Common Rule Situations at NBS Waahi Taakaro Golf Club

Members should be aware of basic rules and rule options in certain conditions. We all inadvertently break the rules, and to help avoid this the Match Committee feels members should be aware of the following:

ADVICE (Rule 10.2): It is illegal to give or receive advice, or ask what club your fellow competitor used, thus influencing your club selection.  Penalty for breach of rule: match play – loss of hole; stroke play – two stroke penalty

UNPLAYABLE BALL (Rule 19.2): Taking a one shot penalty when you have deemed your ball unplayable (especially under shrubs or a bush). One option is to drop the ball two clubs lengths from where it lay (not from the edge of the shrub or bush)and not nearer the hole. If this still leaves the ball unplayable another option is to drop the ball directly behind where the ball lay, keeping that point between you and the hole going back as far as you like. The third option is to play another shot from where you played your last shot from (this includes the tee).  Penalty for breach of rule: match play – loss of hole; stroke play – two stroke penalty    

WATER HAZARDS - NOW KNOWN AS PENALTY AREAS - (Rule 17): Marked by yellow pegs and or spray lines. Include the river when playing 9/18; and creeks in front of 7/16 and 8/17 tees and 8 green. Lateral Water Hazard: Marked by red pegs. The river in front of 1 tee, along the left of 1/10, 4/13, 8/17 and 9/18 fairways  and left of 18 fairway from the bridge to 18 green. From drain outlet/power-pole and pegged by trees down to path on left hand side of 6/15 fairway and left to fence-line up to 7 tee. If a ball lies in, touches or is lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not) the player may either elect to play the ball as it lies without penalty or under a penalty of one stroke (a) Play his next stroke as nearly as possible at the spot from which he last played (including the tee), or; (b) Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between himself and the hole, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped, or; (c) Additional option available only if the ball lies or is lost in a Lateral Water Hazard, drop a ball two club lengths outside the lateral water hazard from point where the ball last crossed the margin of the lateral hazard no nearer the hole.  Penalty for breach of rule: match play – loss of hole; stroke play – two stroke penalty

STONES: A ball on stones anywhere on the course, including bunkers, may be lifted and dropped not nearer the hole without penalty., refer to Rule 15/16 

IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS (Rule 16): Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs only when a ball lies in or on the obstruction or so close to the obstruction interferes with the players stance or the area of his/her intended swing. When using Rule 16 don’t over-read the word relief. It doesn’t mean you always get what you want. By no means does it guarantee you will be able to play directly at the hole after dropping. There is no such thing as line of sight relief in the rules.

LOST BALLS (Rule 18): You are limited to three minutes to search for a lost ball, after which you must take a stroke and distance penalty (the same as if your ball went out-of-bounds). Again if you lose your ball in a tree or shrub and the ball cannot be found or positively identified, then the same lost ball rule applies, ie stroke and distance penalty. 

Remember – DON’T tee off until the players in front have all played their second shots and or are definitely out of range.


22 Must Know Rules of Golf Changes for 2019

1) Drop from knee height (NOT shoulder height)

2) Measure the area to drop in with the longest club in your bag (except a putter)

3) Drop in and play from the relief area

4) When dropping back-on-the-line, your ball cannot be played from nearer the hole than your chosen reference point

5) Time to search – 3 minutes (NOT 5 minutes)

6) If you accidentally move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty

7) No penalty for a double hit – it only counts as one stroke

8) No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidentally after a stroke

9) No penalty if your ball strikes the flagstick when you have chosen to leave it in the hole. In other words, the flagstick no longer has to be attended or removed when putting

10) Spike mark and other shoe damage on the putting green can be repaired

11) Ball accidentally moved on putting green – no penalty and replace

12) Ball marked, lifted and replaced on putting green is moved by wind to another position –replace ball on the original spot

13) Penalty areas replace water hazards, and you can move loose impediments, ground your club and take practice swings in penalty areas without penalty, just as you can on the fairway or in the rough

14) You can’t take relief from a penalty area unless you are at least 95% certain your ball is in the penalty area

15) In bunkers you can move loose impediments

16) In bunkers you cannot touch the sand with your club in the area right in front of or right behind your ball, during your backswing or in taking practice swings

17) Free relief is allowed if your ball is embedded on the fairway or in the rough (but “embedded” means that part of your ball is below the level of the ground)

18) Unplayable ball in bunker – extra option to drop outside the bunker for 2 penalty strokes

19) You cannot have your caddie or your partner standing behind you once you begin taking your stance

20) Pace of Play - it is recommended that you take no longer than 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that) and Ready Golf in stroke play is encouraged

21) You can use a club that has become damaged in any fashion. If you caused the damage, however, you can’t replace the club with a new one.

22) Relief on the opposite side of red penalty areas has been removed.

Among the most significant of the changes in the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf are the following:

  • Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address - Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving After Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.   
  • Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card - A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.   
  • Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment - The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification.   
  • Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke - As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.