Non-Compliant Local Rule

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,659
Visit site
Moved from Lounge as actually a Rules question

Ok…so I’ve done a little more investigation and from the R&A website section 8…it seems absolutely clear to me from what I have read, and post below, that my club is actually wrong saying that we can have a LR for Preferred Lies that mandates that the ball position is to be marked before the ball is lifted when taking preferred lies relief. This is inconsistent with Model Local Rule E-3 for Preferred Lies, but club thinks the Model LRs are just guidelines and that a club LR can vary from the Model LR if the club so decides. Well it can…however…

It seems possible that all rounds played by members with our current LR in place could be disqualified from being included in WHS handicap calculations?

I‘ll note, to complicate things a bit, that the wording in Section 8 does seem to allow variation from the Model LR (‘..stated purpose…’) in the case of Preferred Lies, as the stated purpose of my club’s LR is exactly as the purpose of the Model LR.

Am I correct in this. Maybe I open a can of worms if I point this out, though it feels like I should. Or is life just too short.

####

8 Model Local Rules

A Local Rule is a modification of a Rule or an additional Rule that the Committee adopts for general play or a particular competition. The Committee is responsible for deciding whether to adopt any Local Rules and for making sure they are consistent with the guidelines provided in Section 8(1).

Local Rules that are inconsistent with these guidelines are not authorized, and a round played with such a Local Rule in place is not considered to have been played by the Rules of Golf.

If a Committee adopts a Local Rule that is inconsistent with the stated purpose of the Model Local Rules, the handicapping authority should be consulted as to whether players may submit acceptable scores from that round for handicap purposes.
 
Last edited:

Steven Rules

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
611
Visit site
I would be looking to Rule 1.3c(3).

No Discretion to Vary Penalties. Penalties need to be applied only as provided in the Rules:
Neither a player nor the Committee has authority to apply penalties in a different way,


Then I would look to Rule 14.1a.

When a ball is lifted to take relief under a Rule, the player is not required to mark the spot before lifting the ball.

In other words, it is permissible to lift a ball without marking it when taking relief in a preferred lie situation and the Committee has no power to impose a penalty for failing to first mark the ball.

QED.

Having said that, it is good practice to mark the ball before lifting it. I always recommend following this good practice but there is no penalty for failing to do so in a relief situation.
 

Steven Rules

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
611
Visit site
Replacing the ball on the same spot is a different matter. Rule 14.1a (and MLR E-2) clearly requires the ball to be marked before it is lifted.
 

doublebogey7

Head Pro
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
1,893
Location
Leicester
Visit site
What's the situation regarding "Lift clean & replace?"
Model Local Rule E-2 "When a player's ball lies in [identify area, such as the general area, at the 6th hole, in the general area cut to fairway height or less, etc.], the ball may be lifted, cleaned and replaced without penalty. The player must mark the spot of the ball before lifting it (see Rule 14.1) and the ball must be replaced on its original spot (see Rule 14.2).
 

Colin L

Tour Winner
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
5,305
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
You are correct that the MLR does not require the ball to be marked - which is consistent with other relief procedures..

I think it entirely wrong to add a requirement to mark to the MLR. It is inconsistent with with the fact that you are only required to mark before lifting when you are going to replace the ball on the same spot [Rule 14.1a] and it is a change to a fundamental distinction that applies to all the the occasions when you lift your ball in play and put it back on the course: replace = you must mark; drop or place anywhere other than on the same spot = no need to mark.

I don't see the guidance permitting a Committee to alter the substance of a published Model Local Rule (as opposed to re-wording it without changing what it allows or disallows or a procedure). It's about the introduction of other local rules not included in the MLRs and consistency with principles not about making an existing MLR say something different from what is published.
 

Imurg

The Grinder Of Pars (Semi Crocked)
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
37,123
Location
Aylesbury Bucks
Visit site
You have 2 separate but similar situations...in one you have to mark before lifting, in the other you don't.
The only difference is whether you're going to place or replace the ball.
It does make you wonder how many times these procedures get mixed up leading to penalties.
It's so unnecessary when all they have to do is say Mark your ball before you do anything with it.....
Don't forget there are copious numbers of golfers out there who barely have a grasp of the basic rules
 

Neilds

Assistant Pro
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
3,889
Location
Wiltshire
Visit site
You have 2 separate but similar situations...in one you have to mark before lifting, in the other you don't.
The only difference is whether you're going to place or replace the ball.
It does make you wonder how many times these procedures get mixed up leading to penalties.
It's so unnecessary when all they have to do is say Mark your ball before you do anything with it.....
Don't forget there are copious numbers of golfers out there who barely have a grasp of the basic rules
Or they read some of the answers on this forum and get so lost they give up. Sometimes we just need a Yes or No but the threads always wander off track and people answer different questions with no reference back to the original question :censored:
 

salfordlad

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
921
Visit site
I agree with Steven's comments above, the reason this (requiring marking for preferred lies) is illegitimate is it creates penalties that do not apply under the rules. That is beyond a Committee's power. There are certain circumstances where a Committee can create their own penalties - under a Code of Conduct posted as a Local Rule - but it is clear from the guidance on this (see Cttee Procedures 5I) that penalties for not marking a ball when taking preferred lies would not be permitted.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,659
Visit site
Or they read some of the answers on this forum and get so lost they give up. Sometimes we just need a Yes or No but the threads always wander off track and people answer different questions with no reference back to the original question :censored:
Fortunately I have been able to ascertain from answers provided the following in respect of my club’s LR for Preferried Lies.

Q: Given there is nothing out of the ordinary about the condition of the General Areas of my course, does my club have any grounds or scope to mandate that I should mark my ball position prior to lifting it, with associated penalties for breach of the LR.
A: No

Q: Is my club misguided and wrong in mandating that I should mark my ball position prior to lifting it
A: Yes

Q: Does the fact of the mandate in the LR potentially disqualify every round players have submitted for WHS handicapping purposes whilst the LR has been in operation
A: Yes

Q: If my club accepted what I might tell them, would it have to cancel every WHS counting round every member has submitted with the LR in place
A: I am not sure that I want to know the answer to that question so Yes/No/Maybe.

Q: Should I press the matter with my club, pointing out what I have discovered and been advised of, given it is likely that the LR will be lifted at the end of April, if not before.
A: Erm…I think I should but I feel I am holding a can of worms and I wish that I had never asked 🤔
 

Steven Rules

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
611
Visit site
Don't fret about cancelling past rounds etc. That is in the past. Let it go and move on.

There is no harm in marking a ball before lifting it, even if there is no requirement to do so under the Rules. Therefore in my view it doesn't 'potentially disqualify ' every round played under this Local Rule.

Just get them to:
(a) amend the Local Rule, and
(b) issue an apology to any player who incurred a penalty for not marking their ball in the past. (Frankly, I'll bet that there are very few people who fall into this category.)
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,659
Visit site
Don't fret about cancelling past rounds etc. That is in the past. Let it go and move on.

There is no harm in marking a ball before lifting it, even if there is no requirement to do so under the Rules. Therefore in my view it doesn't 'potentially disqualify ' every round played under this Local Rule.

Just get them to:
(a) amend the Local Rule, and
(b) issue an apology to any player who incurred a penalty for not marking their ball in the past. (Frankly, I'll bet that there are very few people who fall into this category.)
Sound and wise advice. The player this time was my good self.

At one point I didn’t bother marking my ball position before picking it up to take relief as I knew I didn’t need to - I normally do and had most probably done so in the round up to that point - and so my opponent had no cause, in his understanding, to pull me. That said he was very easy about it, saying he wasn’t the sort of guy to do such a thing and so wouldn’t be claiming the hole. I did state that the rule had changed and I was not in breach, but he was adamant and so I didn’t argue.

I will let the club know…they will sigh…I am such at ‘know-it-all’. 🙄😊
 

rulie

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Messages
1,966
Visit site
Sound and wise advice. The player this time was my good self.

At one point I didn’t bother marking my ball position before picking it up to take relief as I knew I didn’t need to - I normally do and had most probably done so in the round up to that point - and so my opponent had no cause, in his understanding, to pull me. That said he was very easy about it, saying he wasn’t the sort of guy to do such a thing and so wouldn’t be claiming the hole. I did state that the rule had changed and I was not in breach, but he was adamant and so I didn’t argue.

I will let the club know…they will sigh…I am such at ‘know-it-all’. 🙄😊
From the Official Guide (page 452) about guidelines for establishing Local Rules:
"A Committee must not use a Local Rule to waive or modify a Rule of Golf simply because it might prefer a Rule to be different."
And further,
"Rule 1.3c(3) states that the Committtee does not have the authority to apply penalties in a different way than stated in the Rules of Golf. Therefore a Committee must not use a Local Rule to waive, modify or apply a penalty."
 

jim8flog

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
15,199
Location
Yeovil
Visit site
Sound and wise advice. The player this time was my good self.

At one point I didn’t bother marking my ball position before picking it up to take relief as I knew I didn’t need to - I normally do and had most probably done so in the round up to that point - and so my opponent had no cause, in his understanding, to pull me. That said he was very easy about it, saying he wasn’t the sort of guy to do such a thing and so wouldn’t be claiming the hole. I did state that the rule had changed and I was not in breach, but he was adamant and so I didn’t argue.

I will let the club know…they will sigh…I am such at ‘know-it-all’. 🙄😊

My question with them would be a simple one and ask if they changed the lift clean and place rule in January 2019 so as to be compliant with the new allowable LRs.

I bet there are a lot of clubs that still have 'mark' before lifting because it is a change in the rules they have missed.

I know our LR simply says that marking is advisable to ensure the 6" is correct.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,659
Visit site
From the Official Guide (page 452) about guidelines for establishing Local Rules:
"A Committee must not use a Local Rule to waive or modify a Rule of Golf simply because it might prefer a Rule to be different."
And further,
"Rule 1.3c(3) states that the Committtee does not have the authority to apply penalties in a different way than stated in the Rules of Golf. Therefore a Committee must not use a Local Rule to waive, modify or apply a penalty."
I have emailed our Golf Manager - however I fear he may now be on holiday for Easter…he hasn’t got back to me. Pity…there are five competitions over the Easter break. I’ll forward my email to the General Manager as he may be in tomorrow. And I’ll have a word with our Head Pro.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,805
Visit site
I have emailed our Golf Manager - however I fear he may now be on holiday for Easter…he hasn’t got back to me. Pity…there are five competitions over the Easter break. I’ll forward my email to the General Manager as he may be in tomorrow. And I’ll have a word with our Head Pro.
Make sure the issue is raised with those in authority. Then it should be ok next year. Has your club got a handicap committee? If not, ask why.
Don't bother with past scores.
 

KenL

Tour Rookie
Joined
Dec 3, 2014
Messages
6,872
Location
East Lothian
Visit site
Can you pick your ball up, walk to your bag to clean it, then plonk it back down "somewhere" without marking its position?

Is this the case in all situations, taking an unplayable lie drop, preferred lies, etc...
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,805
Visit site
Can you pick your ball up, walk to your bag to clean it, then plonk it back down "somewhere" without marking its position?

Is this the case in all situations, taking an unplayable lie drop, preferred lies, etc...
In theory, yes. But you may be challenged re a 'wrong place' by an opponent and certainly by a referee if they have seen the whole process. Unless the ball is eventually played from the right place.
 

Imurg

The Grinder Of Pars (Semi Crocked)
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
37,123
Location
Aylesbury Bucks
Visit site
In theory, yes. But you may be challenged re a 'wrong place' by an opponent and certainly by a referee if they have seen the whole process. Unless the ball is eventually played from the right place.
And you know where the right place is..........how?
 
Top