Throughout the year, we are asked a number of questions relating to Local Rules, in particular Winter Rules (Clean and Place). For example:
“How many times can a ball be placed when taking Clean and Place?”
“Is there any penalty if the ball is not marked before taking Clean and Place?”
"What happens if the balls moves after it has been placed?"
The answer is always, “What does the Local Rule say?”
A player may well act in accordance with the published Local Rule, so if the wording is incomplete there is potential for major issues. For example; a Local Rule that just states "Clean and Place within 15cm" means a player does not have to mark the ball first and can place the ball nearer to the hole. The player cannot be penalised on assumptions such as "everyone knows you cannot place a ball nearer to the hole". In pennants matches we are faced with annoyed players wishing to make a claim against their opponent, only to find we are unable to accept the claim due to poorly worded Local Rules published by the host club.
It is highly recommended to use the specimen Local Rules provided by the R&A in Appendix 1 of the Rules of Golf.
It is important that the full wording be used; the R&A seldom wastes words.
To assist clubs with this issue, we have provided links below to PDF documents. These contain the correct wording for the more common Local Rules. Clubs are welcome to print these at no charge. Our recommendation is to print them in colour and laminate them. They will stand out and be protected from the weather when displayed on the Local Rules board.
Helpful notice for the locker room advising players to check the Local Rules board when Winter Rules are in play.
Relief from Invasive Grasses (e.g. Paspalum Stalks)
If advice is needed on wording for any Local Rule not shown above please contact us. We are only too pleased to help.
*Club committees have the authority to state the distance within which the ball must be placed. 15cms is the most common distance. One club-length is also an acceptable substitution for distance if preferred by the committee.
#Please note this Local Rule is an authorised extension to Rule 25-2 which applies only to a ball found in its own pitchmark. In no way does it endorse the mythical "Suckered Ball" rule. See our Hit & Myths section for more information on that subject.