Hello Golfers! It is time for some more Rules information from your Rules Committee. This month there are 3 separate areas that we need to address.
First: there has been a lot of discussion regarding the big depression to the right of the the 17th green on Berksdale. This has been interpreted in several ways, but the correct way to play this is as a LATERAL HAZARD. It has never been a “Wildflower protection area”. If you have been playing golf in BV for a lot of years, you will note that this area has never been tilled and seeded, as have the other wildflower areas. It has, however, been mowed from time to time, and allowed to become a “natural area” at other times, leading to our current confusion. I have discussed this with our Golf Operations Director, Andy Mar, and he has ruled this a lateral hazard. He will soon have red stakes placed along the edge, but please play it as it is now described, and please pass the word. I know there have been some unfortunate match play situations due to this particular condition – hopefully this will prevent any further confusion. I do want to thank the golfers that brought this to my attention and remind all of you to please contact the Pro Shop in case of questionable rulings. It will save a lot of regret after the fact. If there is not a Pro on duty, call Golf Ops – 855-5070. They can reach Andy Mar or Chuck Ritter and get answers to your questions.
Secondly: also on the Berksdale course, hole #6, there is a maintenance road along the right side of the fairway; it is dirt and then becomes a cement or asphalt surface. This is to be played as if the entire length of the road were cart path, (until of course where it goes “out of bounds”). This situation was also brought to Andy Mar for ruling. I believe it is the correct ruling, since both the cart path and the maintenance road are “man-made obstructions’, from which the player is entitled to take relief.
Lastly: care of the course is part of our responsibility as golfers. Hopefully you have noticed the yellow-painted stripes on the cart paths near tees and greens. These are a reminder to keep your cart (all 4 wheels) on the asphalt and off of the turf. The maintenance crews are working very hard to keep our courses in the best condition possible. Cart traffic is extremely detrimental to healthy turf. If you are part of a shotgun and know you need to pull aside to allow golf carts to get to their assigned holes, please pull to the opposite side of the path from the teeing ground. If you are driving to a remote hole and need to pass carts on the path, please pass on the side away from the tee, rather than right along side of the tee box. And of course, when you pull up to the green to park your cart, take care of the turf there by keeping all 4 wheels on the path. It is a simple way to help maintain your beautiful golf courses.
One final thought – do you know about the “While we’re young” campaign? I urge you to go to “usga.org/pace of play” and sign the “pledge” to do your part to speed up the pace of play. There are 3 short videos to watch that help get the point across.
As always, please contact any of the members of the Rules Committee with questions and suggestions.
Play happy golf!
Stevie Lamar – Rules Chair