Levante Golf Society operates in accordance with the R&A Rules Of Golf with the exception of the applicable
“Local Rules” used during Society matches. The R&A Rules can be seen by clicking the R&A Icon below
New golf rules graphic view 2019, please visit (click here).
R&A quick guide
1. Search time - Reduced from five minutes to three minutes.
2. Ball moved during search - Replace with no penalty.
3. Embedded ball - Free relief anywhere through the green.
4. Measuring a drop - Use longest club (except putter).
5. Dropping - Drop from knee height rather than from shoulder height.
6. Taking stance on the wrong green is no longer allowed.
7. Ball unintentionally hits player or equipment - No penalty.
8. Double hit - No penalty; now counts as only one shot.
9. Touching sand in bunker incidentally is permitted.
10. Loose impediments can be removed anywhere including hazards.
11. Dropping a ball outside of a bunker - two penalty strokes.
12. Water hazards - Now called: “Penalty Areas”
13. Touching ground in penalty area - No penalty.
14. Ball moves on green after being marked - Replace without penalty.
15. Ball accidentally moved on putting green - Replace without penalty.
16. All damage to green can now be repaired.
17. Positioning a club for alignment is not permitted.
18. Caddie assisting with alignment is now not permitted.
19. Putting with flag stick in the hole is now permitted.
20. Ball wedged against the flag stick and the side of the hole is deemed as holed.
For a short explanation for Each Major
Change in the New Rules of Golf for 2019, see below, or click here for download.
Levante Golf Society Local Rules
Spare a thought for the person inputting your score on to HandicapMaster, our computer software package which should speed up the process of recording scores and delivering fast and accurate readouts of competition winners.
Scorecards which are difficult to read lead to the player(s) being called on to help decipher the figures, which can be embarrassing for the player and… time consuming, delaying the announcement of results.
So, here’s a clear example of how to mark a card. PLEASE look and follow the guidelines.
This is the only information needed. Note the position on the card of the player and the position of the marker. Please do not clutter up cards by including information such as net scores and please use the same columns from holes 1 to 18.
When you are marking a card, please include your own score – otherwise if there is a query there is nothing against which to double check.
And remember, YOU are responsible for your own card. Before handing it in make sure your marker has written down figures which are legible.
If you can’t read it properly or think it's untidy, there's little or no chance the person inputting the score on to the computer can read it.
All cards must be marked in the approved manner, illegible or incorrectly completed cards may be disqualified. See “CARDS” below.
In all competitions a preferred lie may be taken, on fairways and closely mown areas that are cut to fairway height or less, by placing the ball no nearer the hole & within 6 inches of its original position without gaining any unfair advantage. Mark the ball just in front.
Distance Measuring Devices
May be used in all Society competitions.
Stones in bunkers
May be removed.
You should prepare your shoot while other players do there shots to speed up the game. Also, in order to speed-up play, players are encouraged to take shots when ready (e.g. out of turn) without detriment to the etiquette of golf. In match play this is not appropriate though.
The above Rules apply to LGS only and players should be careful to always check the playing card or local club when playing open competitions.
Short explanation for Each Major Change in the New Rules of Golf for 2019
1. Ball Accidentally Struck Multiple Times During Stroke
Under Rule 10.1a, if the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once during a single stroke:
- There will be no penalty and the ball will be played as it lies.
- If the player deliberately strikes the ball more than once while it is in motion, in addition to counting the stroke, he or she will also get the general penalty under Rule 11.3 for deliberately deflecting a ball in motion.
2. Ball in Motion Accidentally Deflected
Under Rule 11.1, for all accidental deflections, including when the ball hits the player or opponent or their equipment or caddies:
- There will be no penalty and the ball will be played as it lies (with limited exceptions).
- To address any concern that a player might deliberately position equipment to act as a backstop and potentially deflect his or her ball, there will be a penalty if the ball hits equipment that was positioned for that purpose (Rule 11.2a).
3. Ball Moved During Search
Under Rule 7.4, if a player accidentally moves his or her ball while searching for it:
- The player will get no penalty for causing it to move, and
- The ball will always be replaced; if the exact spot is not known, the player will replace the ball on the estimated original spot (including on, under or against any attached natural or man-made objects which the ball had been at rest under or against).
4. Ball Played from Green Hits Unattended Flagstick in Hole
Under Rule 13.2b(2):
- There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.
- Players will not be required to putt with the flagstick in the hole; rather, they will continue to have the choice to have it removed (which includes having someone attend the flagstick and remove it after the ball is played).
5. Caddie Lifting Ball on the Putting Green
Under Rule 14.1b:
- The player’s caddie will be allowed to mark and lift the player’s ball on the putting green any time the player is allowed to do so, without needing authorization.
- The caddie will continue to be allowed to replace the player’s ball only if the caddie was the one who had lifted or moved the ball.
6. Caddie Standing Behind a Player to Help Line the Player Up
Under Rule 10.2b(4):
- The current prohibition will be extended so that, once the player begins taking a stance for the stroke, and until the stroke is made, the player’s caddie must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.
- There will be no penalty if the caddie accidentally stands on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball, rather than in trying to help in lining up.
7. Code of Player Conduct
Under Rule 1.2b, a Committee will be allowed to adopt a “Code of Conduct” that:
- Sets the Committee’s own standards for how players should conduct themselves, and
- May set penalties less than disqualification (such as a one-stroke penalty or a two-stroke penalty/loss of hole penalty) for a player’s breach of those standards.
The Committee will also still be able to disqualify a player for serious misconduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, as emphasized in new Rule 1.2a (see Explanation for Proposed Rule Change – Expected Standards of Player Conduct).
8. Concept of “Penalty Areas” to Supersede “Water Hazards”
Under the new Rules, “Water hazards” will be superseded by the expanded concept of “penalty areas”, and Rule 17 will provide the same basic options for relief that exist under the current Rules:
- A penalty area will include both (1) all areas currently defined in the Rules as a water hazard or lateral water hazard and (2) any other areas the Committee chooses to define as penalty areas (with recommended guidelines to be provided in the guidebook).
- Penalty areas may therefore include areas such as deserts, jungles, lava rock fields, etc.
- The two types of penalty areas will be known by the colour of their marking: red penalty areas (today called lateral water hazards) and yellow penalty areas (today called water hazards); and Committees will be given the discretion to mark all penalty areas as red so that lateral relief will always be allowed.
- The term “hazard” will no longer be used in the Rules.
9. Elimination of Opposite Side Relief for Red Penalty Areas
Rule 17.1d will remove the option to take relief on the opposite side of a red penalty area (the new term that will include what is today called a lateral water hazard):
- This means that, when a ball is in a red penalty area, the player will have three options for relief (all for a one-stroke penalty) rather than four options as today.
- ØBut a Committee could still adopt a Local Rule allowing opposite side relief on those holes where it believes the other relief options are not viable.
10. Elimination of the Requirement to Announce the Player’s Intent to Lift a Ball
In all three situations under the Rules (that is, Rule 4.2c, Rule 7.3 and Rule 16.4):
- A player will be allowed to mark and lift the ball and proceed under the Rule without needing first to announce this intention to another person or to give that person a chance to observe the process.
- But the player will still get a one-stroke penalty if he or she marked and lifted the ball without good reason to do so under that Rule.
11. Encouraging Prompt Pace of Play
Rule 5.6 will encourage prompt pace of play by recommending that:
- Players should recognize that their pace of play affects others and they should play promptly throughout the round (such as by preparing in advance for each stroke and moving promptly between strokes and in going to the next tee),
- A player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds (and usually in less time) after the player is able to play without interference or distraction, and
- Committees should adopt a Pace of Play Policy (rather than only say they may do so).
In addition, new Rule 6.4 will expressly allow playing out of turn in match play by agreement, and for stroke play, will affirmatively allow and encourage players to play out of turn in a safe and responsible way to save time or for convenience (also known as “ready golf”).
12. Expected Standards of Player Conduct
Rule 1.2a will consolidate the expected standards of player conduct:
- It will declare that players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by acting with integrity, showing consideration to others and taking good care of the course.
- It will unequivocally state the Committee’s authority to disqualify a player for any serious misconduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.
- In place of the unclear concept of “breach of etiquette”, it will use the more direct and stronger phrases “misconduct” and “serious misconduct”
Rule 1.2b will also give the Committee authority to adopt its own Code of Conduct and to set penalties for its breach (see Explanation for Proposed Rule Change – Code of Player Conduct).
13. Fixed Distances Used for Measuring
A club-length will be defined as the length of the longest club in the player’s bag, except that this cannot be his or her putter.
- The relief area for dropping a ball will be a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths depending on which relief Rule is being used.
- The relief area is a fixed size for each player and is pre-determined based on the clubs the player has selected for play.
14. “Maximum Score” Form of Stroke Play
“Maximum Score” will be a new, additional form of stroke play:
- A player’s score for each hole is capped at a maximum set by the Committee, which may be fixed (such as 6, 8, 10, etc.), related to par (such as two times par or triple bogey), or related to the player’s handicap (such as net double bogey).
- A player who does not complete a hole (often referred to informally as “picking up”) will not be disqualified, but simply gets the maximum score for the hole.
15. Moving or Touching Loose Impediments or Touching Sand in a Bunker
Under Rules 12.2a and 12.2b, the player will be allowed to touch or move loose impediments in a bunker and will be generally allowed to touch the sand with a hand or club; but a limited prohibition continues so that the player must not:
- Deliberately touch the sand in a bunker with a hand, club, rake or other object to test the condition of the sand to learn information for the stroke, or
- Touch the sand in a bunker with a club in making a practice swing, in grounding the club right in front of or behind the ball, or in making the backswing for a stroke.
16. No Penalty for Moving a Ball on the Putting Green
Under Rule 13.1d, there will no longer be a penalty if a player (or opponent) accidentally causes the player’s ball to move on the putting green.
The substance of this Rule change has already been implemented as of 1 January 2017 by authorizing Committees to adopt a Local Rule that eliminates the penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green.
17. Procedure for Dropping and Playing a Ball from a Relief Area
Players will continue to drop a ball when taking relief, but the dropping procedure will be changed in several ways as detailed in Rule 14.3:
- How a ball may be dropped is simplified; the only requirement will be that the ball be let go from knee height so that it falls through the air and does not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground.
- The focus of the dropping procedure will be on a specific “relief area” set by the Rule under which relief is being taken and will be either one or two club-lengths from a reference point (and may have certain other limitations).
- The ball will need only to be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area; and there will be no re-drop requirement if the dropped ball accidentally hits a person or object after hitting the ground but before coming to rest in the relief area.
- If the dropped ball comes to rest outside the relief area, it will be dropped a second time; if it comes to rest outside the relief area after being dropped a second time it will be placed where it first touched the ground.
- If the placed ball will not come to rest on that spot after two attempts, the player will then place the ball on the nearest spot (not nearer the hole) where it will come to rest.
18. Reasonable Judgment in Estimating and Measuring
- Decision 34-3/10 will be incorporated into the Rules as Rule 1.3b(2).
When the player estimates or measures a spot, point, line, area or other location, his or her reasonable judgment is accepted:
- If the player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances to make a prompt and accurate estimation or measurement.
- This means that the player’s reasonable judgment is upheld even if later shown to be wrong by other information (such as video technology).
19. Relief for an Embedded Ball
The current default position in the Rules will be reversed:
- Rule 16.3 will allow relief for a ball embedded anywhere in the “general area” (that is, the area currently known as “through the green”), except when embedded in sand.
- But a Committee may adopt a Local Rule restricting relief to a ball embedded in those parts of the general area cut to fairway height or less.
- In taking relief, the player will drop the original ball or a substituted ball within one club-length of (but not nearer the hole than) the spot right behind where the ball was embedded.
20. Repairing Damage on Putting Green
Rule 13.1c(2) allows repair of almost any damage on the green:
- “Damage on the putting green” will be defined to include all types of damage (such as ball-marks, shoe damage, indentations from a club or flagstick, animal damage, etc.), except aeration holes, natural surface imperfections or natural wear of the hole.
- The player is allowed to repair damage only with his or her hand, foot or other part of the body or a ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item of normal equipment and must not unreasonably delay play.
21. Replacing Ball When Original Spot Not Known
Under Rule 14.2c, in that same situation:
- The ball will always be placed on a spot rather than being dropped.
- If the exact original spot is not known, the player will be required to replace the ball on its estimated spot (including on, under or against any attached natural objects that the ball had been at rest on, under or against).
22. Standard for Deciding Why a Ball Moved
Under Rule 9.2, the “known or virtually certain” standard (meaning at least 95% likely) will apply to all questions of fact about why a ball at rest moved:
- A player, opponent or outside influence will be found to have caused the ball to move if the player, opponent or outside influence was known or virtually certain to have caused it to move; otherwise it will be assumed that natural forces caused it to move.
23. Substitution for a Ball Damaged During Play of a Hole
Rule 4.2 will revise two aspects of this procedure:
- The player will be allowed to substitute a ball only if the ball in play has become cut or cracked during the play of the hole – not if it is just “out of shape”.
- The player will no longer be required to announce the intention to lift to another person or to give that person a chance to observe the process or examine the ball.
24. Substitution of Ball Always Allowed When Taking Relief
Under Rule 14.3, when taking relief, the player will always be allowed the choice to substitute a ball or to use the original ball, including:
- When taking penalty relief as well as when taking free relief (Rules 15-19), and
- Any other time the player is required to drop and play a ball, such as when returning to play from where a previous stroke was made after the stroke is cancelled.
25. Time for Search Before Ball is Lost
- Under Rule 18.2, the time for a ball search (before the ball becomes lost) will be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
26. Touching Line of Play on Putting Green
The prohibition of touching the line of play on the putting green will be eliminated:
- There will no longer be a penalty for merely touching the line of play on the putting green (the term “line of play” will apply everywhere on the course including the putting green, and the term “line of putt” will no longer be used).
- But the player will still be subject to the prohibition on improving his or her line of play on the putting green (see Rule 8.1a, as limited by 8.1b).
27. Touching Loose Impediments or Ground in a Penalty Area
Under Rule 17:
- There will no longer be any special restrictions when a ball is in a “penalty area” (the expanded designation for the area that includes what are now called water hazards).
- A player will be allowed to touch or move loose impediments and touch the ground with hand or club (such as grounding the club right behind the ball) for any reason, subject only to the prohibition on improving conditions for the stroke (see new Rule 8.1a).
28. Unplayable Ball in Bunker
- The player will have an extra option allowing relief outside the bunker using the back-on-the-line procedure, but for a total of two penalty strokes (Rule 19.3b).
29. Use and Replacement of Clubs Damaged During Round
Under Rule 4.1:
- A player will be allowed to keep using and/or to repair any club damaged during the round, no matter what the damage and even if the player damaged it in anger.
- A player will not be allowed to replace a damaged club, except when it is damaged during the round by an outside influence or natural forces or by someone other than the player or his or her caddie.
30. Use of Distance-Measuring Devices
The current default position in the Rules will be reversed:
- Rule 4.3 will allow players to use DMDs to measure distance.
- But a Committee may adopt a Local Rule prohibiting such use of DMDs.
31. When to Replace Ball that Moves on the Putting Green
Rule 13.1d, will revise the procedure for when a ball on the putting green is moved by wind, water or other natural forces, so that it must sometimes be replaced and sometimes be played from its new spot:
- If the ball had been lifted and replaced on its original spot before it moved, the ball must always be replaced on its original spot, regardless of what caused it to move.
- The ball must be played from its new spot only if the ball had not been lifted and replaced before it moved.