Rules Update

A couple of quick points on the rules

On Park Meadows #4 you may have noticed that the red stakes have been removed from around the red penalty area that formerly encompassed the low area at the end of the fairway.

The measure was instituted a couple of years ago when the early part of the season was particularly wet and the area was full of water. It was always intended as a temporary fix and now that it’s dry and maintenance crews are able to get down there, it returns to being part of the general area.

On Park Meadows #3, the ditch down the left side is now marked as a red penalty area.

When a player hits her ball onto that side of the hole and it cannot be found, she will need to determine, in consultation with her playing companions, where the ball came to rest.

• If the ball is deemed to have been lost in the red penalty area, the options are: 1) go back to the tee and play again under stroke and distance penalty; or 2) drop within two club lengths of where the ball crossed into the red penalty area, no closer to the hole, under penalty of one stroke.
• If the ball is deemed to have gone out of bounds or be lost outside the red penalty area, the options are: 1) go back to the tee and play again under stroke and distance; or 2) use the optional relief for ball lost or out of bounds local rule.

Speaking of the optional relief for a ball lost or out of bounds local rule, it continues to cause confusion and consternation. It’s a complicated rule and it’s going to take us all a while to get comfortable with it. A couple of quick notes and a recommendation.

• The rule may only be applied to balls that are lost OR out of bounds, not for balls that are unplayable or in a penalty area. (There are other forms of relief available for balls that are unplayable or lost in penalty areas.)
• Once a ball in question is found in bounds, the rule cannot be invoked.
• Remember that for the purposes of the rule, “fairway” means “grass cut to fairway length.” Sometimes the nearest edge of the fairway no closer to the hole might be the front of the forward tee box on the hole being played or a path mowed through the rough.
• In order to get a clear picture of the rule, one really should read the full rule and explanation on the bulletin board near the main concession or follow this link and read it there: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/golfs-new-rules-stroke-and-distance.html

Cheers,
Roy Wood
OGC Rules Chair

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