The rules below are in effect for all club tournaments except when noted by the Tournament Chairman. The purpose of these rules is to speed up play and to make the day on the links more enjoyable for the club members. The effect on one's true handicap is negligible in the overall picture.
1. Lost Ball Situation / Out of Bounds (follow USGA Rules 27-1 & 27-2)
- Out of Bounds -- Declare that you are playing a provisional ball. Play this second ball from the original spot, counting both strokes and add a penalty stroke - USGA rule 27-1. (e.g., Tee shot went out of bounds, re-tee shooting 3)
- If a provisional ball has not been played -- drop a ball in the general area where you went out of bounds, count the initial stroke and take a two-stroke penalty - (e.g., Tee shot went out of bounds, you did not re-tee, drop ball in the general area where you went out of bounds, shooting 4 from the drop area) - Foon Hay rule (to speed up play)
- Lost Ball -- Play same as Out of Bounds -- Note you have option if you think your ball is lost to hit a provisional before moving forward to where ball was last seen.
- Limit search for a lost ball to 5 minutes.
2. Bumping the Ball
- The player may "bump" the ball 12 inches, no nearer the hole, anywhere on the course except in a hazard (including sand traps) or on the green. However, the "bumping" cannot change the ball conditions ... e.g. if the ball is in the rough, the ball must remain in the rough. If the ball is in a tree, it must remain in the tree.
- The "bumping" can be done in the following manner only:
- For players with handicaps less than 30, the bumping must be done with a golf club.
- Players whose handicaps are equal to or greater than 30, the bumping can be done with a club or by placing the ball by hand (within 12 inches).
3. Extremely "bad" hole (Mercy Rule)
- If a player has not holed out within a number of strokes equal to double-par (2 x par), he/she must pick up and take a score equal to two times par plus one (score = 2 x par + 1).
- If you wish to pick up, rather than suffering through the final stroke, take the double par plus one instead of an "X".
- The Mercy Rule will:
- Speed up play immensely
- Relieve the excruciating pains being felt by this player
- Relieve the sympathetic pains being felt by fellow players
4. Putting Green
- Prepare and line up your putt while other players are preparing for their putts. Of course, please do not disturb the player once he/she is about to putt.
- When it is your turn to putt, please continue putting until the ball is holed unless:
- You will have to step in another player's line of putt.
- Made such a poor putt that mentally you are not able to continue (unless you are still "away".)
- Once the last player has holed out, all players should quickly move to the next tee. This is also safer, since the following foursome will usually be hitting up.
- It is recommended practice for the first person who finishes their putt to pick up the flag and replace it in the hole once the last player finishes putting.
5. Teeing Area
- Be prepared to tee off when it is safe to do so. The "honors" courtesy need not be observed if:
- Honoree is not ready
- Short hitters could safely hit, but not long hitters
- Of course the "honors" order of hitting can always be insisted upon for strategic reasons by any player.
6. General tips for speeding up play
- Take no more than two practice strokes before hitting.
- Help spot balls of other players if they seem to consistently lose sight of their shots.
- Decide what club to use while others are playing their shots.
- If riding in a cart, one player walks to their ball while the other plays the shot. Do not routinely wait for the first player to his their shot, come back to the cart, then drive to the second player's ball.
- Do your scorekeeping on the next tee.
- Sometimes a foursome may fall significantly behind the group in front of them and a course marshall will ask them to skip a hole. If that does occur, upon finishing the current hole the foursome should skip the next hold and record an "X" for each player on the scorecard. The scorers will give each player a score that results in a net par for the hole. As a result, the group is not penalized for skipping the hole and the pace of play will be substantially improved.