Seams of Cut Turf

 

Through the green, seams of cut turf (not the turf itself) are deemed to be ground under repair. However, interference by a seam with the player’s stance is deemed not to be, of itself, interference under Rule 25-1. If the ball lies in or touches the seam or the seam interferes with the area of intended swing, relief is available under Rule 25-1. All seams within the cut turf area are considered the same seam.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.”

 

4. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green

 

Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be obtained under Rule 24-2. In addition, if a ball lies off the putting green but not in a hazard and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball intervenes on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief as follows:

The ball must be lifted and dropped at the nearest point to where the ball lay that (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids intervention and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. The ball may be cleaned when lifted.

 

Relief under this Local Rule is also available if the player’s ball lies on the putting green and an immovable obstruction within two club-lengths of the putting green intervenes on his line of putt. The player may take relief as follows:

 

The ball must be lifted and placed at the nearest point to where the ball lay that (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids intervention and (c) is not in a hazard. The ball may be cleaned when lifted.

 

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.”

 

 

5. Distance-Measuring Devices

 

“For all play, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.”

 

GUIDANCE

 

1. Slow Play

 

We have all seen instances of SLOW PLAY.   Members are reminded that it is their responsibility NOT to lose ground on the group in front.   You are REQUIRED to keep up with the group in Front

 

How players can minimise round times:  (extract from the R & A Rules)

·  Be aware of your position with regard to the group in front and keep up with that group.

·  If you feel that your group is losing ground, tell the other players in your group.

·  If your group is behind, try to catch up.

·  If you lose a clear hole and are delaying the group behind, or if there is no group in front of you and you are delaying the group behind, invite the group behind to play through.

·  Be ready to play your shot. While exercising due consideration for other players in your group, put your glove on, check your yardage, pick your club and line up your putt while others are playing.

·  At the green, speed up your exit by positioning your bags on the way to the next tee.

·  Move off the green as soon as all players in your group have holed out and mark score cards at or on the way to the next tee.

·  Play a provisional ball if your ball may be lost outside a hazard or out of bounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Founded                            1941