Mats - compulsory or voluntary?

D-S

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
3,261
Location
Bristol
Visit site
I note from the EG Winter Checklist that qualifying scores are acceptable when a rule making compulsory to use mats is in place.
“Acceptable Scores may be returned in Competitions and in General Play when there is a Local Rule in place requiring the compulsory use of fairway mats to protect the natural surfaces of the course, during the preferred lies period.”
Do some clubs therefore have ‘voluntary‘ mats and, if so, have they made them compulsory now due to this ruling or has this always been the case?
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,701
Visit site
See post #4 here


2blue
I've now had clarification from EG that the term 'compulsory' can be replaced with 'recommended' so that with a LR in place optional mats will be allowed for those who wish to protect their course during it's most vulnerable period. Common sense prevails..... good old EngGolf!!
 

D-S

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
3,261
Location
Bristol
Visit site
Does anyone have this 'clarification' in writing? as they haven't changed their wording for this year's Checklist.
 

jim8flog

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
14,968
Location
Yeovil
Visit site
We only have mats on the tees and have LR that when they are in use players must stand on them as well as teeing off from them.
 

Banchory Buddha

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
2,039
Visit site
Do some clubs therefore have ‘voluntary‘ mats and, if so, have they made them compulsory now due to this ruling or has this always been the case?
My home club has voluntary mats through winter. We have no competitions in winter period.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,701
Visit site
I've never quite seen the point of making the use of mats voluntary. If the course is to be protected, why allow those who don't care to continue to hack it up?
When we first introduced compulsory mats most resistance came from those (better?) players, whose stroke making included taking a divot. In the event, they are the players who now appreciate the improved quality of the fairways in the spring and ironically, like to display their skills in nipping the ball off the mats.
 

Backache

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jun 26, 2015
Messages
2,115
Visit site
I've never quite seen the point of making the use of mats voluntary. If the course is to be protected, why allow those who don't care to continue to hack it up?
As a matter of interest is there any course that outside competitions bans mats? I'd have thought they're always optional when they are not compulsory.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,701
Visit site
As a matter of interest is there any course that outside competitions bans mats? I'd have thought they're always optional when they are not compulsory.
In my experience they are compulsory for all play but seemingly not everywhere. Pretty pointless otherwise if not compulsory.
 

D-S

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
3,261
Location
Bristol
Visit site
So, if qualifiers are allowed with ‘voluntary’ mats, (which has been said is ok although we have not seen it in writing and it seems contrary to the wording in the EG checklist), could a player who just doesn’t like playing off soft, muddy fairways just elect to take a mat out with him onto the course and have a different ‘playing surface’ to all other competitors?
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,701
Visit site
I can't now find it but isn't there in the Rules a clause which says that Rules (including model Local Rules) cannot be modified or changed in any substantive or significant way (or words to that effect).
I would say the difference between must and may is significant.

Edit:
8 Committee Procedures
Model Local Rules preamble
and (1) Guidelines for Establishing Local Rules
 
Last edited:

Colin L

Tour Winner
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
5,292
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
MLR -E12 does not contemplate optional use of fairway mats. Its purpose is to mandate their compulsory use. I think it is questionable whether optional use can be within the rules.
 

Old Colner

Club Champion
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
543
Visit site
Is there some confusion here, in my experience, the optional use of mats generally means that if you want to play from the fairway you must use a mat, the option being take the ball to the side and play from the rough, isn't it this that makes the scores non qualifying?

We have as part of our winter rules, no play from the fairways unless using a mat, option is take to the side, we have no qualifying competitions or accept any cards for handicap over the winter.
 

DickInShorts

Newbie
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
291
Location
Inverurie Aberdeenshire
Visit site
Is there some confusion here, in my experience, the optional use of mats generally means that if you want to play from the fairway you must use a mat, the option being take the ball to the side and play from the rough, isn't it this that makes the scores non qualifying?

We have as part of our winter rules, no play from the fairways unless using a mat, option is take to the side, we have no qualifying competitions or accept any cards for handicap over the winter.

That’s what they did at Moray GC when I was a member there
 
Top