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South Carolina Junior Golf Association


Local Rules Sample 

Rules Presentation

The Very Briefest Rules
1. You must play the ball from the teeing area into the hole.
a. You must begin play from within the teeing ground. Between the markers – no more than two club lengths behind and never in front.
b. The lowest score gets to tee off first.
c. Always make a fair swing at the ball. Count each swing as a stroke.
d. You need to be on time, count your score correctly, and testify that you have proceeded correctly.

2. You must play with 14 or less clubs.

3. If you know the rules, you can’t agree to ignore them.

4. Don’t do anything to influence the position or movement of the ball. Talking to the ball is OK.

5. Play the ball where you find it. Don’t flatten the ground, break branches, or cause your ball to move. Note: Always be sure that you are playing your ball. You may identify your ball anywhere on the course (Including all Hazards).

6. You can only give or receive advice from your partner. Not your opponent or fellow competitor.

7. If you cause your ball to move other than with a stroke, put it back. Add 1 penalty stroke.

8. If you stop or deflect your ball in motion, play it where it ends up. Add the penalty.

9. When a ball has been lifted or moved, the rules require you to drop or place it in a specific place. If you fail to get it back or make an attempt, add 2 penalty strokes.

10. Loose impediments are natural objects and can be moved, except in a hazard. Don’t cause your ball to move.

11. Obstructions are man-made and can be removed. There is no penalty if your ball moves. A player may take free relief from obstructions that cannot be moved.

12. Standing water, burrowing animal holes, and conditions that are not normal are free relief. Ditches, washes, bare areas, and dirt cart paths are not abnormal – no relief.

13. Hazards are penalty situations. Do not touch the ground with the club, test the condition or move a loose impediment. Add 2 penalty strokes.

14. Except in a water hazard, you may deem the ball unplayable if you don’t think you can play it.

15. When you lose a ball or hit it out of bounds, you must return to the spot of your last stroke, add a penalty stroke and play again. If you think your ball may be lost or OB you can play a provisional to save time.

16. In stroke play, during the play of a hole when you are not sure as to how to proceed, you may, before playing your next stroke announce your intention to play a second ball. You must state before playing which ball you want to count should the rules allow.

17. The putting green has several rules associated with it.
a. You must mark and lift your ball if it interferes with someone else. (You may mark with anything.)
b. You may mark and lift your ball at your discretion. The ball may be cleaned after marking.
c. The ball must not strike the flagstick if you have played from the putting green.

18. Once you’ve completed a hole, you may not practice putting or chipping at that green or the next teeing ground.

You cannot practice from a hazard.

Procedures to Know
LOST BALL – A ball is lost when: 1) it has not been found or identified by the player as his within five minutes after the player has begun search; 2) another ball has been put into play by the player; 3) a provisional ball has been played from a point at or nearer than where the original ball is likely to be.
The only option is stroke and distance. Return to the spot where the original ball was last played. If not a teeing ground, DROP a ball. From the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground.
OUT OF BOUNDS – The only option is stroke and distance. Return to the spot where the original ball was last played. If not the teeing ground, DROP a ball. From the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground.

PROVISIONAL BALL – In order to save time, a provisional ball may be played for a ball that may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds. The player must state that he is playing a “provisional ball”, and must do so before going forward to search for the original.

NEAREST POINT OF RELIEF – The nearest point on the golf course the “nearest point of relief” is the reference point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction (Rule 24-2), an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1), or a wrong putting green (25-3).
It is the point on the course nearest to where the ball lies, which is not nearer to the hole and at which, if the ball were so positioned, no interference (as defined) would exist.
Note: The player should determine his nearest point of relief by using the club with which he expects to play his next stroke to stimulate the address position and swing such stroke.

SECOND BALL – A player that is unsure of a procedure may opt to play a second ball. The player must announce intent and with which ball he intends to score (if the rules allow) before taking further action. Otherwise the original ball, or if the original ball is not played, the first ball to come into play, if the rules allow, shall count. The player must report the facts to the committee unless the same score is made with both balls.
A ball in a Water Hazard when it touches the line of a hazard.

REGULAR WATER HAZARD – (Yellow Stakes and Lines) –
Three options: 1) Play the ball; 2) Stroke and distance; 3) Drop a ball behind the hazard keeping the point that the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard directly between the spot on which the ball is to be dropped and the hole.

LATERAL WATER HAZARD – (Red Stakes and Lines)-
Three options: (Options 1, 2, and 3 above) 4) Drop a ball within two club lengths of the point that the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard; 5) Drop a ball within two club lengths of a point on the opposite margin of the hazard, equidistant from the point the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.

BALL UNPLAYABLE – A player is the sole judge of whether or not a ball is unplayable. Three options: 1) Drop a ball within two club lengths of the position of the original ball (no nearer to the hole); 2) Drop a ball keeping the original position directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is to dropped; 3) Stroke and Distance. A ball may not be declared unplayable in a water hazard (proceed under Rule 26-1) A ball declared unplayable in a bunker must be dropped in the bunker unless proceeding under option 3 above.