Local Rules

With effect from 1 February 2024.

The following Competition Local Rules (hereinafter referred to as the “SPCC Golf Hard”), together with any additions or amendments published by the Committee at the golf course, will apply to all Competitions run by SPCC.

In the event of a dispute arising as to the meaning of any Rules of Golf, Terms of Competition or SPCC Local Rule, the Rule will be interpreted according to the English Edition of The Rules of Golf. For the full text of any Local Rule referenced below, please refer to the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf effective January 2023, published by the R&A Rules Limited.

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the General Penalty. (Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play).

1. Preferred Lies

When a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less, the player may prefer the lie within one club-length. See Model Local Rule E-3 for details of how this must be done.

2. Out of Bounds (Rule 18.2)

  • A ball is out of bounds when it is beyond any wall, fence or white stakes defining a boundary edge of a course, on or beyond any white line defining the boundary edge of the course – the line itself being out of bounds.
  • A ball that crosses a road which is defined as out of bounds and comes to rest on the road or on the other side of that road is out of bounds. This is true even if the ball comes to rest on another part of the course that is in bounds for other holes.
  • In the case of there being two boundary fences, the inner-most fence shall define the boundary.
  • When a player’s ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds [or identify which holes this applies to], the player may proceed under the Stroke and Distance Local Rule for a penalty of two strokes, rather than proceeding under stroke and distance. This Local Rule is not available if a provisional ball has been played. See Model Local Rule E-5 for full details of the Local Rule.

3. Penalty Areas (Rule 17)

  • Opposite side same distance relief for red penalty areas.
    The week’s local rules will specify which (if any) red penalty areas have a same distance option on the opposite side. Model Local Rule B-2.1 will apply.
  • Opposite side relief where the ball last crossed the edge of penalty area where the edge and the course boundary coincide.

When a player’s ball last crosses the edge of a penalty area where the edge of the penalty area and the boundary coincide, that edge is deemed red and opposite side relief is available under Model Local Rule B-2.1.

4. Dropping Zones (Model Local Rule E-1)

Where a dropping zone is marked for an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1) or unplayable ball (Rule 19.2 & 3) a ball may be played under the applicable rule or dropped in the dropping zone as an additional relief option.

Dropping Zones for Penalty Areas

Where a dropping zone is marked for a penalty area, it is an additional option for relief under penalty of one stroke. The dropping zone is a relief area under Rule 14.3 meaning a ball must be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area.

5. Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions) (Rule 16)

5a. Ground Under Repair

  • Any area bounded by a white line, including spectator crossing point where marked or marked with a GUR notice.
  • Any area of damaged ground that is considered by a referee to be abnormal.
  • Grass covered cable trenches.
  • French drains (stone-filled drainage ditches).
  • Seams of cut turf; Model Local Rule F-7 is in effect.
  • Yardage painted lines or dots on the putting green or in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less are to be treated as ground under repair from which relief is available under Rule 16.1. Interference does not exist if yardage painted lines or dots only interfere with the players stance.

5b. Edging Grooves Near Putting Greens      

The edging grooves around the aprons or fringes of putting greens are ground under repair. If a player’s ball lies in or touches a groove or a groove interferes with the area of intended swing: (a) Ball in General Area. The player may take free relief under Rule 16.1b. (b) Ball on (including touching) the Putting Green. The player may take free relief under Rule 16.1d. But interference does not exist if the edging groove only interferes with the line of play or with the player’s stance.

5c. Immovable Obstructions

  • White lined areas and the immovable obstruction they tie into are treated as a single abnormal course condition.
  • Flowerbeds/gardens surrounded by immovable obstructions are treated as a single abnormal course condition.
  • All artificially surfaced roads or paths, including when surfaced with woodchip or mulch. (Individual pieces of woodchip are loose impediments which may be removed.)

6. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Greens

Model Local Rule F-5 is modified as follows: For a ball in the general area, relief is allowed only when both the ball and the immovable obstruction lie in an area cut to fairway height or less.

7. Integral Objects

The following are integral objects from which free relief is not allowed:

  • Bunker liners in their intended position.
  • Artificial retaining walls and pilings when located in penalty areas.
  • Wires, cable, wrappings or other objects where they are closely attached to trees or other permanent objects.
  • Any closed gate attached to a boundary object.

8. Suspension Of Play (Rule 5.7)

The following signals will be used to suspend and resume play:

  • Immediate stop for imminent danger – One prolonged note of a siren.
  • Stop for a non-dangerous situation – Three consecutive notes of a siren.
  • Resumption of play – Two consecutive notes of a siren.

Note: When play is stopped for imminent danger, all practice areas will be immediately closed. 8) Practise (Rule 5.2)

9. Pace of Play

Please ensure you obtain a copy of the Pace of Play Policy and read it carefully before playing.

10. Returning of Score Card

A player’s scorecard is officially returned to the Committee when the player has placed the score card in the score card box or handed to the recording committee member.

Model Local Rule L-2 “Rule 3.3b (4) The player is responsible for showing their course playing handicap on the scorecard. If a player returns a scorecard without the hole scores being certified either by the player, the marker or both, the player gets the general penalty. (Two penalty strokes). The penalty applies to the last hole of the player’s round.” Once the Committee receives the scorecard from the player at the end of their round, the Committee is responsible for:

  • Checking the player’s scores, and that handicap strokes/points are correct.

11. Player Conduct and Spirit of The Game

It is one of the central principles of the game of golf that all players are expected to play by the Rules and in the spirit of the game.

Under Rule 1.2a, a Committee may disqualify a player for serious misconduct for acting contrary to the spirit of the game. This applies whether there is a Code of Conduct in place for a competition or not.

Examples of actions, amongst others listed in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf (Clarification 1.2a/1)

Penalty Structure :

  • First breach of the Code of Conduct – warning or Committee sanction.
  • Second breach – one-stroke penalty.
  • Third breach – general penalty.
  • Fourth breach or any serious misconduct – disqualification.

12. Banners & Signage

These are to be treated as movable obstructions. (Rule 15.2). If the obstruction cannot be easily moved, its status changes to a Temporary Immovable Obstructions (Model Local Rule F-23).

13. Clubs and Balls

  • List of Conforming Driver Heads: Model Local Rule G-1 is in effect.
    Penalty for making a stroke with a club in breach of Local Rule: Disqualification.
  • Groove and Punch Mark Specifications: Model Local Rule G-2 is in effect. Penalty for making a stroke with a club in breach of Local Rule: Disqualification.
  • List of Conforming Golf Balls: Model Local Rule G-3 is in effect. Penalty for breach of the Local Rule: Disqualification.

Note: An updated List of Conforming Clubs and Balls is available on

14. Results of Match or Stroke Play – Competition Closed

Match Play

The result of a match is officially announced when it has been recorded by the Committee.

Stroke Play

When the results are officially announced at the presentation and the competition is closed.

Pace of Play Policy

Terms of Competition

The R&A Rules of Golf

Our Golf Course is open for Play