Winter Rules in Golf

Winter Rules in Golf

Now that the colder months are upon us and playing golf is for the true die hard golfers, I am going to have a quick look at winter rules in golf and also throw in a few suggestions to help speed up play and also some golf etiquette recommendations just for good measure.

Even though the weather is getting colder there are many golfers around the world who will play golf no matter the weather come rain or shine, so knowing a few extra rules of golf on winter rules will help you take advantage of the colder golf playing conditions.

1. Preferred Lies on the fairway – winter rules in golf

One of the most common mistakes by golfers is that they do not take advantage of knowing the rules of golf in the colder months, the main one being that you can ‘lift clean and place’ your golf ball when on the mown part of the fairway. Winter Rules in Golf - Keep up with play I always recommend marking your ball from behind similar to when marking your ball on the putting surface but using a tee to do so, you can then clean the ball legally without penalty and place your golf ball back down on the fairway normally within a scorecard length nearest to your tee marker. This enables you to have a clean golf ball and also being able to find a decent lie to play it from – use this preferred lie rule to your advantage whenever you get the opportunity.

2. Preferred lie around the fringe of the green – winter rules in golf

As with the above-preferred lies on the fairway you can also adopt this ruling to lift clean and placing your ball on the fringe of the putting surface, this does not include the rough only the first mown cut off the green, so basically the first mown section off of the putting surface. This rule enables you to be able to clean any mud or debris off of your ball just off of the putting surface, using this rule then enables you to have the option of putting the golf ball instead of chipping the golf ball.

3. Casual Water – winter rules in golf

This is a rule that normally baffles a few golfers because they understand that if their golf ball comes to rest in casual water anywhere on the golf course they are allowed a ‘free’ drop away from the casual water, but that is about as far as the golfers understand, so let me explain:

Casual water on the fairway – You can lift clean and place and have a free drop at the nearest point of relief but not nearer the hole, so this means you can go sideways or backwards but not nearer the hole so drop you golf ball away from the casual water.

Casual water in the rough – You can lift and clean your golf ball but you cannot place it back in the rough, you must find the nearest point of relief away from the casual water and drop the golf ball, but you cannot place the golf ball.

Casual water in a fairway bunker or green side bunker – when you find that your golf ball has come to rest in a hazard such as a bunker in the fairway or in a greenside bunker, you are without penalty allowed to drop away from the casual water but you must drop the golf ball in the bunker where there is no casual water, you can never drop outside of the bunker. You may find that you can only find a little bit of sand to drop it on to but if the ball doesn’t come to rest at the drop point you can place it after three drops. But I must stress once again you CANNOT drop you golf ball outside of the hazard.

4. Plugged golf ball through the green – winter rules in golf

You would have heard of this terminology ‘plugged ball through the green’ on many occasions but you might not fully understand the statement ‘through the green’. Well, what this means is that if your golf ball is plugged anywhere on the golf course that is inbounds on the golf course you can get a free drop at the nearest point of relief from where your golf ball was plugged.

Plugged ball on the fairway – this means that you can unplug the golf ball and get a free drop, but then the preferred lie on the fairway applies so you can mark your ball after dropping it and lift clean and place within say a scorecard length away from your marker and again not nearer the hole.

Plugged ball in the rough – this means you can unplug your golf ball after marking the golf ball, you can then clean the ball and have a drop at your nearest point of relief and not nearer the hole, but you CANNOT place the ball you must drop the golf ball and play it where it landed from.

I hope these couple of golf tips will help you along your way in these winter months and help you play your golf and enjoy it more knowing that you can get relief because of mud or dirt on your golf ball.

Finally, as I mentioned here are few little tips on speeding up play and also etiquette whilst on the golf course:

• Replace divots and repair pitch marks on the green
• Rake the bunkers after use
• Do not take your golf trolleys on the tee boxes or putting greens
• All local signs must be observed for local rules of golf
• Wear the correct golf attire at all times
• Whilst on the golf course please switch off your mobile telephones
• Be thoughtful of other golfers when they are playing their golf shots
• And lastly you must never share golf clubs and must have your own set of golf clubs

Speed up play
• Please tee off when ready and do not wait for other, hit your tee shot when ready
• Play your golf shot from the fairway as soon as it’s your turn, whilst you are waiting for your playing partners, this will give you the time you need to decide on the club and shot you want to play, but hit as soon as possible once it is your turn to play
• Read you putts whilst other golfers are playing their putts, just be mindful that you do this out of sight of other golfers so they do not get distracted
• Mark you scorecards when you are off of the putting green, the ideal time to do this is when you are on the next tee and waiting to play your next tee shot
• At all times if you are playing slowly always call the group behind you through your group

As always if you have any comments or feedback regarding this article Winter Rules in Golf please do not hesitate to leave a comment below, I will be glad to respond to any responses received.

Here is another article you might find useful to assist in helping you improve your golf game : CLICK HERE to read the article on my website.

Happy golfing.

Michael Bogeys to Birdies Golf Tips for the Senior Golfer

4 Responses

  1. Hi Alan,

    No problem, it’s hard enough playing in the winter as it is so a few helpful tips always go a long way, keep in touch.

    Bogeys to Birdies

  2. Alan Goudie says:

    Thank you for a valuable,concise & useful comments.

  3. Hi Robert, thanks for your comment on the article Winter Rules in Golf, I will keep adding more articles on getting the best out of the cold and wet weather when out on the golf course, so keep an eye out for them. Regards, Michael Bogeys to Birdies.

  4. robert french says:

    Very helpful article on the winter rules in golf, thanks for the post. Regards, Robert

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