Rules of Golf

(Local Rules further down page)

The rules of golf are set out and published by The R&A and may be found here.

SUMMARY OF RULES OF GOLF 2019 CHANGES

OFF THE GREEN, IF YOU MOVE YOUR BALL WHILE LOOKING FOR IT, OR ACCIDENTALLY STAND ON IT OR KICK IT WHILE SEARCHING, THERE IS NO PENALTY AND YOU MUST REPLACE IT, NOT DROP IT

ON THE PUTTING GREEN, ACCIDENTALLY CAUSING YOUR BALL TO MOVE IS NO LONGER A PENALTY- AND SHOULD BE RETURNED TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION

NO LONGER A PENALTY IF YOUR BALL IS ACCIDENTALLY DEFLECTED OFF AN OPPONENT, CADDIE, YOURSELF OR ANY EQUIPMENT AND THE BALL IS PLAYED AS IT LIES

A DOUBLE HIT IS NO LONGER A PENALTY IF DONE ACCIDENTALLY (NOT SURE HOW YOU COULD DO THIS ON PURPOSE!!)

NO LONGER A PENALTY IF YOU HIT A FLAGSTICK WHETHER ATTENDED OR NOT, WHEN PUTTING ON THE GREEN

YOU CAN NOW REPAIR MOST MARKS/DAMAGE ON THE PUTTING GREEN – WITH EXCEPTION OF AERATION HOLES AND NATURAL SURFACE IMPERFECTIONS

NO LONGER A PENALTY IF YOU TOUCH THE ‘LINE OF PLAY’ (new term, not using ‘line of putt’) WHEN ON A PUTTING GREEN

IF YOUR BALL ON THE GREEN HAS ALREADY BEEN MARKED, CLEANED & REPLACED – AND THEN MOVES, IT MUST BE REPLACED TO ITS ORIGINAL SPOT, REGARDLESS OF WHAT CAUSED IT TO MOVE. IF YOU HAVEN’T YET MARKED YOUR BALL, AND IT MOVES, THEN YOU PLAY IT FROM WHERE IT LIES

A CADDIE NO LONGER NEEDS PERMISSION FROM THE PLAYER TO LIFT & MARK THEIR PLAYER’S BALL. THE CADDIE CAN ONLY REPLACE THE BALL IF HE/SHE WAS THE ONE TO MARK IT ORIGINALLY.

THE BALL MUST BE DROPPED FROM KNEE HEIGHT AND NOT TOUCH YOU AS IT IS BEING DROPPED THERE WILL BE A SPECIFIC AREA THAT THE BALL MUST COME TO REST IN (IE ONE CLUB LENGTH OR TWO) – IF THE BALL FAILS TO COME TO REST IN THIS AREA THEN IT WILL BE PLACED AFTER 2 DROP ATTEMPTS

MEASURING RELIEF IS DONE BY USING YOUR LONGEST CLUB (BUT NOT YOUR PUTTER)

SEARCHING FOR A LOST BALL IS NOW 3 MINUTES

‘THROUGH THE GREEN’ IS NOW CALLED ‘THE GENERAL AREA’

A PLUGGED/EMBEDDED BALL CAN NOW BE DROPPED WITHOUT PENALTY ANYWHERE ON THE COURSE (OUTSIDE OF A PENALTY AREA/HAZARD) BUT A CLUB’S LOCAL RULE CAN BE IMPOSED TO RESTRICT THIS TO FAIRWAY HEIGHT GRASS AREAS ONLY IF NO LOCAL RULE IN PLACE THEN IT IS ANY GENERAL AREA

YOU CAN REPLACE/SUBSTITUTE YOUR GOLF BALL ANY TIME YOU ARE TAKING A DROP WHETHER A FREE DROP OR A PENALTY DROP

ALL HAZARDS ARE NOW CALLED ‘PENALTY AREAS’ BUT YELLOW AND RED MARKINGS CAN STILL BE USED. OTHER AREAS AROUND THE COURSE TO BE AVOIDED CAN BE DEEMED ‘PENALTY AREAS’ BY THE COURSE COMMITTEE e.g. PLANT BORDERS, etc.

RELIEF CAN NO LONGER BE TAKEN ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE PENALTY AREA TO THE GREEN SIDE OF A LATERAL WATER HAZARD/RED MARKED PENALTY AREA (UNLESS A LOCAL RULE IS IN PLACE)

YOU ARE NOW ALLOWED TO GROUND YOUR CLUB AND REMOVE LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS IN A ‘PENALTY AREA’ (EXCLUDING BUNKERS)

YOU CAN NOW MOVE LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS IN A BUNKER 😊 BUT YOU ARE STILL NOT ALLOWED TO GROUND YOUR CLUB IN A BUNKER PRIOR TO MAKING YOUR STROKE OR PRACTICE SWING

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PLAY YOUR BALL IN THE BUNKER YOU MAY TAKE A 2-SHOT PENALTY DROP OUTSIDE OF THE BUNKER, GOING BACK IN LINE FROM THE BALL LAND THE PIN

YOU MAY CONTINUE TO USE A DAMAGED CLUB DURING A ROUND OF GOLF

YOU CANNOT REPLACE A CLUB IF YOU OR YOUR CADDIE CAUSED THE DAMAGE IN ANGER

YOU CAN REPLACE YOUR GOLF BALL IF IT HAS BECOME CUT OR CRACKED
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TELL YOUR PLAYING PARTNER THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS

DMD’S CAN NOW BE USED AT ALL TIMES UNLESS A LOCAL RULE IS IN PLACE PROHIBITING THEIR USE

USING A CADDIE TO HELP YOU LINE UP ON ANY SHOT IS NOW PROHIBITED!

PLAYERS ARE NOW ALLOWED NO MORE THAN 40 SECS TO PLAY A SHOT

PLAYING OUT OF TURN, IN ANY FORMAT, IS ENCOURAGED TO HELP SPEED UP PLAY IN MATCHPLAY THIS IS BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PLAYERS

YOU NO LONGER NEED TO INFORM YOUR PLAYING PARTNER, REGARDLESS OF THE COMP FORMAT, IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON LIFTING YOUR GOLF BALL, WHETHER TO INSPECT FOR DAMAGE, TO SEE IF IT IS EMBEDDED OR TO IDENTIFY YOUR BALL

YOU CAN NO LONGER BE PENALISED AFTER THE EVENT IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOUND TO MAKE A DECISION ON TAKING A DROP THAT WAS NOT 100% ACCURATE. YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT, AT THE TIME, IS DEEMED SUFFICIENT

Videos Explaining Golf Rules

Courtesy of Swing by Swing

Accidentally hitting ball - Penalty or not?

Placing ball moved - not dropping

Accidentally moving ball while searching

Accidentally moving ball on green

Repairing Putting Surface

Substituting ball whilst taking relief

Double Hit Rule - No penalty

Leaving the flagstick in whilst putting on the green.

No penalty for accidental deflection of ball by players or equipment

Dropping ball from knee height

Change of rules in Bunkers

Ball at rest moves - new standard

Stroke and Distance alternative

Lifting ball to identify

Local Rules

These rules are additional to the R&A rules above and relate to playing at Belton Woods GC.

The current local rules are as follows:

Temporary Local Rule - Weed Killer May 2016

New Local Rule Jan 2017

Competition Conditions for Gents Section BWS