17. Sep 2019

Revised Local Rules – September 2019

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Revised Local Rules

 Our Local Rules have been revised on two points:

1.  Animal Dung

Until now we have only had a Local Rule for goose dung, this will be extended to include dung from swans, foxes and dogs.

Animal dung is covered by the normal Rules of Golf as per definition it is a loose impediment (if not sticking to the ball) and may be removed under Rule 15.1.

It is not permitted to make a Local Rule to treat all forms of animal dung as ground under repair. This can only be done if there is on a given course, dung from specific animals to the extent that it will affect fair play, and the species of these animals then have to be specified in the Local Rule.

See Model Local Rule F-12: https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/rules/committee-procedures/8f#f-12

On our course dung from these four types of animal can now be treated as either a loose impediment or ground under repair.

If dung from other animals, e.g. seagull droppings, interferes with the players stance or the lie of the ball, it cannot be treated as ground under repair – only as a loose impediment.

If a player does not wish to play the ball in such circumstances, he or she can – normally with one penalty stroke – decide to treat the ball as unplayable by taking relief under Rule 19 (unless the ball is in a penalty area where relief with penalty can be taken under Rule 17).

2.  Deep Furrows in Bunkers

So far this has, at Simon’s Golf Club, only been used as a temporary Local Rule, but will now be part of the permanent Local Rules.

Deep furrows in bunkers as a result of sand having been removed by the movement of water are therefore on our course ground under repair from which relief can be taken under Rule 16.1c.

If a player wants to take free relief from an abnormal course condition in a bunker – whether it be deep furrows, temporary water or another condition – the ball must be dropped in the bunker.

The nearest point of complete relief, which is the nearest point in the bunker where there is no interference from the condition and which is not nearer the hole, must first be estimated.

Then a ball must be dropped in a relief area, which is within a club length from and not nearer the hole than this reference point, and which is still in the bunker.

If there is no such nearest point of complete relief in the bunker, the player may still take free relief by using the point of maximum available relief in the bunker as the reference point – but must still dropped in the bunker.

If a player does not wish to drop in the bunker, he or she can take back-on-the-line relief behind the bunker or stroke-and-distance relief – both for one penalty stroke.

On the subject of bunkers, some members have suggested that all bunkers or at least all flooded bunkers should be ground under repair (in the general area), so free relief outside bunkers is allowed, when they are partly flooded and/or the sand has become hard due the rain.

However, such a Local Rule is not authorised as it would greatly reduce the challenges of the course. The Committee should only use this on a case-by-case basis (by marking a bunker or specifying its location in a Local Rule) if a bunker is flooded.

See Model Local Rule F-16: https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/rules/committee-procedures/8f#f-16

The revised permanent Local Rules can be seen here: https://simonsgolf.dk/en/course/local-rules/

Remember also to check for any temporary Local Rules on the webpage or in the glass cabinet at the entrance to the clubhouse (at present Preferred Lies are in effect).


16 September 2019 Ole Dybdal Nielsen
Chairman, Rules and Handicap Committee

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