This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Rules of Golf D

Close to Putting Green (Appendix I-B-6): This local rule was

used at Pinehurst for the first time but is frequently misused by clubs. This local rule provides relief through the green for intervention on a player’s line of play by an immovable obstruction (e.g., sprinkler head) that is within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball. If such intervention occurs, the player may drop the ball at the nearest point that is not nearer the hole, avoids intervention and is not in a hazard or on a putting green. There is no addition- al club-length allowance. The local rule is for use at courses like Pinehurst where putting is the best and most frequent option, where the areas around the

When to Establish Local Rules

uring the U.S. Opens at Pinehurst, we saw the importance of

local rules. Local rules are imple- mented at specific courses to handle abnormal condi- tions not covered by the Rules of Golf. Rule 33-8 permits local rules, but a Committee is not permitted to implement any rule it wishes. Local rules must not waive a Rule of Golf and must be consistent with the policy set forth in the Appendix. Here are a few well-known local rules and the reasons to imple- ment them: Immovable Obstructions

green are closely-mown either entirely or for at least several yards, and the obstructions are numerous and positioned such that line-of-play interference is likely. The local rule should NOT be used simply because there are sprinkler heads around the green or members like to putt when their ball is on the fringe. Distance-Measuring

Devices (Appendix I-B-9): The Rules of Golf do

not permit the use of distance-measuring devices of any kind. In order for DMDs to be permitted, the local rule must be in place. The local rule permits the use of distance-measuring devices that measure distance only; rangefinders using a “slope mode” are not permissible. In a tourna- ment round, the penalty is disqualification. For score- posting purposes, rounds played using a slope-measur- ing device are unacceptable. Beginning this year,

smart phones can safely be used for distance-measuring when the local rule is in effect, provided the app measures distance only. For more information, see the NCGA’s clarifica- tion on smart phones: policies. Dropping Zones

(Appendix I-B-8): A local rule many players

are familiar with is dropping zones. The Committee may establish dropping zones when it is not feasible to

Martin Kaymer drops his ball as USGA rules official Tom O’Toole Jr. and his caddie watch on the seventh hole during the final round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

proceed in accordance with a rule that provides relief, whether with or without penalty. Most commonly, dropping zones are used for relief from water haz- ards, but dropping zones can also be used for relief from obstructions, abnor- mal ground conditions or unplayable ball. While dropping zones can be placed nearer to the hole than where the rule would require relief to be taken, that does not mean a Com- mittee may take advantage of a situation and avoid the trouble completely. When a dropping zone is

used for a water hazard, it must be placed so the player overcomes the hazard (e.g., it can’t be placed on the green side of a water hazard). When used for ob- struction or ground-under- repair relief, the drop zone shouldn’t give the player an advantage from where relief would normally have placed the player (e.g., if relief would normally be in rough, the drop zone should not be in the fairway). A drop zone can never be used for a ball that is lost or out of bounds; the player must

proceed under penalty of stroke and distance. Aeration Holes

(Appendix I-B-4d): Players are not automat-

ically entitled to relief from an aeration hole. When a course has been aerated, the Committee should invoke the local rule that permits relief. Through the green, the player may drop the ball as near as possible to the spot where it lay in an aeration hole, not nearer the hole. On the putting green, the player may place the ball at the nearest spot. When applying this local rule, it should be noted that all aeration holes in a given area are considered part of the same condition, so if a dropped ball rolls into a different aeration hole, the player must re-drop; it is not considered a new situ- ation. If the ball rolls into any aeration hole on the re- drop, the player must place the ball where it first struck a part of the course.

By Ryan Farb PGA Assistant Director of Rules and Competitions

SUMMER 2014 / NCGA.ORG / 55


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76