We have a situation to clarify, some questions to answer, and some hints for keeping up the pace of play.
Clarification is needed on our “Local Rules” pertaining to hazards, and announcements made by Mr. Chuck Ritter prior to our shotgun start of the Firecracker Scramble. Please know that we all have the greatest respect for Chuck Ritter – he has been a part of Bella Vista Golf for many years, and with all his experience even he can make a mistake when it comes to the Rules of Golf and Local Rules. He announced that the Hazard Line was defined by the stakes – red or yellow – and not the “Mow Line”. This is actually the exact opposite of our Local Rules, which were adopted by Golf Operations at the end of last year and intended to be applied by all golf groups and events in Bella Vista. It is stated in our Local Rules that the Hazard Line will be defined by the Mow Line – I believe it is Rule #2.
Now for the questions: a member asked if it is allowable under the Rules of Golf to replay a putt on the green after all players have completed the hole. The answer is YES, unless it has been prohibited by a Local Rule. Most stroke play tournaments played outside of BV do have such a rule in place, to assist the pace of play. If any of you would like to see this Local Rule added to our BVWGC play day rules, please let me know. I think it might be a good idea.
Next question: If, in the process of taking a practice swing, the player brushes the limb of a tree or plant, is there a penalty for improving one’s position or condition or lie of the ball? The answer is NO; a penalty would be incurred if the player BROKE a limb or part of a plant.
Third question: a player discovers a 15th club in her bag prior to her round and does not have time to return it to her vehicle. She may simply declare that club out of play,but keep it in her bag or cart,and head to her hole. If, after playing several holes, she realizes that she declared the wrong club out of play, she may NOT correct that error.
Final question: If a player’s ball lands in a sand bunker and is against a rake, and the ball moves after removing the rake, the player must replace the ball as near as possible to the original position and re-create the original lie. The player is not allowed to drop the ball outside the bunker “because she believes the ball would have run out of the bunker had it not been stopped by the rake.”
Lastly, a few hints on pace of play, as listed in the July issue of Golf Digest magazine:
1. Play like you only have 3 hours to finish the round before the sun sets.
2. Don’t wait for dawdlers. They’ll start playing faster as a result.
3. Waiting? Take as many practice strokes as you want. Your turn? You get one.
4. Hit your ball first, then help others search. They’ll typically find the ball without your help.
5. Unless the cart is going to or from the tee box, there should never be more than one person in it.
6. Jokes and stories are best told AFTER teeing off, not before. Otherwise you are interrupting another player’s preparation.
There are actually 25 hints listed in the article – I just picked out my favorites, but they were all very good.
As always, we encourage our members to bring us all your questions regarding the Rules of Golf and we will do our very best to find the correct answer for you.
HAPPY GOLFING FROM YOUR RULES COMMITTEE!