1 Winter Competition Handicapping
A winter handicapping system was trialled last winter in an attempt to spread prize money more evenly throughout the membership and it was well received. Consequently, the handicapping system (two shots docked for winners, one shot for runners up) will be run throughout the whole of the winter and not reset on 31st December as last year.
2 “Piggy in the Middle” format
On occasions, due to no shows, better ball events are disrupted by no shows from members. It is unfair to penalise those left without a partner and consequently, for winter competitions only, we have allowed “piggy in the middle” formats, where the odd one out plays as a partner to the other two golfers. However, on rare occasions, the “piggy” has ended up winning two prizes, one with each partner. To prevent a repeat of such occurrence it was agreed that in future, any “piggy” would receive prize money from participation in the winning pair only, with the remaining pair having the partner only receiving appropriate prize money and the outstanding “piggy” prize money being donated to the Captain’s charity.
3 Winter Bunker Local Rule
It has been decided to again implement a Local Rule in relation to balls being played from bunkers during winter non-qualifying golf competitions, effective from 1st October 2019.
The rule is:
If your ball is in a bunker you may, without penalty, lift, clean the ball, rake the bunker and place (not drop) the ball as near as possible to the position from which it was lifted. Please re-rake the bunker before moving on.
If you do not wish to take advantage of this local rule you are free to play the ball from where it lies. You may otherwise only play the ball from outside the bunker under Rule 16.1c Relief for your Ball in Bunker or Rule 19.3 Relief Options for Unplayable Ball in Bunker.
This Local Rule has helped to ensure that bunkers remain in play throughout the winter.
4 Local Rule 8E/E5 Alternative to Stroke and Distance for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds
This option allows the player to drop in a large area between the point where the ball is estimated to have come to rest or gone out of bounds and the edge of the fairway of the hole being played that is not nearer the hole.
The player gets two penalty strokes when using this relief option. This means that the relief is comparable to what could have been achieved if the player had taken stroke-and-distance relief.
This Local Rule cannot be used for an unplayable ball, or for a ball that is known or virtually certain to be in a penalty area and is appropriate for general play where golfers are playing casual rounds or playing their own competitions. Consequently, it will be in force for winter non-qualifying competitions only.
If a provisional ball is played and neither the original ball nor the provisional ball can be found, then the Local Rule may be applied for the provisional ball that cannot be found. Please note, however, this local rule has been introduced in an attempt to maintain pace of play and it is anticipated that its introduction negates the requirement for provisional balls being played in any instance.