1. USGA Rules Govern all play.  However Local Rules below can override or enhance USGA rules.
  2. Local Rules listed on the back of the Bear Creek – The Bear – Scorecard (listed below)
    • All Lakes and canals are considered lateral water hazards.  Relief in accordance with the rules of golf.
    • Cart paths, rest rooms, pump stations and other immovable obstructions; Determine nearest point of relief for stance and swing only, then drop within one club length, no nearer the hole, no penalty.
    • Out of bounds is indicated by outside perimeter of course.
    • Native Area rule: Provides relief for a shot hit into the native area. A ball may be dropped, under penalty of one stroke, within two club lengths of where the ball last crossed the grass line into the native area.
    • Example Situations
      1. Hitting into the Native Area
        1. Scenario: Hole #4, Par 4 346 yards.  On tee shot ball goes 100 yds over fairway then turns right and lands/rolls in native area between holes #4 and #6 and when found ball rests 160 yds from green in the middle of Native Area.
        2. Four options three under USGA rule(USGA Rule 28), one under Local rule
          1. USGA Rule
            1. Play it as it lies no penalty
            2. If ball found and unplayable – follow rules below with 1 stroke penalty and select one of the three options:
              1. A) Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
              2. B) Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or
              3. C) Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
              4. If the unplayable ball is in a bunker, the player may proceed under Clause a, b or c. If he elects to proceed under Clause b or c, a ball must be dropped in the bunker.
              5. When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball or substitute a ball.
          2. Local Rules
            1. If ball found and unplayable or considered lost but NOT out of bounds or in hazard.
              1. Drop the ball at the point where it crossed into the native area…yards with a  1 stroke penalty
      2. Immovable Obstruction (USGA Rule 24.2) at Bear Creek would also include split-rail fence WITHIN course (found on #3, #13, #14, #16 as examples) .  THIS ONLY APPLIES IF THE OBSTRUCTION AFFECTS YOUR STANCE OR YOUR SWING PATH..NOT THE FLIGHT PATH OF THE BALL
        1. Scenario: Hole #3, Par 5 485 yards.  Ball goes 250 yd then lands next to the split rail fence on the left side of fairway.  Split Rail is within bounds of golf course and is immovable obstruction…it does NOT identify bounds of golf course (there are white stakes to the left and over the cart path that do that).
        2. Two options all with NO penalty
          1. USGA Rule
            1. Play it as it lies
            2. Determine nearest point of relief to take stance
                1. Drop within one club length of point of relief

What is Nearest Point of Relief-Definition Extracted from USGA Rules)

Nearest Point of Relief
The "nearest point of relief" is the reference point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction (Rule 24-2), an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1) or a wrong putting green (Rule 25-3).

It is the point on the course nearest to where the ball lies:

(i) that is not nearer the hole, and

(ii) where, if the ball were so positioned, no interference by the condition from which relief is sought would exist for the stroke the player would have made from the original position if the condition were not there.

Note: In order to determine the nearest point of relief accurately, the player should use the club with which he would have made his next stroke if the condition were not there to simulate the address position, direction of play and swing for such a stroke.


Uses of Range Finders/GPS Measuring Systems


Q.  Is it legal under the Rules of Golf to use a Rangefinder or other Electronic Distance Measuring device?

A.  The Committee may,  by Local Rule, permit the use of devices that measure distance only (i.e., the device may not be used to measure other conditions such as wind-speed or the slope of the ground). (Rule 14-3 Note and Decision 14-3/0.5) 


In our Men’s club events we allow the use of these devices in all our events but we do prohibit the use of devices to measure wind-speed or the slope of the ground as stated above.