Golf Rules

Updated Monday August 17, 2015 by Butch Rosier.

Fall 2012 Golf Rules and Etiquette Guide

Start – Give yourself plenty of time to warm up on the practice tee and putting green. Each match will have an assigned starter to assign the players their starting hole.

·        Check in at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tee time.

·        At 10 minutes prior to the scheduled tee time, players will be given their starting hole. Players not checked in by this time will be held back and assigned a starting hole based on availability after all other players have been sent out.

·        Anyone not at their starting hole by the time the group tees off will be assigned the maximum number of strokes for the first hole and any subsequent late / missed holes.

Junior Course – Par 34: The shorter holes, holes 4 and 8, are Par 3, all other holes are designated Par 4 for a total of Par 34 for the Junior Course. The maximum score per hole is 8 strokes.

Pick up on 5 and putt: Players on the Junior Course have the option to pick up their ball after 5 strokes and place the ball on the edge of the green, closest to the hole. This is to allow the players to better learn the skill of putting. A score of 8 shall be recorded as the final score when using this option.

Format of play:  3 or 4 players will tee off together with no more than 2 players from the same team. All players will tee off in the Shotgun Start format (all groups tee off at the same time on different holes). 

Prayer- A prayer will be said before each match.

Golf attire – Collared shirts are required, no denim/jeans permitted. Golf shoes are optional. Girls may wear shirts without collars if the shirt is part of a coordinated outfit.

Weather - The course will decide when to stop play for weather concerns. The course will stop play if there is lighting in the area.

Scorecards – Use a NCCYC scorecard for the match. At the start of the round each player is responsible for ensuring the match information is filled out correctly on the scorecard – clearly print: date, starting time, name, parish, grade and gender.

Players are to keep their opponents score. Exchange scorecards prior to the beginning of play so that each player is keeping score for another player in the group. Fill in your name as the Scorer.  A player may not keep the score of the player keeping his or her own score. When possible, do not keep a teammates score. After each hole is played, the Scorer records the player’s score in the top portion of the scorecard. The scorer can record his/her score in the space provided at the bottom of the scorecard.

·        Parents/observer may keep a backup score, but the players must keep their own scores.  Scorers should use tick marks as each player’s stroke is taken to help keep track of score. Then, after each hole is played, proceed to the next hole and the Scorer should verify they entered the correct score with the Player.

·        Count all strokes, including misses, whiffs, dubbed shots and penalties. No mulligans.

·        The maximum number of strokes per hole is 8 on the Junior Course.

 At the end of the round, the players will meet to review the scorecards. A completed scorecard must be turned in to the starter at the end of the match. Make sure the score card is completely filled out and the scores are accurate before signing the scorecard. Scorecards are to be signed by both the Scorer and the Player.

League Rules:

·        On the Junior course, play is from the white tees to the white flags for everyone. On the Regulation course everyone plays from the forward tees.

·        On the Junior course, use the following options if the larger 6” hole interferes with your play:

o    Ball goes into the 6” hole: The player is to remove the ball from the hole and place it within one putter length of the 6” hole, no closer to the 4 ¼” hole (white flag). The player shall place the ball in a position such their feet do not stand on or near the 6” hole to avoid damage. NO PENALTY.

o   While on the putting green, the 6” hole is in the player’s line of putt to the 4 ¼” hole: Player may move the ball and place it within one putter length, no closer to the 4 ¼” hole. NO PENALTY.

o   While off the green, the 6” hole/orange flag is in the line of play to the 4 ¼” hole: Either play as is or drop ball nearest point of relief not closer to the hole. NO PENALTY.

·        On the Junior course, all wooded areas, unless otherwise specified, are considered lateral hazard – use options for Lateral Water Hazard below.

·        Matches will be subject to a 2 hour time limit. Keep up the pace of play by playing "ready golf” when possible following common rules of etiquette. Limit practice swings to one full swing from the tee or 2-3 practice swings when chipping or putting. Utilize continuous putting when possible following common rules of etiquette.

·        A ball lying in casual water is played as "Abnormal Ground Condition.” Drop ball within one club-length from the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole, with no penalty.

·        A plugged ball may be lifted, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to original position, no closer to the hole with no penalty.

·        Rocks and golf cart paths are considered "Ground Under Repair”. Drop ball within one club length from the nearest point of relief, no nearer to the hole, with no penalty.

·        Play the ball as it lies: in general, a player cannot improve the lie of the ball or the area of swing or stance. If the ball is sitting by a tree or bush you must play it as it is or as "Unplayable.” See "Unplayable” section.

·        Heavy rough: play the ball as it lies. You are not allowed to lift or move the ball off heavy rough to improve the lie of the ball.

·        If a loose impediment is interfering with the ball or your swing or stance the item can be moved without a penalty unless the ball and the impediment lie in the same hazard or the removal of the loose impediment causes the ball to move. Leaves, pine cones, stones and sticks are examples of loose impediments.

·        Lost ball (outside of a hazard) – If a ball cannot be found in a reasonable amount of time, the player should drop in the approximate area where the ball was lost. The penalty for lost ball is one stroke. If the ball is lost in an obstruction (man-made object) there is no penalty for the drop.

·        An obstruction is a man-made object and can be moveable like a trash can, sign or rake. Obstructions can also be immovable like a bench, cart path or sprinkler. If a movable obstruction is interfering with the ball, swing or area of intended swing, lift the ball, remove the object and drop without penalty where the ball lay, no nearer the hole. If an immovable obstruction is interfering with the stance or area of intended swing, the player may drop without penalty within one club length from the nearest point of relief (not nearer the hole).

·        Your ball may lie in a hazard – a bunker or water hazard. Special rules apply for play from a hazard. If the ball is in a hazard you cannot move any loose impediment that is also in the hazard. Before you take your stroke in the hazard you may not touch the ground with your hand or the club. The penalty for either of these infractions is two strokes. If you determine that a ball in the bunker is unplayable you may drop the ball in another part of the bunker. If it is unplayable in normal conditions you must take a one stroke penalty. If it is due to abnormal conditions there is no penalty if dropped in the bunker. If dropped outside the bunker there is a one stroke penalty.

 

 

Common Rulings and Penalties

Potential Situation on Any Hole

Ruling/Penalty

Ball on cart path

1 club length from nearest point of relief of path (does not allow relief of trees), no closer to hole

Ball into wooded areas

Treat as Lateral Water hazard unless otherwise specified See Player Options Below

Ball played from putting green strikes another ball on green

2 stroke penalty to person making the putt. Ball that was struck is replaced.

Double hits

Add one extra stroke

Ball played from putting green strikes pin

2 stroke penalty

Played wrong ball

2 stroke penalty; play correct ball

Grounding club in hazard

2 stroke penalty

Breaking branch in practice swing

2 stroke penalty

Touching the line of putt, unless rule permits

2 stroke penalty

Accidentally moving a ball that is in play

1 stroke penalty; replace ball

Accidentally moving a ball that is NOT in play (includes practice swing)

No penalty

Practice swing strikes ball that is in play

1 stroke penalty; replace ball

 

Junior Course – Common Situations

 

Hole

Common Situations Unique to Hole

Comments

1

a.      Ball over fence  to the far left

b.      Ball in tree area to right with "wood chips”

a.      Out of Bounds

b.      In play

3

a.      Ball over fence to the left

b.      Ball in creek/drainage ditch in fairway

c.       Ball over green into woods

d.      Grounding of club in hazard

a.      Out of Bounds

b.      Treat as "Water Hazard” (yellow stake)

c.       Use Drop Areas

d.      2 stroke penalty

4

a.      Ball into wooded areas to left

b.      Ball goes over green beyond white stakes

c.       Ball goes into trees to the right near #5 tee

a.      Treat as "Lateral Water Hazard”

b.      Out of Bounds

c.       In play

5

a.      Ball goes into woods behind or to left of green

b.      Ball into woods before reaching green

a.      Use Drop Areas

b.      Use lateral water hazard rule

6

a.      Ball lands near water control box located up the hill to the right

a.      Relief only if it interferes with lie of ball, stance or swing. Relief is same as that for abnormal ground conditions.

8

a.      Ball into wooded area behind the green

a.      Use drop area

9

a.      Ball goes beyond cart path past the green

b.      Ball in tree area to right with "wood chips”

a.      Out of Bounds

b.      In play

 

 

Player Options for Hazards, Ball Unplayable and Out of Bounds

Water Hazard - Yellow stake (you have 3 options)

1.   Play from inside hazard, no penalty (do not ground club)

2.   Play ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which original ball was last played. PENALTY:  1 stroke

3.   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 hazard the ball may be dropped.  PENALTY:  1 stroke

 

Lateral Water Hazard – Red stake (you have 5 options).

1.   Play from inside hazard, no penalty (do not ground club)

2.   Play ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which original ball was last played. PENALTY:  1 stroke

3.   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 hazard the ball may be dropped.  PENALTY:  1 stroke

4.  Drop ball outside the water hazard within two club lengths of and not nearer the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard. PENALTY:  1 stroke 

5.  Drop ball outside the water hazard within two club lengths of and not nearer the hole than a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.  PENALTY: 1 stroke

 

Out of Bounds - If a ball is Out-of-bounds the player must play a ball under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (stroke and distance). If a player believes a ball may be out of bounds, to save time, a provisional ball should be played. If a ball is identified to be out-of-bounds upon reaching the ball, the player should drop at the nearest point on the course where the ball crossed the boundary and proceed with a two stroke penalty. This is to avoid slow play by walking back.

Ball Unplayable (you have 3 options)

  1. Drop as near as possible to where the original ball was played. On the teeing ground with or without a tee. PENALTY: 1 stroke
  2. Drop the ball any distance behind the point where the ball originally lay but on the extension of the line between that point and the hole. PENALTY: 1 stroke
  3. Drop the ball within two club lengths of the lie of the unplayable ball, but no nearer the hole. PENALTY: 1 stroke

 

Regulation – Common Situations

 

Hole

Potential Situations Unique to Hole

Comments

1

a.      Entire fence to trees is Out of Bounds (White Stake)

b.      Ball landing in wet area left of fairway

a.      Out of Bounds

b.      Treat as casual water; relief area

2

a.      Fence on right side near cart path

b.      There is a well on left side

c.       Tall grass to right (near fence)

d.      Building to right

e.      Tall grass behind green is Out of Bounds

a.      Treat as immovable obstruction

b.      Treat as ground under repair

c.       Treat as lateral water hazard

d.      Treat as immovable obstruction

e.      Out of Bounds

3

a.      Out of Bounds to left

b.      Building to right

a.      Out of Bounds

b.      Treat as immovable obstruction

4

a.      Red stake to left

b.      Red stake near green and past green

a.      Use lateral hazard rule

b.      Use drop zone

5

a.      Red stake to left of green and behind green

a.      Use lateral hazard rule

6

a.      Low area with tall grass / standing water (right side)

a.      Treat as ground under repair

7

a.      Woods on right

a.      Treat as Lateral water hazard

8

a.      Ornamental grass / mulch area behind green

a.      In play

9

a.      Ball hit far left

b.      Ball into trees on left through green

a.      Short grass area in bounds

b.      Out of Bounds

10

a.      Out of Bounds to the left (stake to stake)

b.      Ball in valley to right

c.       Ball in trees behind hole

d.      Ball in tall grass on sides / back

a.      Out of Bounds

b.      In play?

c.       Treat as lateral water hazard

d.      Treat as lateral

11

a.      Out of Bounds to the left (stake to stake) all the way to the green

b.      Yellow staked low area

c.       Tall grass behind green is Out of Bounds

a.      Out of Bounds

 

b.      Treat as water hazard

c.       Out of Bounds

12

a.      Lost ball over hill

b.      Ball in "ornamental area” to the right of green

c.       Drainage feature (concrete cover) in low area, right

 

a.      Treat as through the green

b.      Ground under repair

13

a.      "Ground under repair” area to right past tee box; wash out area

b.      Ball going to lateral water hazard on left

c.       Ball lands in ornamental ara behind green

d.      Cart path behind green is OB

a.      Not marked

 

b.      Lateral water hazard rules

c.       Treat as through the green

d.      Out of Bounds

14

a.      Out of Bounds to the left, right and behind green

a.      Out of Bounds

15

a.      Bill hit out of bounds to LEFT close to tee ground

b.      Ball hit out of bounds to the RIGHT close to tees

c.       Ball goes into trees on RIGHT side near next tee ground. Make sure on OB

d.      Ball goes into wooded area to the LEFT

e.      Ball goes out of bounds past wooded area near green

a.      This hole is well marked.

b.      Out of Bounds

c.       Trees on right with pine needles in play. Out of bounds is in Junior course.

d.      Lateral water hazard

e.      Out of Bounds

16

a.      Ball goes into wooded area to the right off of tee

b.      Ball into trees (w/grass) to right – on slope to #17

c.       Ball lands on "nursery” (spare green) to left

d.      Ball goes Out of Bounds to left

e.      Ball goes into trees beyond green

a.      This hole is well marked.

 

c.       Treat as "wrong green”

 

17

a.      Ball goes into water

b.      Ball goes into wooded area

a.      May use drop zone

b.      Wooded area considered lateral water hazard; drop zone not used for this situation.

18

a.      Ball goes into trees on right

b.      Out of Bounds on left side

c.       Ground under repair on left side.

a.      Red Stake

b.      Left side is Out of Bounds

 

 

 

 

 

General Golf Etiquette:

·        Players and observers should assist each other in maintaining the pace of play. Keep up with the group in front of you. Be ready to play when it is your turn.

·        Matches will be subject to a 2 hour time limit. Keep up the pace of play by playing "ready golf” when possible following common rules of etiquette. Limit practice swings to one full swing from the tee or 2-3 practice swings when chipping or putting. Utilize continuous putting when possible following common rules of etiquette

·        To speed up play, when you reach the green players should place their bags between the hole and the next tee.

·        Marking balls on the green: If your ball is in the line of another ball on the green, pick up and mark your ball. When a player putts a ball from the green and strikes another ball, the player whose ball was at rest replaces it to its original position; the player whose ball was in motion plays it as it lies and is accessed a two stroke penalty.

·        Player closest to the hole removes the flagstick after all players reach the green, the away player putts first if ready, do not step on the line between another player’s ball and the hole. First player to finish the hole retrieves the flagstick and places in the cup after the last player completes his/her putts.

·        After all players have holed out you should quickly proceed to the next tee where you can confirm the scores from the previous hole.

·        Lowest score on the previous hole has honors on the next tee.

·        Movement, talking and other noise should stop while a player is making a shot.

·        Cell phones must be silenced. No cell phone use or texting allowed.

·        Never make a stroke or practice swing if a person is close to you. Don’t play until the players in front of you are out of range.

·        Repair all ball marks and replace divots. Respect the greens, including the practice green! Do not shuffle your feet. Stay off the greens as much as possible.

 

Guidelines for Parents and observers:

·        Parents keep back up score and explain Rules and Etiquette:  A parent is required to walk with each group and encouraged to keep a back up score and be available to explain the Rules and Etiquette. Scorers and players are still responsible for keeping score and should only consult the parent back up score to resolve discrepancies.

·        When possible verbal reminders should be used to reinforce the principles of ready golf, pace, maximum score and assist in interpretation of the rules.

·        Parents and observers shall not tend the pin or carry a player’s bag or equipment.

·        Cell phones must be silenced. No cell phone use or texting allowed.

 

Make up rounds for Junior League: In case of conflict with another NCCYC sport, players may make up rounds

at either the 8:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Saturday tee time.  All other rounds should be played at the scheduled tee time.

 

Make up rounds for Regulation League: In case of conflict with another NCCYC sport, players may make up rounds based on course availability. Players should contact the Eagle Springs club house to schedule an available tee time. Tee times are subject to course availability. Tee times may not be available on weekends.  All other rounds should be played at the scheduled tee time.