In the interest of maintaining a good pace of play your Committee has decided to invoke the option of a local lost ball rule (as defined by the R&A) at all Society meetings and annual competitions, notwithstanding whether or not it is in operation at the playing venue.
This Local Rule will provide you with an alternative to stroke-and-distance relief for balls that are lost outside a penalty area or out of bounds. You will now have the option, under a two stroke penalty, to drop a ball within a defined area where the ball is deemed to be lost or out of bounds. First, figure out where your ball went out of bounds or is likely to be lost. Then, find the nearest fairway edge not nearer the hole. Lastly, drop your ball in a relief area between the two points you have just defined (when you will be allowed a two club length margin which will accommodate dropping on the fairway).
A Determine where your ball went out of bounds or is likely to be lost.
B Find nearest Fairway Edge no closer to the hole.
C Drop your ball in the area defined by an imaginary line between points A and B and the hole but not nearer the hole and within two club lengths on either side of these imaginary lines.
The time allowed to find and identify your golf ball, once you arrive at the general area where it is thought to have come to rest, is reduced to 3 minutes after which you should revert to the procedure detailed above.
Ready Golf & Pace of Play Guidelines
Agree to play "Ready Golf" before you start.
‘Ready Golf’ means that the player who is ready first, plays even if that player is not the farthest away from the hole.
Place your bag or park your trolley/cart between the green and next tee.
Play ‘Ready Golf’ on the Putting Green (plus putt-out when possible). Attempt to align your putt while others are aligning theirs.
First Player to putt out holds the flag for the other players.
If you can’t score, pick up.
Record scores at the next tee box.
Proceed to your ball as soon as it is safe to do so. Always walk at a reasonable pace.
Don’t let Chit-Chat slow down your golf game
Minimize your practice swings and be ready to hit when it is your turn.
Play at a pace which keeps up with the group ahead not just ahead of the group behind!!
If you are more than a hole behind, either pick up your groups pace, or invite the group behind to play through.
If a Player is in a hazard or has a lost ball, hit your shot then look for their ball. (remember 5 minute time limit on looking for lost balls)
Take only one practice swing for each shot, and then hit the ball. When it is your turn, it should take you no more than 45 seconds to hit the ball.
Plan your shot before it's your turn. Decide in advance where you want to land the ball and which club you will use.
In the light of the implementation of the new World Handicapping System, which England Golf believe will increase the average golfer's playing handicap by two strokes, your Competitions Committee has decided, on a trial basis of ‘see how it goes’, to increase the maximum Society competition Playing Handicap from 24 to 26.
You will no doubt be aware that the new handicap system is based on a WHS Index, from which is determined your full (course) handicap for that particular course and the tee to be used (in our case, normally the yellow tee). It is these two factors which determine the slope rating.
It has been decided that for a trial season, all competitions will be played using your Course handicap as your Playing Handicap.
Confused! - the Competitions Secretary will advise you of your playing handicap at each event. Furthermore, as long as you know your handicap index, most courses will have a ready-reckoner available to show you how many shots you will receive based on the tee to be used.
It is therefore important that you keep your WHS Index up to date on the Society’s website (Fixtures & Handicaps Page).
Your WHS index will be liable to change after every round you play for which you have submitted a qualifying card.