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Course Status

Last Updated: Fri 19 Apr

Course and Range open. Trolleys ON Buggies ON

Course open
Range open
Buggies yes
Electric Trolleys yes
Trolleys yes

This is the second blog covering further changes to Golf Rules that come into effect on January 1, 2019. You will be pleased to note that there will only one more of these blogs towards the end of December.

This communication is designed to help all members know where to see the changes to the Rules (both in summary and in detail), watch videos of the main changes and understand where to go to get help if there is anything that you don’t understand.

I have previously blogged changes to the rules covering the following areas:

  1. dropping the ball;
  2. penalty areas;
  3. bunkers; and
  4. the green.

This latest blog covers:

  1. Ball moving on the Putting Green
  2. Pace of Play
  3. Ball moved during Search and
  4. Replacing the Ball
  1. Ball moving on the Putting Green

In 2019, the new Rules will provide clearer guidance and assistance to players when their ball accidentally moves on the putting green.

  1. Under new Rule 13.1d, there will no longer be a penalty if a player (or opponent) accidentally causes the player’s ball to move on the putting green.
  1. In addition, the procedure for when a ball on the putting green is moved by wind, water or other natural forces is revised. Sometimes the ball must be replaced and sometimes played from its new spot. It all depends on whether or not the ball has been lifted and replaced before it moved.
  1. Pace of Play

Rule 5.6 will encourage prompt pace of play by recommending that:

Players should recognise that their pace of play affects others and they should play promptly throughout the round. For example, they should prepare in advance for each stroke and move promptly between strokes and in going to the next tee.

A player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds – and usually less – after they are able to play without interference or distraction.

In addition, new Rule 6.4 will expressly allow playing out of turn by agreement in match play. In stroke play, it will affirmatively allow and encourage players to play out of turn in a safe and responsible way to save time or for convenience. This is also known as ready golf.

Under new Rule 18.2, the time for a ball search, before the ball becomes lost, will be reduced from five minutes to three minutes.

  1. Ball Moved during Search

The Rules in 2019 will help players avoid unnecessary penalties when it comes to searching for their ball.

Under Rule 7.4, if a player accidentally moves his or her ball while searching for it, there will be no penalty. In addition, under new Rule 7.3 a player will be able to mark, lift and identify their ball without needing first to announce this intention to another person.

  1. Replacing the ball

If a player’s ball at rest is lifted or moved under a Rule that requires the ball to be replaced, it will always be placed on a spot, never dropped. This is the effect of new Rule 14.2c and it applies to any ball at rest, anywhere off the putting green.

If the exact original spot is not known, the player will be required to replace the ball on its estimated spot. This includes placing it on, under or against any attached natural objects that the ball had been at rest on, under or against.

To find out more about these changes, the reasons for them and to watch videos describing the changes:

  • please click on the Members Area of the Website;
  • go to Competitions, Documents, Rules and Handicaps; and then
  • Go to Club Rules and Documents.

Or click this link:

One further update of Rules will be provided towards the end of December together with an update of our Local Rules.

Best regards and wishes to all,

Malcolm Berryman

SWGC Handicap Secretary


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