Echo Falls Men's Club
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Course Rules

Echo Falls Men's Club rules

The Men’s Club at Echo Falls

 

Winter Rules one club length in your own fairway (the hole you are playing)

Except within 10 yards from a green! Fairways only

Out of Bounds, Water Hazards, Lateral Hazards and Relief Options

Over the past year we have fielded a number of questions regarding hazards and out of bounds issues and what relief options are available.  Typically theses questions refer to a few specific holes on the golf course.  Please refer to this document for clarification on these specific holes. 

Also included here are guidelines to some of the most misunderstood rules.  Please take a minute to review them.

If there is any question as to what to do, you always have the option of playing a second ball (Rule 3-3).  Remember, if you elect to play a second ball you MUST announce your intention to your fellow competitor and announce which ball you wish to score with should the rules permit.  Also, before returning your scorecard, you must report the facts of the situation to the Committee.

Ball Lost or Out of Bounds; Provisional Ball(Rule 27)

If a ball is out of bounds or a player’s ball cannot be found within a five minute search, the player MUST, under penalty of one stroke, play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.  If the original spot was on the teeing ground, the ball may be re-teed.

Provisional Ball – If a ball may be lost outside a hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1.  The player must inform his opponent in match play or fellow competitor in stroke play that he intends to play a provisional ball and he MUST play it before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.  If he fails to do so and plays another ball, that ball in NOT a provisional ball and becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance and the original ball is considered lost. 

The provisional ball may be played until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be.  If he makes a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is considered lost under penalty of stroke and distance.

Note:  If the original ball is found in play and the provisional ball has not been played past the point where the original ball lies, the provisional ball is abandoned and all strokes, including penalty strokes, taken with the provisional ball are disregarded.

NOTE:  If a ball may be in a water hazard or lateral hazard, a provisional ball may not be played.  If a second ball is played from the original spot that ball becomes the ball in play under a one stroke penalty and the original ball is considered lost even though it is subsequently found in play.

Example – On hole #3, a ball hit from the teeing ground goes right and it virtually certain the ball has landed in the pond.  Because this is considered a lateral water hazard you must proceed under Rule 26 and the relief options available under the Rule.  If a second ball is played from the teeing ground it is not a provisional ball and you are deemed to have used the relief option of playing from the original spot and that ball then becomes the ball in play and you incur a penalty of one stroke.

Water Hazards (Including Lateral Water Hazards) – Rule 26

A water hazard is marked with Yellow stakes and/or lines.  (Note:  Stakes identify – Lines define.)  In the absence of a painted line, the Yellow stakes will define the boundaries of the water hazard.  The boundary in this case shall be measured from the inside (course side) of one yellow stake to the inside (course side) of a second yellow stake.  If the ball is completely outside (water side) of this line it is deemed to be in the hazard.

There are three (3) relief options for a ball in a water hazard.  (1)  The ball may be played as it lies within the hazard (not penalty).  (2)  The ball may be played from the original spot (one stroke penalty).  (3)  The ball may be played on a line drawn from the flagstick to the point where the ball last crossed the hazard line.  There is not limit as to how far back along this line the ball can be played.

A Lateral Water Hazard is marked with Red stakes and/or lines.  (Again, Stakes identify – Lines define.)  As above, in the absence of a painted line, the Red stakes will define the boundaries of the Lateral Hazard.  The boundary in this case shall be measured as above.

The same three (3) relief options apply to a Lateral Water Hazard.  However, there are two (2) additional relief options available.  (1)  Drop a ball outside the hazard within two club lengths of and not nearer the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. (2) Drop a ball at a point on the opposite margin of the hazard equidistant from the hole.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Even though the rule provides three and five relief options (respectively), not all of them may be available to you.  For example, a ball hit from the teeing ground on hole #14 enters the middle of the pond last crossing the margin of the hazard in 20 yards in front of the Red tees.  In this instance the option of dropping a ball on the opposite margin of the hazard doesn’t exist. 

Ball Unplayable (Rule 28)

A player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course except with the ball is in a Water Hazard or Lateral Water Hazard.  The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable. 

If you deem your ball unplayable, you must, under penalty of one stroke, to one of the following:

  1. 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; or

  2. Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole (flagstick) and the spot on which the ball is dropped with no limit as to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or

  3. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay but not nearer the hole.

    If the ball deemed unplayable lies in a bunker, a ball dropped under option #2 or option #3 must be dropped in the bunker.

    Caution:  If you should elect to drop a ball using options #2 or #3, be aware that the ball is in play as soon as it leaves your hand.  Should the ball roll back near the original position you play it as it lies or declare that ball unplayable (another one stroke penalty) and again select one of the three options.  There are no free “redrops”.

    RULES OF COMPETITION

    MEN’S CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

  1. All play shall be governed by The Rules of Golf as established by the USGA.
  2. Any and all questions and/or disputes must be presented to the Committee prior to returning a signed and attested scorecard. 
  3. Should there be a question as to how to proceed during the round, you may, after announcing your intention to your fellow competitors, play a second ball from the point in question and announcing to your fellow competitors which ball you would like to count depending upon the resolution of the question by the committee.
  4. Lateral Water Hazards shall be identified by RED stakes and defined by RED LINES.
  5. Water Hazards shall be identified by YELLOW stakes and defined by YELLOW LINES.
  6. Out of Bounds shall be identified by WHITE stakes and defined by WHITE LINES.
  7. Ground Under Repair shall be identified and defined by a white painted line surrounding the area.
  8. If there are no lines defining the above hazards or out of bounds, a line drawn from the inside (course side) of the stake to the closest adjacent stake shall define the margin of the hazard or out of bounds area.
  9. All planted areas are to be considered “Ground Under Repair” and relief shall be within one club length from the nearest point of relief no nearer the hole.
  10. PLEASE REMEMBER that relief DOES NOT guarantee a perfect lie.
  11. Any ball entering or crossing a public street or road, (Holes #8, #12, #13, #17, #18) shall be considered Out of Bounds even though it may come to rest on a part of the golf course on the opposite side of the street or road.
  12. Stones and Rocks in bunkers are movable obstructions!

HOLE BY HOLE DESCRIPTIONS

Since it would be extremely expensive and nearly impossible to paint every area of the golf course to outline all hazards and out of bounds areas, we will rely on the intent of the markings as well as common sense to define these areas.  Please refer to the hole by hole descriptions below for guidance.

Hole #1:   Lateral Water Hazard:  The area to the left of the cart path is marked with RED stakes indicating a Lateral Water Hazard. For the purpose of clarity, a LOCAL RULE has been established as follows: The left edge of the path is defined as a lateral water hazard. A ball lying on the cart path is deemed not in the hazard, any ball resting on the vegetation is deemed to be in the hazard.

“Should a ball enter the lateral water hazard, relief (under penalty of one stroke) may be taken within one club length from nearest point of relief on the fairway side of the cart path no nearer the hole. This shall be in effect from the teeing ground to the beginning of the fence line next to the green.  Should a ball enter the lateral water hazard past the beginning of the fence line, under penalty of one stroke, the player shall go to the “drop area” behind the green.  Note: In lieu of the preceding, you may play the ball as it lies in the hazard without penalty.” 

Hole #2:   Out of Bounds shall be identified by the WHITE stakes on the left side of the fairway and defined by determining a straight line from the inside of the nearest white stake to the inside of the next closest white stake toward the green. Behind green is not lateral, lateral runs from about 100 yards on the right side up to the rocks marked by the final red stake.

Hole #3:  The lateral water hazard on the left side of the fairway shall be identified by the RED stakes and defined by the mowing line.  The lateral water hazard on the right side of the fairway shall be identified by the RED stakes. You more than likely will be dropping in long grass if a ball is lost in the hazard along the blackberry bushes.

 Note:  Unless it is known to a virtual certainty that a ball has been hit into the pond on Hole #3, it must be considered a lost ball and must be replayed under stroke and distance penalty.

 Hole #4:   The Out of Bounds on the left side of the fairway shall be identified by the WHITE stakes and shall be defined by the fence running down the left side of the fairway.  Where the fence stops, out of bounds shall be defined as on Hole #2. 

Any ball hitting a power pole or wire MUST be re-hit, without penalty

The lateral water hazard on the right side of the fairway shall be identified by the RED stakes and defined by the red stakes around the blackberry bushes. If needed you might be dropping in long grass. Near the Green the long grass on the right and behind is not a hazard play it as it lies, or take a loss ball and re-hit from the original position.

Hole #5:  Self explanatory. 

Hole #6:  Self explanatory.  Any ball hitting a power tower or power lines MUST be re-hit.

Hole #7:  Self explanatory.

Hole #8:  There is a water hazard identified by YELLOW stakes on the left of the cart path.  This area is defined by the course side edge of the stakes.  Out of Bounds shall be identified by WHITE stakes.  NOTE:  Any ball entering or crossing a public street is considered to be out of bounds.

Hole #9:        The lateral water hazard is identified with RED stakes.  Out of Bounds is identified by WHITE stakes.  The water hazard is identified by YELLOW stakes.  Use the intent of these markings to define these areas.

Hole #10:  Self explanatory. 

Hole #11:     The lateral water hazard on the left side of the fairway shall be identified by RED stakes and shall be defined by RED LINES. 

Hole #12: Out of Bounds shall be identified and defined by the WHITE stakes on the left side of the fairway.  The lateral water hazard on the right side of the fairway shall be identified by the RED stakes and defined by the intent of the hazard line. Over the Green is not a hazard play the ball as it lies. the lateral Hazard ends just as the green starts the last red stake is the end ,any ball lost left of this stake needs to be played as it lies or as a lost ball.

Hole #13:     Self explanatory.

Hole #14: The lateral water hazard is identified by the RED stakes around the pond on the right and defined by the intent of the markings.  The lateral water hazard shall begin at the right edge of the pond nearest the teeing ground and continues along the left edge of the pond to the end of the pond on the farthest right edge of the pond nearest the right edge of the green.  The Hazard can be defined by the Grass edge along the pond

Hole #15: The Out of Bounds area on the right side of the fairway shall be identified by WHITE stakes and defined as on Hole #2.  The Out of Bounds area on the left side of the fairway shall be identified by WHITE stakes.

Hole #16:     The Out of Bounds area on the left side of the fairway shall be identified by WHITE stakes.

Hole #17:     The Out of Bounds area on the left side of the fairway shall be identified by WHITE stakes.  (See Special Note below.)  Out of Bounds areas on the right side of the fairway shall be identified by WHITE stakes and shall include the area to the right of the pond near the Clubhouse.  The lateral water hazard shall be identified and defined by RED stakes and shall continue along the left side of the pond continuing to the grass edge of the green.  Therefore, any ball in the rocky area in front of the green and not on the grass surface shall be considered to be in the hazard.  The lateral water hazard shall continue along the front of the green to the first YELLOW stake to the right side of the green.

                        SPECIAL NOTE:  The Out of Bounds on the left side shall continue along the backside of the green to the 18th teeing ground and defined by the left side of the cart path.  Any ball hit over the green and out of bounds, must be re-hit under a stoke and distance penalty.  If you are unsure whether or not your ball has crossed out of bounds, you should hit a provisional ball after notifying your fellow competitors of your intention.  THERE IS NOT DROP AREA ON HOLE #17.

Hole #18:     The Water Hazard is defined by YELLOW stakes.  It shall continue from the first YELLOW stake near the 17th green and continue all the around the outside edge of the pond.  The inside boundary of the Water Hazard shall be the edge of the grass around the 18th green.  Should your ball enter the hazard you have the option of playing the ball as it lies, re-hitting from the tee box or playing from the designated drop zone.  Re-hitting or hitting from the drop zone will incur a one stroke penalty. YOUR ONLY OPTION IF YOUR BALL ENTERS THE WATER HAZARD, OTHER THAN RE-HITTING OR PLAYING THE BALL AS IT LIES, MUST BE TO HIT FROM THE DROP ZONE.

                        Remember, the drop zone is exactly that.  You must drop the ball from should height and then play the ball as it lies. You MAY NOT place your ball on the drop zone area – it MUST be dropped in accordance with USGA rules.

Please remember that if at any time you are unsure as to how to proceed, after notifying you fellow competitors of your intentions, play a second ball indicating which ball you wish to score with depending on the ruling. 

Also, remember that any dispute or claim of a rules violation must be brought before the Committee BEFORE your signed scorecard is returned and before the competition closes.  Even if you have a valid claim for something that occurred on Saturday and you don’t report it to the Committee until Tuesday, it is too late.