Applying the Local Rules

[Updated 20/12/2021]

The following assists Members and visitors in interpreting the Glenelg Golf Club’s local rules.

To be used in conjunction with the Local Rules which can be found in both the GGC app and the MiScore app.

This is available within the Glenelg Golf Club app, together with explanations of commonly applied Stroke play rules.

AREAS OF THE COURSE

Reference in the Local Rules to the general area means the whole of the ground within the course boundary except:

  • the tee of the hole being played;
  • penalty areas;
  • bunkers; and
  • the putting green of the hole being played.

TAKING RELIEF

When you are taking either free or penalty relief your ball must be dropped in a relief area; except when taking relief from an embedded lie in the sod face of a bunker or at a dropping stake.

A relief area will always be a semi-circle or smaller part of a circle, of radius either one or two club-lengths of a reference point, depending on the circumstances, and no part of the relief area can be closer to the hole than the reference point.

Examples of Relief Areas:

Whenever taking relief, whether by dropping or placing,

  • the ball may be cleaned; or
  • another ball may be used.

Neither of these actions is permissible when a ball is to be re-placed after lifting it,

  • for the purpose of identification;
  • to examine it for damage; or
  • because it was assisting or interfering with the player of another player.

Unless otherwise indicated, when taking relief both the reference point and all of the relief area must not be closer to the hole than the point where the ball was at rest.

DEGREES OF RELIEF

There are three degrees of relief.

In general, when taking relief, you must take complete relief from the condition concerned:  immovable obstruction; wrong green; ground under repair; temporary water; embedded ball.

This means that your stance and area of intended swing, as well as your ball, must be clear of interference from the condition that is causing you to take relief.

In the case where relief from temporary water is sought on the putting green or in a bunker, where complete relief is not possible maximum available relief may be taken. That is, you may drop your ball (in the bunker) or place it (on or off the green) at a point where there is interference from the water but such interference is at its minimum.

In the case of relief from a penalty area it is not necessary that relief must be complete. That is, your ball will be in play even if when dropped it comes to rest in a position such that you need to stand within the penalty area.

COURSE BOUNDARY AND OUT OF BOUNDS (OOB)

The boundary of the course is marked by a combination of:

  • cyclone wire perimeter fence;
  • housing fences;
  • brush fence at the 9th and 16th tees;
  • the net at the southern end of the practice range; and
  • black-topped white stakes.

The following two areas are outside of the course boundary and if your ball comes to rest in either of these areas it is out of bounds:

The turf nursery is OOB – play a provisional ball if you think your ball may be in this area
The Eastern carpark and practice range are OOB – play a provisional ball if you think your ball may be in this area.

The actual boundary is the line between the inner-most edge of the stakes or fence posts at ground level.

In order for your ball to be out of bounds, the whole of it must be beyond the OOB line.

This ball is not out of bounds | This ball is out of bounds

If your ball is out of bounds you must either return to play another ball from the point where you last played and incur a one stroke penalty or if you have played a provisional ball, that ball becomes the ‘ball in play’ and you lie three strokes.

Another way of thinking of this is – if you hit your ball out of bounds, you incur a penalty of two strokes.

Note that:

  • Boundary objects are not immovable obstructions and there is no free relief. If a boundary object interferes with your play, you must either play the ball as it lies or take ‘unplayable ball’ relief.
  • Under no circumstances are boundary objects to be moved – the penalty for doing so is two strokes.
  • Brush fences at the 2nd and 5th tees are inside the boundary fence and are ‘immovable obstructions’, from which free relief may be taken.
  • The course boundary extends both above and below the ground.

 

COLOURED STAKES AND LINES

  • Red indicates a penalty area [PA]
  • Black indicates a no play zone [NPZ]
  • White indicates ground under repair [GUR]
  • Blue indicates a dropping zone [DZ]

These stakes are all designated as immovable and must not be moved: the penalty for doing so is two strokes (see Immovable Obstructions, below).

If one of these stakes interferes with the lie of your ball, your stance or your swing you may take free relief, except when your ball is in a penalty area, where the only available relief is to drop outside of the area for a penalty of one stroke. (see Penalty Areas, below)

DROPPING ZONE

A dropping zone is indicated by a labelled blue stake.

If a stake is associated with an immovable obstruction [IO], ground under repair [GUR] or no play zone [NPZ] (on the hole being played) then free relief must be taken at that point.

If there is more than one stake associated with such a condition relief must be taken at the stake nearest to the point where the ball last crossed the edge of the condition, even if such stake is closer to the hole.

If a stake is associated with a penalty area [PA], then penalty relief must be taken at that point.

A dropped ball which comes to rest more than one club-length from a drop stake must be re-dropped and if it again comes to rest more than one club-length from the stake, it must be placed.

For example:

If your ball comes to rest in an area marked by black lines and stakes it is in a no play zone and you must not play it as it lies.

If a blue stake is present – as is the case with the samphire NPZ at the corner of the 12th fairway, the Western carpark [IO] when playing the 7th hole and the NPZ between the 16th green and 17th fairway, for example – you must drop your ball within one club-length of that stake, no nearer to the hole.

If more than one blue stake is present – as is the case with the Western carpark [IO] when playing the 1st hole, the NPZ through the 11th hole, the NPZ on the right-hand side off the 12th tee, and the NPZ on the right-hand side of the 18th hole – you must drop your ball within one club-length of the nearest stake to the point where your ball last entered the condition, even if the stake is closer to the hole.

If there is no blue stake present when there is interference to your play by any one of the listed conditions, you must drop your ball in a one club-length relief area measured from the nearest point from which the ball lies which provides you with complete relief from interference by the condition to the lie of your ball, your intended stance or your intended swing.

If your ball is lost in one of these conditions, the reference point is the place where your ball last crossed the edge of the condition. If a blue stake is present then the ball must be dropped at that point.

Note that the clubhouse/maintenance area is a No Play Zone.

12th fairway – samphire protected area

RELIEF FROM A WRONG GREEN

A ‘wrong green’ is any green on the course other than the putting green of the hole you are playing, which includes the chipping/putting green in the practice area.

If your ball is on a wrong green or the green causes interference to your stance or swing, you must take free relief by dropping a ball in a one club-length relief area from the nearest point of complete relief to where the ball came to rest, which is not nearer to the hole.

The effect of the Local Ruleis to ensure that damage to the fringes of greens are not damaged, hence complete relief in this instance means that both the lie of the ball and your stance must be at least one club-length from the edge of the green.

Another way of thinking about this situation is to imagine that the ‘virtual’ edge of the green for the purpose of taking this relief is one club-length outside of the ‘actual’ edge.

If your ball has finished on the grass fringe of the wrong green, it must be dropped in the general area, but if your ball has come to rest in a bunker and the wrong green interferes with your stance or swing, then the nearest point of complete relief, and the relief area, must be in the bunker.

GARDEN BEDS

All garden beds, other than those in a no play zone, such as the clubhouse/maintenance area, are in play and no free relief is available, unless there is interference from a staked plant (see Young Trees, Shrubs and Grasses, below).

YOUNG TREES, SHRUBS AND GRASSES

To protect a newly planted or protected plant which has a stake or guard, and the plant interferes with your stance or your intended swing, you must not play the ball but must drop a ball within a one club-length relief area taken from the nearest point, which is not nearer to the hole, so that there is complete relief from the plant. This means that if you touch the plant in any way in the course of making your stroke you incur a two-stroke penalty, for playing from the wrong place.  

EMBEDDED BALL

Free relief can be taken for a ball which is embedded in its own pitch-mark only when your ball is in an area of turf cut to fairway height.

In order to obtain free relief, it must be known or virtually certain that the ball is, in fact, in its own pitch-mark, otherwise it must be played as it lies, or unplayable ball relief must be taken.

This rule means that in such areas as beneath the trees on the 2nd, 8th, 12th and 18th holes, and sandy areas such as on the 8th hole and the right-hand side of the 10th hole, there is no free relief and the ball must be played as it lies or declared unplayable.

However, if your ball is embedded in the earth/sod face of a bunker you must not play the ball.

Free relief must be taken by:

  • finding the nearest place, in the general area, from the point where the ball was embedded where a placed ball is likely to remain at rest – although the face is part of the general area, this place is extremely unlikely to be on the face; and
  • place a ball within one club-length of that point, so that it is not closer to the hole.

While such a face is not technically part of the bunker, you can think of this procedure as taking relief outside of the notional boundary of the bunker.

IMMOVABLE OBSCTUCTION CLOSE TO THE PUTTING GREEN

Normally relief from a sprinkler head or drainage grate is only available if it interferes with your lie, stance or swing. However, if a sprinkler-head or drainage grate which is within two club-lengths of a green interferes with your intended line of play and your ball lies within two club-lengths of the obstruction, you may drop a ball at the nearest point where the obstruction does not interfere with your line of play, without penalty.

 

Note that when playing the 18th hole if it is known or virtually certain that your ball is lost inside a penalty area adjacent to the practice fairway and either relief option 2 or 3 is being taken:

  • your ball must be dropped on the course – that is, inside the boundary;
  • all or part of your stance can be inside the penalty area;
  • all or part of your stance can be out of bounds.

TREE ROOTS IN AREAS CUT TO FAIRWAY HEIGHT

If tree roots on, or within two club-lengths of, a part of the general area cut to fairway height interfere with the lie of your ball or with your intended swing you may take free relief by dropping your ball within a one club-length relief area, not nearer to the hole, where there is no interference to your lie.

You may take reasonable action prior to playing your stroke to test whether tree roots are present.

Note that you cannot take relief if the root interferes with your stance only, whether this occurs before or after you have taken relief.

IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS

The following are designated immovable obstructions, and must not be moved before playing your shot, even if it is physically possible to do so:

  • All items of watering equipment – including temporary sprinklers and hoses;
  • Signs relating to dangerous situations such as ‘snakes present’, player safety such as ‘bunker ahead’ or any other sign which is clearly directed at one of these purposes;
  • Drainage grates;
  • Fences other than boundary fences – such as at the 2nd and 5th tees;
  • The Western carpark – the Eastern carpark is out of bounds;
  • Stakes defining penalty areas (red), no play zones (black), drop zones (blue), ground under repair (white) – stakes designating out of bounds are defined immovable by the Rules; and
  • Paved surfaces, quarry sand paths (including timber borders even when displaced from their ‘normal’ position), areas of plastic matting installed for the purpose of turf preservation.

If you move one of the objects designated immovable obstructions by the Local Rules before playing your stroke you incur a two-stroke penalty for breaching a Local Rule. However, if you replace the object before playing your stroke, you are not penalised.

Note that the reason for designating some objects as immovable, even though they can be easily moved, is that these objects define the course conditions and if they are moved it could be dangerous or unfair to following players.

Note that all stakes and signs other than those listed above are movable obstructions, but if you move any such objects, placed to direct traffic or protect an area, to facilitate the play of your ball you are requested to ensure that it is replaced once you have played.

If your ball comes to rest so that there is interference to the lie of your ball, your stance or your swing by an immovable obstruction, you may take free relief.

In taking relief:

  • If there is a blue stakes(s) near the obstruction you must drop a ball within one club-length of the stake nearest to the point where your ball crossed the edge of the obstruction, even if that stake is nearer to the hole, or
  • If there is no stake(s) present you must drop your ball within a one club-length relief area taken from the point where your ball lies so that you get complete relief from interference to your stance and swing. (see Dropping Zone, above)

If when playing your stroke your stance or club touches the immovable obstruction from which you have taken relief you will incur a two-stroke penalty, for playing from the wrong place.

The red stakes are ‘immovable obstructions’ but the brown and green/white stakes are ‘movable obstructions’, which if moved must be replaced after you have played your stroke.

PAINTED LINES OR DOTS

If your ball comes to rest on a painted line or dot in a part of the course cut to fairway height or on a putting green, you may take free relief from interference to your lie or swing by dropping your ball in a one club-length relief area taken from the nearest point to where your ball lay, not nearer to the hole, where there is no interference.

Note that if there is interference to your stance only, then there is no relief and you must play the ball as it lies.

If your ball it is the general area it must be dropped, but if it is on the putting green it must be placed, even if your relief area is off of the green.

SEAMS OF CUT TURF

Seams of cut turf in a part of the general area cut to fairway height, or on a putting green, may be treated as ground under repair if there is interference to the lie of the player’s ball or the area of the player’s intended swing, but not for the player’s intended stance.

All seams in a given area are to be treated as the same seam for the purpose of taking complete relief, that is, a dropped ball must be free from interference by any seam in the area, or it must be re-dropped.

Note that if there is interference to your stance only, then there is no relief and you must play the ball as it lies.

Note that if the ball it is the general area it must be dropped, but if it is on the putting green it must be placed.

Note that if your ball is on the putting green then you are entitled to relief from interference to your intended line of play, also.

IRRIGATION SPRAY ZONE

Except when your ball is in an unplayable lie or penalty area (in which cases no relief may be taken under this Local Rule), if your ball comes to rest such that there is interference to your lie, stance or swing from the spray zone of any piece of irrigation equipment, free relief may be taken in the area of the course in which your ball came to rest.

That is,

  • in the general area, a ball may be dropped within a one club-length relief area measured from the nearest point to the place where your ball finished which ensures that your stroke is not affected by the spray;
  • in a bunker, the relief must be taken in that bunker, or an adjacent bunker, where the spray can be avoided; or
  • on the putting green a ball must be placed on the green or in the general area, at the nearest point where the spray can be avoided.

Note that all irrigation equipment is immovable. (see ‘Immovable Obstructions’, above).

PENALTY AREAS

An area marked with red lines and/or stakes is a penalty area [PA].

If any part of your ball is inside of or is touching or overhanging the red line then it is in the penalty area.

If your ball is in a penalty area you may either play it as it lies or with a penalty of one stroke:

  • return to the place from which you last played (option 1), or
  • as far behind the PA as you wish, drop a ball in a relief area which is one club-length either side of the line through the point of entry to the flagstick (option 2), or
  • drop a ball within a relief area of two club-lengths from the point where the ball last crossed the defined edge of the area, and which is no nearer to the hole than that point (option 3).

The ball can be dropped in any area of the course, except the PA from which the relief is taken.

Note that when playing the 18th hole if it is known or virtually certain that your ball is lost inside a penalty area adjacent to the practice fairway and either relief option utilising the point of entry is being taken:

  • your ball must be dropped on the course – that is, inside the boundary;
  • all or part of your stance can be inside the penalty area;
  • all or part of your stance can be out of bounds.
Your stance may be in the penalty area or it may be out of bounds