IPGC Local Rules

Effective from 1st July 2019 and should be read in conjunction with the 2019 Rules of Golf.

If any point in dispute is not covered, or is unknown, the player should play a second ball for the remainder of that hole. After the round the facts should be put to the organiser of the day for a ruling.

Players with questions on IPGC Local Rules should ask their IPGC representative for a definitive answer.

Call Holes: Are not to be used, unless a group outside the competition request to play up.

Cart Paths: In the General Area either man made or formed by constant use of vehicles, are to be treated as Immovable Obstructions.

Drop Zones: Will not be used. Refer to the Rules of Golf as to the correct procedure.

Edging Grooves: Grooves cut around Putting Greens to stop ingress of fairway grasses are Ground Under Repair. If a player's ball lies in or touches a groove or a groove interferes with the area of intended swing the player may take free relief under Abnormal Course Conditions.  Interference does not exist if the edging groove only interferes with the player's stance.

Flower Beds, Staked Trees and Landscaped Areas: Local Rules as per the card of the course.

Line of Sight Relief:  Players are not entitled to Line of Sight Relief.  Exception:  When a course is preparing for an outside tournament the Organiser may declare any structures (eg. tents, grandstands) as Temporary Immovable Obstructions from which, in addition to normal Immovable Obstruction relief, players may also take Line of Sight relief.

Optional Local Rule for dropping under two shot penalty for Lost Ball or Out of Bounds: IPGC handicap policy is based on CONGU Rules and these preclude use of this Optional Rule, it is therefore not applicable to IPGC Competitions and will not be used.

Penalty Areas: Unmarked and insufficiently marked Penalty Areas are all to be treated as Red Penalty Areas, the margin of which is formed by the natural limits of the area, i.e. where the ground first breaks down to form the depression.  Exception; concrete ditches not marked as a Penalty Area are to be treated as Immovable Obstructions.

Preferred Lies: Automatically invoked whenever a course that ordinarily allows carts on fairways, restricts their use to cart-paths only but may also be invoked by the organiser of the day when the course is unduly wet, or dry, or if crab grass is extensive.  When employed, applies to a ball lying in the General Area in an area cut to fairway height or less.

Sprinkler Heads: If a player’s ball is in the General Area, free relief may be taken for a sprinkler head on the line of play when the sprinkler is within two club lengths of the green AND the ball is within two club lengths of the sprinkler head.

Washed Out Areas: In addition to the Preferred Lies Local Rule above, free relief is always allowed due to Abnormal Ground Conditions caused by excessive water runoff in the General Area and in Bunkers. In a Bunker relief must be taken within the Bunker.

Yardage Markers: Some courses use bushes or other structures as yardage markers. Such markers, if not easily moved, are Immovable Obstructions. (Note: Markers that are easily moved are Movable Obstructions which may be moved).

Note: Procedure for taking relief under Abnormal Course Conditions, Immovable Obstructions, Sprinkler HeadsIn the General Area the ball may be marked, lifted, cleaned and dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole.  On the Putting Green the ball is placed at the nearest point of relief.  When taking relief for Preferred Lies the ball is placed within one club length of the nearest point of relief.

Markers Responsibilities:  A marker is the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker has no other function and does not have any further rights or responsibilities above any and all other players in the Competition.

Slow Play: The new Rules introduce a section on Pace of Play.  While there is no current intention to introduce an IPGC Local Rule to enforce the one-shot penalty allowable for slow play, all players are strongly encouraged to play at a prompt pace and be ready to play the ball when it is their turn.

Explanations and Clarifications on 2019 IPGC Local Rules:

The 2019 Rules of Golf introduced several changes both to the Rules themselves and wording of Definitions.  This edition of the IPGC Local Rules brings them into line with these latest Rules.  Below are listed previous Local Rules that have been deleted and further advice based on discussion and questions arising from changes.

Previous Local Rules that have been removed:

Ants:  Now included in Rules of Golf under Rule 16.2 Dangerous Animal Conditions.  Free relief within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole but relief is NOT available when playing the ball as it lies is clearly unreasonable because of something other than the Dangerous Animal Condition (e.g. when a player is unable to make a stroke because of where the ball lies – for example in a bush, among tree roots or rocks etc.), or when interference exists only because the player chooses a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.

Drainage Ditches: The definition of Penalty Areas has been expanded under the 2019 Rules and Red Penalty Areas now encompass “any body of water on the course (whether or not marked by the Committee), including a sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse (even if not containing water).”  But note IPGC Local Rule: concrete ditches not marked as a Penalty Area are to be treated as Immovable Obstructions.

Embedded Ball: Included in Rule 16.3.  Free relief within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole but relief is NOT available if interference by anything other than the ball being embedded makes the stroke clearly unreasonable.

Distance Measuring Devices:  Now included as allowable under Rule 4.  Any DMD that has a facility to measure change in elevation must have that facility switched off.

Stones in Bunkers: Now classed as Loose Impediments under Rule 12.  (Note: Loose impediments in Penalty Areas may now also be removed).

Further Information re Slow Play

The new Rules introduce a section on Pace of Play.  While there is no current intention to introduce an IPGC Local Rule to enforce the one-shot penalty allowable for slow play, all players are strongly encouraged to read the section, an excerpt of which appears below:

5.6b Prompt Pace of Play

A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace.

Each player should recognize that his or her pace of play is likely to affect how long it will take other players to play their rounds, including both those in the player’s own group and those in following groups.

Players are encouraged to allow faster groups to play through.

 

(1) Pace of Play Recommendations. The player should play at a prompt pace throughout the round, including the time taken to:

 • Prepare for and make each stroke,

 • Move from one place to another between strokes, and

 • Move to the next teeing area after completing a hole.

 

A player should prepare in advance for the next stroke and be ready to play when it is his or her turn.

When it is the player’s turn to play:

 • It is recommended that the player make the stroke in no more than 40 seconds after he or she is (or should be) able to play without interference or distraction and

 • The player should usually be able to play more quickly than that and is encouraged to do so.

(2)  Playing Out of Turn to Help Pace of Play. Depending on the form of play, there are times when players may play out of turn to help the pace of play:

 • In match play, the players may agree that one of them will play out of turn to save time (see Rule 6.4a).

 • In stroke play, players may play “ready golf” in a safe and responsible way