2017 Hard Card




These Local Rules replace any Local Rules published by a host club (e.g. on a club’s score card).

1. Out of Bounds (Rule 27–1)
a) Beyond any wall, fence, hedge or line of white stakes defining the boundary of the course.
b) On or beyond any white line defining the boundary of the course.
(A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies on or beyond such a line.)
Note: i. Where out of bounds is defined by a fence or line of white stakes, the line joining the nearest inside points at ground level of such stakes or any inside fence posts (excluding angled supports) defines the boundary. A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies beyond such a line.
ii. Objects defining out of bounds are not obstructions; therefore relief without penalty from them is not available.

2. Water Hazards, including Lateral Water Hazards (Rule 26)
Water hazards are defined by yellow stakes or yellow lines.
Lateral water hazards are defined by red stakes or red lines.
When both stakes and lines are used, the stakes identify the hazard and the lines define the hazard margin.
Note: i. A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard, including any stake or line that defines the hazard.
ii. The part of a bridge that crosses a water hazard is in the hazard.
iii. Stakes defining the margin of or identifying a water hazard are obstructions.
iv. Relief without penalty is not available from immovable obstructions or abnormal ground conditions when the ball is in a water hazard.
v. Retaining artificial walls and pilings surrounding/bordering water hazards are immovable obstructions.

3. Ground Under Repair (Rule 25–1)
a) Any area encircled by a white or blue line.
b) Any area of damaged ground that is considered by a referee to be abnormal.

4. Immovable Obstructions (Rule 24–2) include:
a) All artificially surfaced roads and paths on the course, including those covered with wood chips. All other paths and tracks are integral parts of the course.
b) White lined areas adjoining any immovable obstruction are part of the obstruction and not ground under repair.
c) Stone-filled drainage ditches or channels.
d) Sleepers, steps or wooden boards within bunkers.

5. Temporary Immovable Obstructions include England Golf on-course scoreboards plus any other ‘TIOs’ highlighted in the additional Local Rules at the golf course. The specimen Local Rule in the Rules of Golf is in effect (pages 147-150).

6. Permanent Elevated Cables
If a ball strikes an elevated power line or cable, the stroke is cancelled and the player must play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played in accordance with Rule 20-5 (Making Next Stroke from Where Previous Stroke Made).

7. Trees which are staked or otherwise identified or protected (e.g. by wrapping). If such a tree interferes with a player’s stance or the area of his intended swing, the ball must be lifted, without penalty, and dropped in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Rule 24-2b (Immovable Obstruction).

8. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green
Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be taken under Rule 24-2. In addition, if a ball lies through the green and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball intervenes on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief as follows:
The ball must be lifted and dropped at the nearest point to where the ball lay that (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids intervention and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green.
If the player’s ball lies on the putting green and an immovable obstruction within two club-lengths of the putting green intervenes on his line of putt, the player may take relief as follows:
The ball must be lifted and placed at the nearest point to where the ball lay that (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids intervention and (c) is not in a hazard.
The ball may be cleaned when lifted.

9. Stones (not shells) in Bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24–1 applies).

10. Wrong Greens (Rule 25–3)
Practice putting and/or pitching greens on the course must be treated as wrong greens.

11. Bunker Faces
a) A bunker face which consists of stacked turf is not part of the bunker and is not deemed to be a “closely mown area” (Rule 25–2 : Embedded ball).
b) A grass covered bunker face, not consisting of stacked turf, is likewise not part of the bunker.

12. Distance-Measuring Devices (Rule 14-3)
In all England Golf Championships, distance measuring devices are permitted. The specimen Local Rule applies. See Rules of Golf p153 and p181.
Note: This Local Rule applies to team captains in both stroke play and match play Championships. If a team captain uses a device in breach of this Local Rule, any distance information sought and received by a player from that team captain or given by that team captain and willingly received by a player will result a breach of Rule 14-3.
Penalty: Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes. Penalty for any subsequent offence: Disqualification.

13. Accidental Movement of a Ball on a 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.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF A LOCAL RULE, unless otherwise specified above or the breach is covered by a Rule of Golf: Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes


1. Pace of Play (Note 2 to Rule 6–7)
a) Time Allowed for Round
Each hole is given a maximum completion time, primarily based upon its length and difficulty. The maximum time allotted for the completion of 18 holes will be available prior to play.

b) “Out of Position”
The first group and any group after a starter’s gap will be considered to be “out of position” if, at any time during the round, the group’s cumulative time exceeds the time allowed for the number of holes completed. Any following group will be considered “out of position” if it is more than the starting interval behind the group in front.

c) Procedure when Group is “Out of Position”
i. A Group “Out of Position” will be asked by the referee to get back into position within a specified time. Failure to do so may lead to players being individually timed.
ii. If a decision is taken to time a group, each player in the group will be informed the group is out of position. At the referee’s discretion, each or any player will be subject to individual timings.

d) Time Allowed for a Stroke
i. The maximum time allocated per shot is 40 seconds. 10 extra seconds are allowed for the first player to play:
• on a par three hole;
• an approach shot;
• a chip or
• a putt
ii. The time will start when the player has had sufficient time to reach his ball, it is his turn to play and he is able to play without interference or distraction.
iii. The time allowed includes any yardage assessment, any walking forwards or backwards and any pre-shot routine, including practice swings.
iv. On the putting green, timing will start when the player has had a reasonable amount of time to lift, clean and replace his ball, repair pitch marks and move loose impediments on his line of putt. Time spent looking at the line from beyond the hole and / or behind the ball is included in the time allowed for the stroke.

e) Timing Ceases
Timing ceases when a group is back in position. Players will be advised accordingly.

(Note 2 to Rule 6-7 and Note 4 to Rule 32-1b)

                                Stroke Play                                Match Play
1 Bad Time               One stroke penalty                      Loss of hole
                               Stableford: 1 point from total
2 Bad Times             Further two strokes penalty          Loss of hole
                               Stableford: 2 further points from total
3 Bad Times             Disqualification                            Disqualification
                               Stableford: Disqualification

g) Procedure When Again Out of Position During Same Round
If a group is subsequently out of position during a round, the above procedure will apply on each occasion. Previous bad times and penalties applied in the round will be carried forward until the round is completed.

h) Individual Timings Without Warning
In addition to the above a player without notice may be individually timed (whether “In Position” or not). If his time exceeds 60 seconds the player will incur a warning. Any future bad times will result in penalties being imposed as highlighted in clause f above.

2. Suspension of Play Due to a Dangerous Situation (Note to Rule 6–8b)
a) The specimen Condition in the Rules of Golf (page 158) is in effect.
i.e. when the klaxon sounds, play must be discontinued immediately. A suspension of play for a dangerous situation will be signalled by one prolonged note of klaxons.
Note: Other suspensions will be signalled by three consecutive notes of klaxons.
b) Resumption of Play (Rule 6–8b) will be signalled by two short notes of klaxons. Players must then (but not before then) resume play.
Note: i. Players will be informed by England Golf Officials when play will resume.
ii. Players will be given sufficient time to reach the place where they were on the course before play was suspended.

23 January 2017

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