Local Rules

Throughout the year, we are asked a number of questions relating to Local Rules, in particular Winter Rules (Clean and Place).  Click here to get a full explanation on the Clean and Place rule.

For all Local Rules, it is highly recommended to use the specimen Local Rules provided by the R&A in Appendix 1 of the Rules of Golf. It avoids the ambiguity that often occurs when clubs try to write their own.

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.  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.

Clean & Place - recommended wording*


Helpful notice for the locker room advising players to check the Local Rules board when Clean & Place is n play.

The Use of Distance Measuring Devices

If this Local Rule does not appear on the Scorecard, the competition Local Rules sheet, or the Local Rules board, players using Distance Measuring Devices are penalised under Rule 14-3

Relief from Aeration holes after coring

Embedded Ball Through the Green

Relief from Invasive Grasses (e.g. Paspalum Stalks)

Spongy Turf #

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 does not endorse the unauthorised "Suckered Ball" rule.  See our Hit & Myths section for more information on that subject.


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New Local Rule now available

Club and tournament committees may now publish a Local Rule that will enable a player to avoid a penalty if the ball lying on a putting green is accidentally moved as a result of the action of the player.

If the Committee wishes the adopt this Local Rule, the following wording should be published where players normally check for Local Rules.

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Accidental Movement of a Ball on the Putting Green

Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:

When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.”

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As with all Local Rules, ambiguity may result if the full wording is not used. Publishing abridged versions, as is very often the case with the 'Clean and Place' Local Rule, will lead to confusion.

Please also note that Committees have no authority to extend this Local Rule to Through the Green.  It is solely for a ball lying on the putting green at the time it is accidentally moved as a result of the action of the player.


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