Written by Joyce McCann – 18ers Rules Chair

Since the Rules of Golf take up 326 pages, excluding 40 additional pages of Definitions, one might think there would be no need for Local Rules. But, no. Sixty-four pages at the end of the Rules of Golf are devoted to describing 76 “Model Local Rules”.  Within the Rules of Golf, adoption of Local Rules that are significantly different from these 76 Model Local Rules is not permitted. If such bogus local rules are adopted, any rounds in which they are applied cannot be posted. Below are Local Rules adopted by the Rossmoor Women’s 18er Golf Club.



Updated October 10, 2022

  1. Protection of Young Trees (Model Local Rule E-10) (adopted January 2021). (This Local Rule has also been adopted by Rossmoor Golf Course). Trees marked with stakes or fencing are considered “No Play Zones”. In all areas of the course except Penalty areas, if your ball lies on or touches such a tree, or if the tree interferes with your stance or area of intended swing, you can take free relief under Rule 16.1b. If your ball is in a Penalty area, and you wish to play it from inside the penalty area, if the staked tree interferes only with your stance or swing, you can take free relief under Rule 17.1e(2). But, if the your ball is in the No Play Zone defined by the staked tree, you must take penalty relief (Rule 17.1e).


  1. “Goose Dung” (Model Local Rule F-12) (adopted June 2018). Goose dung is a Loose Impediment but can be difficult to remove. Under this Local Rule, 18ers may consider goose dung Ground Under Repair (GUR) if it interferes with the lie of the ball, stance or swing in the general area or bunkers, or, in addition, line of putt on the putting green. Free relief may be taken following Rules 16.1b (general area), 16.1c (bunkers), or 16.1d (putting green).


  1. Alternative to Stroke & Distance for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds (OB) (Model Local Rule E-5) (adopted January 2019). This Local Rule is intended to speed up play. For example, it allows the player to avoid walking all the way back to the tee after a tee-shot is declared lost or OB. Full option relief procedures are somewhat complicated (see Model Local Rule E-5). The simplest option is to first find the nearest point on the fairway from where the lost ball is estimated to have come to rest on the course or from where the OB ball crossed into OB.play. Then, the next shot can be played from the fairway, 2-club lengths no nearer the hole from that point. The penalty is 2 strokes. Thus, it is as though the player had gone back to the tee and hit their 3rd shot, which ended up in the fairway. Hence, under this Local Rule, the player’s next shot would be their 4th. This Local Rule applies to all 18er play, including the Handicap, Invitational, Classic, and Championship tournaments.


  1. Animal Hoof Damage (Model Local Rule F-13) (adopted prior to 2017). Damage anywhere on the course (except on the putting green) that is clearly identifiable as having been caused by animal hoofs is considered Ground Under Repair (GUR) and free relief may be taken under Rule 16.1. This Local Rule does not apply on the putting green since animal hoof damage can be repaired.


  1. Damage by Animals: Turkey and Goose Footprints in Bunkers (Model Local Rule F10) (adopted August 2021). Turkey and goose footprints in bunkers are considered Ground Under Repair (GUR). If your ball lands in a turkey or goose footprint in a bunker, you have the option of taking free relief under Rule 16.1c. The relief position must be no nearer the hole and remain in the bunker. This Local Rule only applies to interference by turkey or goose footprints with lie of the ball, NOT to interference with stance or area of intended swing.


  1. Relief from Cracks in Ground (Model Local Rule F-8) (adopted August 2021). Cracks in the ground in the general area are considered Ground Under Repair (GUR). If your ball comes to rest in such a crack, or if the crack interferes with the area of your intended swing, you may take relief under Rule 16.1b. This Local Rule does not apply if the crack in the ground only interferes with the player’s stance.


  1. Preferred Lies Rule (Model Local Rule E-3) (first adopted July 2020; suspended Spring 2021; readopted July 2021, suspended March 2022, readopted September 2022 . Poor course conditions on Stanley Dollar course require adoption of this Local Rule. Model Local Rule E-3 is normally restricted to parts of the General Area that are “cut to fairway height”. The 18ers adopted a modification of this Local Rule that includes the entire General Area because in many parts of the Dollar General Area, “rough” and “fairway” are not clearly discernable. The text of the Rule as adopted is: “When a player’s ball lies in the General Area, the player may take free relief by placing the original ball or another ball in a relief area within 6-inches of the spot of the original ball no nearer the hole. If the ball lies in an area that is clearly rough, the improved position must remain in the rough. The need for this Local Rule will be determined based on course conditions.


  1. Immovable Obstruction Close to or on the Putting Green (Model Local Rule F-5)) (adopted by Rossmoor Golf Course). If an immovable obstruction (most commonly a sprinkler head) is in the line of play and within 2-club lengths of both the putting green and the lie of the ball, free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1b.


  1. Hole #15 Hillside left of the fairway is a Ground Under Repair No Play Zone. Any ball coming to rest in bounds on the hillside should be abandoned. Take free relief by dropping a ball anywhere in the nearest of the two Dropping Zones marked with yellow tee-markers (Model Local Rue E-1 – Dropping Zones)(adopted by Rossmoor Golf Course).


  1. Relief from tree roots (Model Local Rule F-9.2. A player may take free relief from an exposed tree root in the General Area if there is interference with the lie of the ball or the area of intended swing. The tree root is considered Ground Under Repair. Take relief under Rule 16.1b. Note that relief cannot be taken if the tree root only interferes with the player’s stance.