Meadow Garden Local Rules – Updated June 2020
Preferred Lies – aka Lift, Clean and Place
With regards to “Preferred Lies” or “Lift, Clean and Place”, each season will begin under these provisions until informed otherwise by the Handicap & Rules Chair. When invoked, you are entitled to first mark your ball, lift your ball, clean it and place it without penalty, within ONE CLUB LENGTH of the original spot, no closer to the hole “if” your ball is in the fairway, and SIX INCHES if your ball is in the rough or fringe. Balls in the Rough must remain in the Rough, and balls in the Fairway must remain in the Fairway. Relief on the Green Fringes are to be 6” only – no closer to the hole. DO NOT SIMPLY BUMP YOUR BALL – THIS IS A STROKE. Only exceptions would be in those situations where the ground immediately around you is deemed casual water, unplayable or ground under repair. With the consent of your playing competitors you can agree on the best place to place the ball in this instance. For all tournaments, given the changing climate and course conditions that take place on a daily basis, it should be assumed that these tournaments are played “Playing The Ball Down” (as it lies) unless otherwise stipulated in the Tournament Rules, or deemed otherwise by the Club Captain, Vice-Captain and/or Tournament Organizer prior to play. The Pro Shop has now been commissioned to post on a daily basis the form of play for that day for all players, being either Summer Rules, Winter Rules or Preferred Lied.
There are times when the sand bunkers are not groomed as they should be and/or they are in rough shape due to the elements. You can take relief “only” in the following circumstances:
a. You are in an obvious indentation caused by running water having run down the banks of the bunker due to heavy rains or excessive sprinkling.
b. Your ball is in a puddle or casual water within the bunker, and/or your stance would also put you in this water.
c. Your ball has come up against a drain pipe in the bunker and/or your stance or swing will be interfered with due to this drain pipe.
In all of the above you are permitted to lift the ball and place it in the bunker, no closer to the hole, at the nearest point of relief from the situation above. No matter how severe the situation is the ball must be placed in the bunker. Only exception to this ruling would be if the bunker was completely submerged in water.
Once “Winter Rules” are invoked and Lift, Clean and Place Rules are implemented, you will be able to lift your ball out of any bunker, rake the spot where your ball was, clean and replace your ball to its original spot. You can also elect to play the ball as it lies. This is only applicable during “Winter Rules” and the handicap computer is shut down for the season.
In all other situations you are to play the ball as it lies, and “rub of the green” takes precedence. This includes being in footprints, rake furrows, animal tracks etc…
Loose Impediments – You are now permitted to remove rocks and/or pebbles and other loose impediments in the bunkers that may directly be within your intended swing – both behind and in front of your ball. Bunkers by design are to be free of these items, and in addition could pose a potential danger to your playing partners. This used to be a Local Rule but is now endorsed throughout the Rules of Golf. Be sure that your ball does not move when removing a loose impediment – otherwise you will incur a one stroke penalty.
Driving Range Fencing along left of #9 Fairway.
The Committee has determined that you are entitled to relief from the fence and/or posts, base boards etc. that border the BACK of the driving range only. Take a stance giving you full swing relief, no closer to the hole and then take a drop within one club length of this relief. You would also be entitled to a free drop if your ball enters the Driving Range having gone through or under the netting whether or not it can be retrieved. The boundary fence to the left of #9 fairway along the roadside is “Out of Bounds” and needs to be played as such. If your ball is outside the boundaries defined by the fence line you are OB and must re-tee. If your ball is inside the fence you are in-bounds and can play it as it lies. You are NOT entitled to relief from the netting, boards or anything else that defines the boundary of the golf course. If the fence/boards/and/or netting interferes with your swing you can play the ball as it lies, or take an unplayable lie under the rules of golf. (Rule 28 option a. re-tee / option b. would not be applicable / option c. drop within two club lengths no nearer the hole. Penalty One Stroke.)
#18 Tee Box – OB Left – down #16 Fairway
The Committee has determined that the area to the left of #18 Fairway which may or may not be marked with White Stakes is a danger to other golfers, and therefore the 16th Fairway, when playing from the 18th Tee Box is Out of Bounds.
All drainage areas located on or across fairways that are a result of grounds maintenance are played as follows:If there is grass growing (mature growth) in the indentation or drainage area – rub of the green and no relief.
If there is gravel present and/or and open pit then you are entitled to relief under the “Ground Under Repair” provisions.
Simply being inside or along a depression of the ground that was obviously a result of drainage pipe being laid is not sufficient to warrant relief. Play it as it lies.
ESA – relief.
Under the Rules of Golf, you are not permitted to stand in the ESA area to hit a ball that may still be inside the boundaries and in play. You must be able to fully stand outside of the ESA in order to play your shot, otherwise you must proceed under the Lateral Hazard rules. If there is no line designating the ESA, the line is presumed to be a straight line from point to point of the boundary stakes identifying the area as such.
Lateral Penalty Areas – Fescue Marked and Unmarked
All fescue areas on the golf course are deemed Penalty Areas, whether marked or not marked by Red Stakes. You are therefore permitted to play under the “Lateral Penalty Area” rules upon entering such areas which gives you a number of options, all of which are under penalty of one stroke, unless you elect to hit the ball where it lies. Caution though, once you play the ball within the hazard you could be in big trouble if you can’t get out. If you hit and cannot find your ball you must drop where originally hit, under penalty of one stroke. If you hit and cannot get out but find your ball you will either now have to play it or take an “Unplayable Lie” under penalty of one stroke. An “Unplayable Lie” will only allow you to drop a ball within two club lengths of current location, which may or may not put you in a position to make a clean hit at the ball. At any time during the process you can pick up a “found ball” and drop within two club lengths at point of “original entry” into the penalty area/fescue under penalty of one additional stroke. BEWARE! The margin line for the hazard created by the fescue, whether or not indicated by Red Stakes, is the beginning of the fescue as determined by the fairway cut. Most Red Stakes are recessed in from the fairway cut line to facilitate the mowers being able to cut the rough without interference from the red stakes..
Also – please note that some of the new fescue areas have been marked at “Environmentally Sensitive Areas” as marked with red stakes painted with green on top, specifically on the right hand side of #5 near the 100 yard marker, and to the left off the tee of #10. Not only are you not permitted to hit a ball that is in these marked areas, you are not permitted to stand in these areas to hit a ball that is outside of these areas. You must take a drop at point of entry under penalty of one stroke.
A reminder that when taking a drop from a penalty area that drop is to be taken at “Point of Entry” and not perpendicular to where the ball finished in the penalty area.
Embedded Balls – Ball Lost In Leaves
Weather conditions from time to time will result in balls potentially becoming embedded in the ground either in the rough, fairway, or anywhere on the course for that matter. In those instances when it is “certain” the ball has become embedded because of abnormal ground conditions but cannot be found, you may drop a ball when playing Summer Rules or place a ball when playing under Preferred Lies or Winter Rules at an agreed upon spot where it is believed the ball was lost, with no penalty incurred. If your ball is embedded and found, you may drop within 6” no closer to the hole if the ball is in the rough or fringe, and within one club length, no closer to the hole if found in the fairway, to be consistent with Preferred Lies provisions. Also, the same can be said for balls which may be potentially lost under an accumulation of leaves on the golf course. In those situations where it is relatively certain that a ball has been lost under an accumulation of leaves, you are permitted to drop a ball at the nearest spot where the ball has been deemed to have been lost under Summer Rules and place a ball under Preferred Lies or Winter Rules, with no penalty. Agreement on placement must be made in both instances with your playing partners.
Any balls entering or coming to rest in a manicured flower bed or landscaped rock bed (such as in front of Hole #4) are entitled to a free drop, one club length from point of entry, no closer to the hole. Areas must be part of regular grounds crew maintained areas to qualify. The same provisions apply to staked trees where your swing is impeded by either the tree, stake or strings/wires attaching the stake to the trees. No relief is given for trees that are not clearly staked.
Marked and Unmarked Ground Under Repair
When your ball enters an area marked as Ground Under Repair – you “may” take a free drop under the appropriate provisions or play the ball as it lies unless not permitted by Local Rules. (We ask that players drop from areas marked as GUR on temporary greens during frosty months). If your ball finds an area in the fairway that clearly should have been marked as GUR but isn’t, after getting approval of your playing partners, you will be entitled to proceed under GUR provisions. This only applies to fairways. If your ball is in the rough, unless the questionable area has been created by the grounds crew, you must play the ball as it lies. We extend exceptions to bare spots within 15 yards of any green fringe, whether in the fairway or rough as long as within 15 yards, that would have normally been marked as GUR under the Rules of Golf. In these instances you would be entitled to a free drop, no closer to the hole in either the rough or fairway. The area must be clearly established by you and your playing partners as being an area that would have been marked under tournament like conditions. Uneven or inconsistent grass would not qualify. Area in question must clearly be a bare spot where dirt is visible.
If an unusual situation takes place, play two balls and bring the situation to the attention of the Club Captain, Vice-Captain, Rules and Handicap Chair or Club Pros after your round for a ruling.