Official Rules & Decisions
    Governed by the USGA/R&A.
  • Click Here to access the USGA Rules Web Site.
  • Click Here for a PDF version of the "Rules of Golf". (2019)
    NOTE: You may need to download and view with the Adobe Viewer to see the colored annotations.
  • Click Here for a PDF containing a synopsis of the 2019 changes.

  • Click Here to go to the USGA "Handicap System Manual".

    Key changes to the Handicap System Manual

  • Definition of a tournament score: Additional guidance is provided to Committees conducting competitions
    regarding the definition of a tournament score, placing greater emphasis on “significant events.”
    (Section 2: Definitions)

  • Adjusting hole scores: A revised decision provides clarity for acceptable scores in limited situations where
    the player has not played a hole(s) under the Rules of Golf, but his or her score would be sufficiently
    accurate for handicap posting purposes.
    (Section 4: Adjusting Hole Scores)

  • Posting scores when a player is disqualified: To improve alignment with the Rules of Golf, the revised
    Handicap System is clearer about what scores are acceptable when a player is disqualified.
    (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)

  • Anchoring and posting: A new reference concerns a player who anchors the club while making a stroke
    during a round and fails to apply the appropriate penalty or an adjusted hole score (Section 4-2)
    (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)

  • Playing alone and necessary peer review: To further support the key System premise of peer review,
    scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes.
    (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)


  • Committee responsibilities: In an effort to assist the Handicap Committee with its responsibilities, this
    revision addresses a player with a temporary disability or permanent disability who has a Handicap Index
    that is no longer reflective of his/her current potential ability. In the particular instance cited, the Committee
    will no longer assign a local handicap (denoted with the letter “L” for local use only), but instead will issue a
    (temporary) modified Handicap Index (denoted by the letter “M”). This change supports the portability of a
    disabled player’s handicap, so that it can be used outside the player’s home club. (Section 8-4c: Handicap
    Index Adjustment by Handicap Committee)

    Hazards and Pace of Play

    On most holes with a hazard it is highly recommended that you move to the location that the ball
    entered the hazard, take a drop and then continue play. The only holes that this is not the case
    are #7 and #18.

    #7 - This hole only has regular (yellow) markings. If you are unsure of whether or not your ball is playable or not,
    you are encouraged to play a provisional ball until it is determined if your original ball is playable or a subsequent
    ball is to be played.

    #18 - There are out of bounds on both sides of this hole and you may want to hit a provisional until it is
    determined that the original playable, OB, or possibly lost.

    Below is a list of holes with hazards that may come into play. Each has a brief description and a link to a diagram
    on the left.
LOCAL RULES
    Obstructions
    •        French drains (only those filled with rocks)
    •        RAILING behind Hole #3 Tee
    •        150 yard trees (See tree wells below)
    •        Rocks designating cart paths

    Are deemed to be obstructions and relief is provided under Rule 24-2(b).
    Relief must be nearest to where the ball lies.

    Ball is then dropped within one club length of this point, but not nearer the hole.

    NOTE: The WALL BEHIND HOLE #3 tee is no longer deemed to be an obstruction and
    no free drop is allowed. Player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 28.

    Tree Wells - You may take relief (no penalty). Take the nearest point of relief, from
    the outside edge of the tree well. From that point within one club length, drop the
    ball no nearer to the hole. The ball is now in play. Relief is from the tree WELL, not
    the tree.

    Out of Bounds
    Defined by White Stakes

    Official Yardage
    For each hole, yardage is measured from the blue, white, red and green markers
    placed in the ground at each tee and in the fairways. Distances are to the center of
    the green.

    Distance Measuring Devices (DMD)
    Distance Measuring Devices (DMD’s) are allowed to be used to measure distance
    only.

    DMD’s that have the capability to measure wind speed, wind direction, gradient,
    etc... are not permitted on the course or in your bag, cart or clothing even if turned
    off.

    DMD Information is free to be given, but not required to be given.

    Stones in Bunkers
    Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies). A player may
    remove stones without a penalty.

    Embedded Ball
    A ball embedded in its own pitch mark "through the green" may be lifted, cleaned
    and dropped without penalty, no nearer the hole.

    150 Yard Tree Markers
    You may take relief, without penalty, one club length for stance or swing, no closer
    to the hole from all 150-yard tree markers.

    NOTE: There is no relief for line of sight.

    Concurrent Match and Stroke Play
    Competitors shall not play a match play event at the same time they are playing a
    stroke play event.

    Accidental Ball Movement on the Green (2017)
    A local rule has been established and will be added as an official rule in 2019. If a ball
    or marker is inadvertently moved on the green it is now allowable to replace the
    ball, or marker, to its original location WITHOUT penalty. Below is a link to the USGA
    page with explanations and videos.


    Mike Irving has also provided a document explaining the changes, which is available
    through this link.

Diagram
Description
Hole #1
This hole only has lateral (red) hazards that run along both sides.
The ponds and adjoining creeks to the right are lateral hazards as well as the
area with red stakes to the left of the fairway.
Hole #2
This hole has both regular (yellow) and lateral (red) hazards.
The pond closest to the tees is to be treated as a regular hazard while the
creek to the right, left edge of cart path and pond near the green are all
lateral hazards
Hole #3
This hole only has a regular (yellow) hazard.
There is a drop area on the opposing side of the river that IS NOT USED by
GMGA.
Hole #6
Although it would take a wildly errant shot to enter the river on this hole it is
still possible and the river should be considered a lateral hazard.
Hole #7
This hole only has a regular (yellow) hazard, therefore the only options, if a
ball enters the hazard, is to re-hit or possibly hit from within the hazard.

If there is doubt that the original ball is playable, in or out of the hazard, you
are encouraged to hit a provisional ball until the status of the previous ball is
determined.
Hole #8
This hole only has a regular hazard (yellow).
Hole #9
This hole only has a lateral (red) hazard that extends part of the way along
the right side of the fairway.
Hole #10
This hole only has a lateral (red) hazard. It consists of markers along the right
side of the fairway continuing with the pond in front of the green.

NOTE: The driving range is not OB (Out of Bounds) although you may want to hit a
provisional shot if you feel you may not be able to find the original ball and it is
deemed a Lost Ball.
Hole #11
This hole has both lateral (red) and regular (yellow) hazards. The lateral
hazard extends along the right side of the fairway. The pond is a regular
hazard.
Hole #18
This hole has OB (Out of Bounds) on both sides of the fairway.
If there is doubt as to whether or not your ball is playable, OB or lost you are
encouraged to play a provisional ball until the status of the previous ball is
determined.
Graeagle Men's Golf Association
Rules
GMGA
Jump To
Explanation
OFFICIAL
Links and explanation of latest rules & decisions
LOCAL
Local rule definitions
HAZARD diagrams
Drawings with holes and hazard definitions
DIAGRAMS