SGA Implements Model Local Rule E-5 to all events (to speed up play)
RULE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE SGA GOLF COMMITTEE:
There has been a bit of on-course discussion lately concerning what your options are when a ball is deemed lost or out of bounds.
Effective immediately, SGA will implement a new Local Rule at our events (Model Local Rule E-5, per R&A’s 2019 Rules of Golf), which allows “Alternative to Stroke and Distance for Lost Ball or Ball out of bounds”.
Essentially, the New Rule allows you take a drop at a "Reference point" (which can actually be IN THE FAIRWAY), under a Two-stroke Penalty.
A golfer (let's say SGA General Manager Mick David) whacks a drive from the tee box into the thick cabbage. (Potentially OOB, or Lost).
- A) PLAY A PROVISIONAL (i.e. STROKE AND DISTANCE): On the tee, Mick could immediately announce he is now playing a "Provisional", thus re-teeing (under penalty of one stroke). He is now hitting his THIRD shot from the tee (i.e. The first stroke was lost, the second stroke is the penalty stroke, and the third stroke is his new/provisional). Assuming his provisional finds the fairway (never a sure thing), he is now lying 3 with his provisional, and (if he fails to find his original ball after a 3-minute search), will thus be playing his 4th shot from the fairway.
- B) IMPLEMENT THE NEW (2019) MODEL LOCAL RULE E-5: Instead of playing a provisional, Mick could simply walk/drive/hobble to where he hit his shot and begin searching for his ball. If he and his playing partners cannot find it within the R&A’s 3-minute timeline, then he can take a drop, incurring a two-stroke penalty.
THIS DROP CAN BE TAKEN FROM TWO PLACES (SEE PHOTO BELOW): A “Ball Reference Point” (i.e. A line from the hole to where the ball likely came to rest, or crossed the OOB boundary), OR A “Fairway Reference Point” (A line from the hole to a spot on the fairway near the lost area).
In both cases, he is dropping within two club-lengths, no nearer the hole. Mick is now hitting his 4th shot. (i.e. Same result as if he had hit a provisional, above).
Note that this rule applies to any shot, NOT just off the tee. (i.e. Approaches, fairway shots, skulled bunker shots that fly the green and become lost, etc)
WHY WE MADE THIS DECISION:
- It is allowed in the Rules of Golf
- To speed up play dramatically
- To allow for slightly more fun/enjoyment at our events
Note: Essentially, the end result of Option B is the same (or sometimes BETTER) than playing a provisional. If, for example, Mick had chosen option A (Provisional), and his provisional ball ALSO went OOB/Lost (highly likely in Mick’s case), then he would need to re-tee AGAIN (This time, playing his 5th shot off the tee), or Using Option B on his provisional (thus hitting 6 from the fairway.).
(THIS WOULD LEAD TO OPTION C: Walk off the course in disgust, and hit the 19th hole or the nearest pub.)
For more information on the rule, see: