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It has come to our attention that more and more players are abandoning their rounds of golf during competitions.
The Games Committee are therefore considering a suitable penalty to impose on players that do this with no valid reason to do so.
By walking off during a competitive round of golf you not only get yourself disqualified but you put your fellow competitors at risk of disqualification for not signing their card for the part if the round that you were responsible for.
Rule 6 - The Player
6-6 Scoring in Stroke Play
a. Recording Scores
After each hole the marker should check the score with the competitor and record it. On completion of the round the marker must sign the score card and hand it to the competitor. If more than one marker records the scores, each must sign for the part for which he is responsible.
b. Signing and Returning Score Card
After completion of the round, the competitor should check his score for each hole and settle any doubtful points with the Committee. He must ensure that the marker or markers have signed the score card, sign the score card himself and return it to the Committee as soon as possible.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 6-6b:
This is a harsh rule for the competitor who stays out on the course to complete their rounds, sometimes staying out in all sorts of inclement weather conditions to complete their rounds. The Committee are having to address this situation with stricter punishment for players simply walking off in this manner, as and when it suits them, putting their playing partners at risk of disqualification which isn't fair.
Notice to All Golfers - Return of Scorecards and Signatures - click here
TEMPORARY LOCAL RULE COVERING THE GROUND WORKS ON THE 5TH AND 14TH HOLES
DURING THE GROUND WORKS TO THE RIGHT OF THE 5THFAIRWAY AND TO THE LEFT OF THE 14TH FAIRWAY THE COMMITTEE HAVE DECIDED TO DECLARE THESE MARKED AREAS AS A “LATERAL WATER HAZARDS“CLEARLY MARKED WITH RED STAKES.
Relief for Ball in Water Hazard
It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.
If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:
a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or
c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.
AS AN ADDITIONAL OPTION IN THESE AREAS A DROP ZONE HAS BEEN MARKED
In addition to the above relief, a Temporary Local Rule is in effect in that players may drop a ball in the drop zones (marked with white spray) on holes 5 and 14 where, ‘if a ball is in or it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the lateral water hazard the player may drop a ball under penalty of 1 stroke in the drop zone’.
For the 14th hole this means that if a ball has clearly gone into the hazard and the player is faced with taking a drop onto a bank running towards the hazard then the player may take a drop on the bank OR in the drop zone. However, for clarification, where a ball has been struck long and left on the 14th or long and right on the 5th and the ball cannot be found and it was not clearly seen entering the hazard, the player must treat this as a lost ball and the shot replayed.
BEFORE the options under Rule 26 can be used it MUST be certain or VIRTUALY certain that the ball was lost IN the hazard, it cannot be assumed that a ball was lost in the hazard.
If the ball has been seen clearly entering the hazard but not crossing the other side of the hazard the relief under Rule 26 may be applied, including using the drop zones. If a ball has clearly crossed both sides of the hazard and been lost the player must continue under stroke and distance. Rule 27-1.
WHEN A PROVISIONAL BALL IS PLAYED
A player is permitted to hit a provisional ball for a ball that may be lost outside a water hazard [Rule 27-2a].The player is required to abandon the provisional and continue play with the original if they find the original ball. The correct procedure is to continue play with the ball found in the hazard [Rule 27-2c].
Determining nearest point of relief
The nearest point could be in deep rough, in the middle of a bush, behind a wall that is not in the intended area of swing. The mistake that many players make is that they think that when they are taking relief, it means that they get relief from anything that makes their next stroke difficult and drop a ball where it suits them. This is wrong. It is always the nearest point of relief from interference from whatever the Rules permit (e.g. pathway, bench, casual water, Staked tree) and nowhere else. The player may not choose thenicest point of relief; you may only drop within a club-length of the nearestpoint of relief, not nearer the hole. For this reason you should always determine where the nearest point is before you lift your ball, in case it happens to be in a position that is even more unfavourable than your current lie.
Please take note of the "out of bounds" changes on the 5th hole
Play at Good Pace and Keep Up!
Players should play at a good pace. The Committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow.
It is a group’s responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group. Where a group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind can play faster, it should invite the faster moving group to play through.
How players can minimise round times:
As a general rule, try to keep up with the group in front!
Two-ball rounds should take no more than 3 hours 10 minutes; three-balls should take no more than 3 hours 30 minutes, and four-balls no more than 3 hours 50 minutes.
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.
Line up your putt prior to your turn to putt.
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.
Limit practice swings.
All players should go directly to their own ball and play when ready.
Having completed putting, take the flag over, or be in a position to leave the green quickly.
Pick up immediately when you can no longer score for that hole in the competition.
Never delay making a stroke because you're having a conversation with a playing partner.
Mark your scorecard after reaching the next tee, not while lingering on or near the just-completed green.
When waiting on the tee for the group in front to clear the fairway, don't be so strict about order of play. Let the short hitter - who can't reach the group ahead anyway - go ahead and hit.
When chipping around the green, carry both the club you'll be chipping with plus your putter so you don't have to return to the bag.