Competition Local Rules

Except as modified herein, all play in Ponds at Battle Creek Men’s Club & League events shall be governed by the Rules of Golf and Decisions on the Rules of Golf published by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

**The USGA has proposed rules changes that would go into effect in 2019 if approved** For details visit

Accidental Movement of a Ball on the Putting Green **USGA Rule Change effective January 1, 2017**
• Local Rule for Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:

o “When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1. This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.”

• Q: Does the Local Rule apply to a ball moved by the wind? A: No. If the ball was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause (including gravity), the ball must be played as it lies from its new location without penalty.

• Q: What types of actions are considered accidental? A: Accidental movement can involve a variety of actions in which the player unintentionally moves his ball or ball-marker. Examples include: dropping the ball-marker on the ball, accidentally making contact with the ball when taking a practice swing near the ball, accidentally making contact when addressing the ball, etc.

• Q: What are some examples of actions that are not considered accidental? A: The Local Rule does not apply to any intentional lifting or moving of the ball. Examples include striking or moving the ball in anger, lifting the ball without marking it, etc. Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is: Stroke Play-Two Strokes.

DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES (Rule 14-3). In all Ponds at Battle Creek Men’s Club & League events, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.

EMBEDDED BALL – The recommended Local Rule found in Appendix 1 is in effect. Anywhere (exception hazards) through the green.

STONES IN BUNKERS - (Rule 13-4). Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions. Relief without penalty may be taken in accordance with Rule 24-1.

AERATION HOLES - (Rule 25-1). Through the green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green. On the putting green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be placed at the nearest spot not nearer the hole that avoids the situation.

IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS - Sprinkler Control Boxes; Yardage Marker Plates; Roads and Cart Paths (Rule 24-2) All are immovable obstructions. Relief for interference with stance or swing may be taken in accordance with Rule 24-2. Relief under Rule 24-2 is not available for interference with line of play. Only artificially surfaced roads and cart paths are obstructions. A road or path to which any foreign material, e.g., concrete, tar, gravel, wood chips, etc., has been applied is artificially-surfaced.

CLUBS AND BALLS - (Rules 4 & 5). Only golf clubs and golf balls approved by the USGA may be used in Ponds at Battle Creek Men’s Club & League events. Penalty for breach is disqualification. ***NOTE: The “One Ball Condition” is NOT in effect.

DOUBT AS TO PROCEDURE - If a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, the competitor may play a second ball. Before taking further action, the competitor must announce to his marker or fellow-competitor his decision to proceed under this rule and with which ball he will score with if the rules permit. The player must report the facts to the Committee before returning his scorecard; if he fails to do so, he shall be Disqualified. Rule 3-3

DISCONTINUANCE OF PLAY (Rule 6-8). In the event of a dangerous situation, such as severe weather, the committee may suspend play. The signal for discontinuing play will be a long horn blast. The signal for resumption of play will be two (2) short horn blasts. In the absence of action by the committee, a player has the absolute right to discontinue play if he believes there is danger from lightning.

WEATHER DELAYS. Weather delays will be a maximum of two (2) hours duration. In the event a delay exceeds 2 hours duration, the event will be cancelled and/or rescheduled. The period of the delay begins when the severe signal horn (see above) is sounded and ends when the horn is sounded for continuation of play. The decision to resume play will be made by the Committee in consultation with the Head Professional.

WOOD CHIPS/MULCH – Wood chips/mulch around trees shall be played as ground under repair

GROUND UNDER REPAIR - Defined by white lines. In addition, French Drains and Flowerbeds on the course are deemed to be ground under repair. Rule 25-1. (Flowerbeds inside a lateral hazard are NOT considered to be GUR)


Water hazards are defined by yellow stakes, flags or yellow lines. Rule 26-1.

Lateral water hazards are defined by red stakes or red lines. Rule 26-1.

• When stakes and lines are used to define water and lateral water hazards, stakes identify hazards and lines define margins.

• When a lateral water hazard is defined on only one side, it is deemed to extend to infinity.

• When water hazards and lateral water hazards are bounded by out of bounds, the hazard margin extends to and coincides with the out of bounds line.

Drop areas will be used on holes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9. Drop areas can only be used if you did not clear the INITIAL margin. If a ball crosses the INITIAL margin and crosses another margin, the last margin crossed must be used for any relief if taken.

PROVISIONALS A provisional CANNOT be played when a ball may or may not be in a hazard.

OUT OF BOUNDS – Property lines on holes 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7; Driving Range; Parking lot and driveway; any white stakes. When OB is defined by white line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds. Rule 27-1.

REPORTING RESULTS - Upon completion of play, players should check their hole-by-hole score carefully. Both the player and the marker must sign the card and return it to the Committee in a prompt manner. Rules Officials/Tourney Committee: PGA Professional Brad Behnke – Should a question arise that requires a ruling, before signing and turning in score card, report to the Rules Officials for an official ruling.