Local Rules & Etiquette
LOCAL RULES (14th January 2013)
1. Out of bounds
(a) All fenced boundaries of the course.
(b) Beyond the line of white posts at the machine sheds, to the right of the 3rd fairway and behind the 18th green. (Definition: The OOB line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes at ground level. The posts are an integral part of the course and are not obstructions. If the ball is deemed unplayable by intervention with a post Rule 28 applies.
2. Fixed sprinkler heads
All fixed sprinkler heads are immovable obstructions and relief from interference by them may be obtained under Rule 24-2.
In addition, if such an obstruction on or within two club lengths of the putting green of the hole being played intervenes on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may obtain relief without penalty, as follows: If the ball lies off the putting green but not in a hazard and is within two club lengths of the intervening obstruction, it may be lifted, cleaned and dropped at the nearest point to where the ball lay which (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids such intervention, and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green.
3. Staked trees
If any tree or shrub identified by a stake interferes with a player's stance or area of his intended swing, the player must lift the ball and drop it without penalty, within one club length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. If after taking such relief another staked tree(s) interferes with the intended line of play or if in the course of play of the hole any staked tree(s) interferes with the intended line of play, further relief should be taken by dropping the ball in a place which fairly avoids the intervention and is not nearer the hole.
Rule 24-2(b) applies. Relief is not available from trees with sleeves.
4. Stones in bunkers
Are moveable obstructions. Rule 24-1(b) applies.
Relief may be taken from all paths with artificial surfaces within the boundaries of the course under Rule 24-2 b(i)
6. Steps and adjacent hand-rails
All man-made steps of timber sleepers or such like within the boundaries of the course are immovable obstructions and Rule 24-2 b(i) applies.
7. Ground under repair
All GUR at Henley Golf Club is GUR â€" PLAY PROHIBITED
A ball coming to rest in an area marked as Ground Under Repair through the green MUST be lifted and dropped within one club length of the nearest point of relief and may be cleaned. On the putting green it must be placed at the nearest point of relief. Rule 25-1(a-b). Any hazards marked GUR are deemed to be out of play.
Areas marked with blue posts shall be treated as GUR.
Penalty for breach of local rules:
Match play - Loss of hole: Stroke play - Two strokes.
8. Marker Posts. If a ball strikes a marker post at the 6th hole, the shot may be replayed.
9. Dropping Zones. At the 15th hole if the ball lies on the path to the left of the green, or at the 18th if it lies on the artificial path to the left of the green or there is interference with the players stance or swing by the out of bounds hedge, the player may take relief by dropping the ball in the Dropping Zone nearest to where the ball lies.
10. Animal damage
Areas of ground damaged by animal hoof prints are designated as ground under repair. Relief may be taken in accordance with Rule 25-1(b)
11. Measuring devices
Distance measuring devices may be used in both competition and general play as long as such devices comply with current R & A recommendations.
Play must not commence on the 1st tee if the ridge across the 1st/18th is not visible from the tee.
13. Playing the rear tee at the third hole
A temporary protective net is positioned in front of the growing hawthorn hedge above the roadside.
(i) If a tee-shot touches the net and/or the hedge and the ball remains on the tee-side of the net/hedge, the ball must be retrieved and relief must be taken by playing the ball from the Dropping Zone immediately across the road. If the ball cannot be retrieved it must be substituted.
(ii) If the tee-shot should come to rest without touching and /or before reaching the net or the hedge, it may be played as it lies. If deemed unplayable it must be played from the Dropping Zone under penalty of one stroke. If it is played as it lies and subsequently touches the net/hedge and remains on the tee-side of the net/hedge it must be played from the Dropping Zone without penalty.
(iii) If a ball struck from the tee, or from the intervening ground before the net/hedge is lost before reaching the net/hedge line, or lost in any position over the road, the next stroke must be played from the Dropping Zone under penalty of one stroke.
(iv) Any ball lying out of bounds when played from the tee, from the ground between the tee and the net/hedge or past the hedge but before the road, must be substituted with another ball played from the Dropping Zone under penalty of one stroke. A ball lying on the road is out of bounds.
(v) If after these shots the ball does not reach the road but remains on the ground/ bank above the road and past the hedge, although it may have touched the net/hedge, it may be played as it lies. If deemed unplayable, it must be played from the Dropping Zone under penalty of one stroke.
14. Badger damage
The badger and bird damage on the fairways is to be treated as an abnormal ground condition and rule 25-1b applies; the player may lift the ball and drop it without penalty within one club length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief.
1. Preferred lies/Winter rules
When preferred lies/Winter rules are in operation a ball lying on any closely mown area through the green may be lifted and cleaned. Before lifting, the position of the ball must be marked. If the player fails to mark the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke. Having lifted the ball it must be placed within six inches of where it originally lay, but not nearer the hole and not in a hazard or on a putting green. A player may place his ball once only and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4).
(Definition of "through the green" is the whole area of the course except the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played, and all hazards on the course).
2. Embedded Ball (Rule25-2), Cleaning the Ball (Rule 21)
When winter rules are in force, the application of relief to be taken under Rule 25-2 and Rule 21 will be extended to cover all parts of the course except bunkers. (A ball removed from its own pitch mark in the rough must not be cleaned and must be dropped in the rough not nearer the hole).
3. Aeration holes
If a ball comes to rest in or on an aeration hole, the player may, without penalty, lift the ball and clean it. Through the green, the player shall drop the ball as near as possible to where it lay, but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.
On the putting green, the player may place the ball at the nearest spot not nearer the hole which avoids such situation.
4. Temporary greens
Temporary Greens not in use are Ground Under Repair and play is prohibited. Relief must be taken by lifting the ball without penalty within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief (Rule 25-1(b)).
5. Tyre marks
Through the green any areas of damage caused by vehicles shall be treated as Ground Under Repair. Relief may be taken as provided for in Rule 25-1(b)
6. Ropes and posts
A ball hitting a rope or stake may be replayed without penalty.
Posts and ropes are immovable obstructions and relief may be taken in accordance with Rule 24-2
7. The flag/Protection of holes
The flag is to be either left in the hole or removed to protect the area around the hole from excessive wear. The flag should not be attended.
Etiquette: Behaviour on the Course
This article reproduces the latest R&A guidelines on the etiquette of golf.
These guidelines advise on the manner in which the game of golf should be played. If they are followed, all players will gain maximum enjoyment from the game. The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times.
The Spirit of the Game
Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.
Players should ensure that no one is standing close by, or in a position to be hit by, the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swing.
Players should not play until the players in front are out of range.
Players should always alert greenstaff nearby or ahead when they are about to make a stroke that might endanger them.
If a player plays a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, he should immediately shout a warning. The traditional word of warning in such situations is "fore."
Consideration for Other Players
No Disturbance or Distraction
Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise.
Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players.
On the teeing ground, a player should not tee his ball until it is his turn to play.
Players should not stand close to, or directly behind, the ball, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to play.
On the Putting Green
On the putting green, players should not stand on another player's line of putt or, when he is making a stroke, cast a shadow over his line of putt.
Players should remain on, or close to, the putting green, until all other players in the group have holed out.
In stroke play, a player who is acting as a marker should, if necessary, on the way to the next tee, check the score with the player concerned and record it.
Pace of Play
Play at Good Pace and Keep Up
Players should play at a good pace. The Committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow.
It is a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group. Where a group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind can play faster, it should invite the faster moving group to play through.
Be Ready to Play
Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When playing on or near the putting green, they should leave their bags or carts in such a position as will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.
If a player believes his ball may be lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, he should play a provisional ball.
Players searching for a ball should signal the players in the group behind them to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found. They should not search for five minutes before doing so. Having allowed the group behind to play through, they should not continue play until that group has passed and is out of range.
Priority on the Course
Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group's pace of play. Any group playing a whole round is entitled to pass a group playing a shorter round. The term 'group' includes a single player.
Care of the Course
Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by them and any nearby made by others. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.
Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes
Players should carefully repair any divot holes made by them and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.
Preventing Unnecessary Damage
Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.
Players should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.
In order to avoid damaging the hole, players and caddies should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.
Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.
The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.
Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.
Conclusion: Penalties for Breach
If players follow these guidelines, it will make the game more enjoyable for everyone. If a player consistently disregards these guidelines during a round or over a period of time to the detriment of others, it is recommended that the committee considers taking appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player. Such action may, for example, include prohibiting play for a limited time on the course or in a certain number of competitions. This is considered to be justifiable in terms of protecting the interests of the majority of golfers who wish to play in accordance with these guidelines.
In the case of a serious breach of etiquette, the committee may disqualify a player.
The full Rules of Golf are available at: www.randa.org.