General Local Rules of Golf -- May 1, 2018

Summary of Changes: Restricts play from Natural Areas

Also see Optional Games

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 as per rule 33.8, which allows Local Rules that provide for abnormal conditions.

Violation of Rules.  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.



  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 either won, halved or conceded.

  4. PUTTS.  The final putt on a hole must be holed out.  No Gimmees.  Any imperfections (spike marks, ball marks, etc) can be repaired without penalty, prior to putting. A ”putting ball” cannot be substituted unless the original ball is lost or damaged.

  5. MOVING AND CLEANING THE BALL.  The ball may be moved one club length in either the fairway or the rough, through the green, but not in a 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 hazard.

  6. HITTING THE WRONG BALL.  In Stroke Play, if a competitor makes a stroke or strokes at a wrong ball, he incurs a penalty of two strokes.  In Match Play, if a player makes a stroke at a wrong ball, he loses the hole.

  7. CASUAL WATER AND / OR GROUND UNDER REPAIR. Casual water is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Ground Under Repair is marked with white lines. It also includes areas where work is in progress, but not marked, such as dirt piled up in the areas scraped to bare earth.  A player gets relief by dropping a ball one club length from the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole. (ref USGA Rule #25-1-b-i)         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. WATER HAZARD AND LATERAL WATER HAZARD.  (Ref USGA Rule #26-1).  Note if a hazard is not marked, then per USGA 33, it is up to the player, with help from his 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.

  9. 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 hazard) and has not been found within 5 minutes, the player is entitled to drop a ball in the vicinity where the ball was lost, no closer to the hole, under penalty of one stroke.

  10. BUNKERS.  Play the ball as it lies, EXCEPT 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.  As a last resort, the player may lift the ball, rake and place the ball as close to the original position, without penalty.  Stones may be removed without penalty.

  11. DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES.  Distance measuring devices are authorized. Note that devices that measure other conditions such as ground slope, wind speed and temperature are not authorized (USGA Rule 14-3).



  1. DROP ZONES. If a ball enters the creek on Hole #10, or is driven far left or right prior to the creek, and cannot be found, the player is authorized to utilize the drop zone located across the creek. If a ball enters the creek on Hole #18, the player is authorized to utilize the drop zone located across the creek adjacent to the forward tee box.

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

  3. NATURAL AREAS.  CARTS AND GOLFERS ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THESE AREAS !  DEFINITION- any area on the course that is not maintained (mowed, etc).    These areas are to be considered as Lateral Water Hazards, with the exception of NO ENTRY into these areas.Balls that are hit into these areas are to be considered to be abandoned or lost. DO NOT ENTER. RELIEF- estimate 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.

  4.  PGA PROFESSIONALS. 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.