TEMPORARY LOCAL RULES THAT MODIFY THE RULES OF GOLF FOR COVID-19
5th June 2020
On 19/3/2020, the R&A announced a series of temporary measures to combat the hygiene implications associated with some of the requirements of the Rules of Golf. These temporary measures allow the Rules of Golf, and Model Local Rules, to be modified as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Golf Committee has decided to implement the following Local Rules to cater for situations created by COVID-19 restrictions.
- Score cards: In view of concerns about handling and exchanging scorecards, on a temporary basis, the Golf Committee has decided to allow methods of scoring in Stroke play, Stableford and Par that do not strictly comply with Rule 3.3b, or do not comply with the normal methods used under Rule 3.3b.
The marker will have sole responsibility for handling, marking and returning the scorecard, and after consultation with the player will sign it and endorse it with the following – score for each hole checked and verified by ‘name of player’. Any issues or discrepancies will be communicated to the committee using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
- Flagsticks: Players must leave the flagstick in the hole at all times, however, there will be no penalty for touching the flagstick. If a player plays the ball into the hole with the flag stick removed, they have breached the Local Rule and thus incur a penalty of two strokes.
Note: The following Rule from the Rules of Golf Rule 13 c Ball Resting Against Flagstick in Hole If a player’s ball comes to rest against the flagstick left in the hole: If any part of the ball is in the hole below the surface of the putting green, the ball is treated as holed even if the entire ball is not below the surface.
- Bunkers: As the rakes have been removed from the course the Committee recognises that bunkers may not be smoothed as effectively as when rakes are on the course. A player in a bunker may lift their ball and replace it within one club length, but no nearer the hole, and still within the bunker. However, players are not allowed to smooth the area before placing the ball. Players are encouraged to smooth the area with their foot or club after the shot. (To keep to the spirit of this local rule it is expected that a wedge will be used to measure the one club length, rather than the longest club in your bag).
- Course furniture: It has not been possible to remove all seats, bins, marker posts etc. from the course, although they have been taped off or sealed. All course furniture, that would normally be moved, and marker posts should be treated as an immovable obstruction (Rule 24-2 applies).
- Pace of Play: It is essential to maintain social distancing at all times and to be conscious of the speed of play. Until further notice 4 balls will not be allowed, any members playing a competition, or part of a competition, in a 4 ball will be disqualified. The majority of members have found the rounds to be quicker since the return to golf, so please don’t let the fact of a card in your pocket slow you down!