General Local Rules of Golf -- April 21, 2019

Summary of Change: Updates PSMGA special rules, Rule 3, Natural/Native areas (highlighted in yellow)

Also see Optional Games for rules governing these voluntary contests

The following rules will apply to all tournaments.  These rules have been reviewed and approved by the Board of Officers and may be amended as necessary by the Board.  Current USGA rules of Golf will apply during play with the following exceptions, which allows Local Rules that provide for abnormal conditions.

Violation of Rules.  During play any questions concerning these rule interpretations will be addressed with other members of the playing group at the time of occurrence.  Any unresolved disputes should be noted and brought to the attention of the Committee, or their representatives, immediately following play.

NEW RULES ENCOURAGE FASTER PACE OF PLAY. Affirmative encouragement of “READY GOLF” in stroke play. Search for lost ball is now limited to (3) three minutes and players should take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke                                                       



3.  MAXIMUM STROKES.  Maximum of three (3) strokes over Par are to be taken and recorded on any hole, except in Match Play where the hole is played out until it is won, halved or conceded.

4.  PUTTS.  The final putt on a hole must be holed out.  No GIMMES.   Once a ball in play is on the green, a ”putting ball” cannot be substituted.           

There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole: players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed.          

5.  MOVING AND CLEANING THE BALL.  The ball may be moved, with no penalty within one club length, in either the fairway or the rough, (“General Area”) (formerly through the green), but not in a penalty area (formerly hazard), and no closer to the hole.  The ball cannot be moved from the rough to the fairway.  The ball may be cleaned after each shot, except in a penalty area (hazard).

6. PENALTY AREAS. (Formerly Water / Lateral Water Hazards).  

     The Rules for Penalty Areas are well defined by USGA and will be played by PSMGA members accordingly. Note that in addition to water hazards, the Committee may mark areas such as deserts, jungles, rock fields, etc. as Penalty Areas.

      NOTE : If a penalty area (hazard) is not marked, it is up to the player with help from the playing group, to determine where the yellow or red stakes/lines would be placed and play from that location.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: After taking relief, and putting the ball in play, the player is entitled to move the ball one club length in accordance with Rule #5.

7.  LOST BALL AND/OR OUT OF BOUNDS.  This Local Rule is used to speed up play.  If a ball goes out of bounds, the player may advance to the point where the ball is presumed to have gone out and under penalty of one stroke, drop a ball within two club lengths of where the ball went out of bounds, not nearer the hole.

If a ball is lost (outside a penalty area (hazard)) and has not been found within 3 minutes, the player will drop a ball in the vicinity where the ball was lost, no closer to the hole, under penalty of one stroke.

Important Note: After taking relief, and putting the ball in play, the player is entitled to move the ball one club length in accordance with Rule 5

8. Bunkers.  Play the ball as it lies, including ball that are plugged or “fried eggs”. However, if the ball is in an abnormal ground condition such as a footprint, divot, eroded area, mud, or standing water, a player may pick up the ball and place it in another area of the bunker, no closer to the hole. The player may also lift the ball, rake and place the ball as close to the original position, without penalty.  Loose impediments may be removed without penalty. An extra relief option for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker, using the “back-on-a-line”, drop the ball with-in one club length and procedure with a two-stroke penalty.


1.         DROP  ZONES.

If a ball enters the creek on Hole #18, under penalty of one stroke, the player is authorized to utilize the drop zone located across the creek adjacent to the forward (ladies) tee box.

If a ball enters the creek on Hole #10, or is driven far left and/or right prior to the creek, and cannot be found, the player, under penalty of one stroke, is authorized to utilize the drop zone located across the creek.


If a ball goes into the “Grate Areas” and can be identified, it is not a lost ball. Drop the ball the closest point of relief, no closer to the hole, no penalty. If a player thinks his ball went into the “Grate Areas”, and cannot be identified, the ball is lost. Drop the ball to closest point of relief, no closer to the hole, one stroke penalty.

The area across the cart path behind Hole #9 (Short Course Area) and the driving range on Hole #1 and Hole #9 is OUT OF BOUNDS (See Local Rule #8).  RELIEF- determined closest point of relief, no closer to the hole and add one stroke penalty.

The area between Hole #3 and Hole #4, where the memorial plaques are located, will be played as Ground- Under- Repair. DO NOT PLAY from this area. RELIEF- determines the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole, and within one club length.

3.        NATURAL / NATIVE AREAS (Current guidance as of Aril 21, 2019)

Effective immediately, and until further notice, all Natural/Native area are RESTRICTED (NO PLAY) AREAS. 



  • The Natural/Native areas will not be marked.

Definition: Any area on the course that is not regularly maintained (Mowed etc.). Balls that are hit into these areas are to be abandoned. DO NOT ENTER !


Relief:  Estimate the point of reference (where the ball last crossed the margin of the area), and within two club lengths, drop the ball no closer to the hole and add one penalty stroke.


1st Offense: Warning

2nd Offense: Two-stroke Penalty

3rd Offense:  Disqualification


Membership is open to senior men PGA or USGA members only if they qualify under the PGA and USGA rules to participate in amateur tournaments. If membership eligibility is in question, the Executive Committee will make the membership decision.