2019 Rules of Play



Play is governed by the Rules of Golf effective January 2019, and where applicable, by the following Local Rules and Terms of the Competition. Committee Procedures refers to the Committee Procedures section in the current Official Guide to the Rules of Golf. The Committee refers to the Tournament Committee assigned to each event. Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the general penalty (2-strokes in Stroke Play / Loss of Hole in Match Play)


Abnormal Course Conditions: Ground Under Repair is any area encircled by a white line, including gallery crosswalks (except dropping zones or out of bounds), newly trenched areas, including grass-covered cables, and french drains, which are trenches filled with rocks or stones.

If a player’s ball lies in or touches a seam of cut turf or a seam interferes with the player’s area of intended swing in the general area, the player may take relief under Rule 16.1b. But interference does not exist if the seam only interferes with the player’s stance. All seams within the area of cut turf are treated as the same seam in taking relief. This means that if a player has interference from any seam after dropping the ball, the player must proceed as required under Rule 14.3c (2) even when the ball is within one club-length of the reference point.


Immovable Obstructions: Asphalt and artificially surfaced roads and paths. White lined areas of ground under repair tying into such roads or paths are treated as a single abnormal course condition when taking relief under Rule 16.1. Railroad ties, curbing or other similar artificial edges adjoining cart paths are part of the same obstruction.


Ball Deflected by Power Line - If it is known or virtually certain that player’s ball hit a power line [or tower or a wire or pole supporting a power line], the stroke does not count. The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6 for what to do).

Penalty for Playing Ball from Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a


Integral Objects: (Free relief not allowed): Artificial retaining walls and/or pilings when located in penalty areas, wires, cables, wrappings, signs and lightning rods closely attached to trees and bunker liners in their intended position.

Note: The Committee may treat an exposed liner, not in its intended position, to be ground under repair, but interference does not exist if a liner only interferes with the player’s stance.


Out of Bounds and Course Boundaries:  Out of Bounds is defined by the line between the course-side points at ground level of white stakes and fence posts. When a line is not in use, the stakes or posts define the Out of Bounds.


Procedures for Bad Weather and Suspensions of Play: Methods for Stopping and Resuming Play: A suspension of play for a dangerous situation will be signaled by one prolonged note of a siren or horn. All other suspensions will be signaled by three consecutive notes of a siren or horn. In either case, resumption of play will be signaled by two short notes of a siren or horn.

Note: All practice areas are closed during an immediate suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open.


Restrictions on Practice: Rule 5.5b is modified in this way: A player must not practice on the competition course between the play of two holes during Stroke Play and must not test the surface of the putting green of the hole being played by rolling a ball.        
Penalty for breach of Rule: General Penalty applied to the next hole


Restrictions on Use of Specific Equipment:  List of Conforming Driver Heads: Any driver the player uses to make a stroke must have a clubhead, identified by model and loft, which is on the current List of Confirming Driver Heads issued by the USGA.

Penalty for Making a Stroke with Club in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification.

There is no penalty under this Local Rule for carrying, but not making a stroke with a driver that is not on the List of Conforming Driver Heads.


List of Conforming Golf Balls: Any ball used in making a stroke must be on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by the USGA.
Penalty for Making a Stroke at a Ball Not on Current List in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification.


Returning Scorecard: For the purpose of applying Rule 3.3b (2), a player’s scorecard is treated as returned when the player has first left the scoring area with both feet.

When the Result of the Competition is Final:  When all scores have been posted on the official scoreboard and approved by the Committee, the competition is closed.