Rules Update - December 5, 2017

   TMGC Rule Revisions (2017)

1. Playing a ball from a bed – When a ball comes to rest in a bed we are no longer giving complete relief from the bed. The new rule allows the player to lift clean and place the ball within 6 inches of where the ball came to rest in the bed.

2. When on the green if a ball moves as a result of wind, the ball is now played from the new position. If a ball is inadvertently moved by a player or equipment the ball is moved back to the original location.

3. Drop Zones – Our new local rule allows us to place a ball in the drop zone in a position equal to or behind the sign.

LOCAL RULES  OF PLAY  Slow play is a serious problem. Our club is committed to maintaining a round of no more than four and a half hours. Play “ready golf”, and keep up with the group ahead.

FLOWER BEDS  Ball may be dropped without penalty within one club length of the bed, no nearer the hole. You or your fellow players must find the ball in the bed or see it enter the bed to get relief. There is a problem with the plants and ivy beyond the second bunker to the right of the 16th fairway, as it is difficult to see over the bunker mounds and difficult to find a ball in the ivy and bed. We suggest hitting a provisional ball if a player hits over the mound here in case the ball is not found.

Also on hole 16, about 50 yards short of the green on the right, if a ball comes to rest on the right side of the cart path, it is impossible to drop to the right, so a drop to the left is allowed.

TALL PLANTED GRASSES A free drop is allowed from the tall planted grasses in the waste areas on holes 2 and 3.

DROP ZONE RULES  The TMGC will be using the drop zones on holes #7,#9,#14 and #15 during our regularly scheduled play on Mondays.

Drop zones will not be used for tournament play. You will be reminded of this in a rule sheet  provided for the tournament.

The rule regarding the temporary drop zone behind the green on hole #3 has been removed since the area is now clear of debris and is playable.

Mulch Rule: Until further notice, a player may take relief, without penalty, for a ball that comes to rest in certain mulch areas around the course.

The reason for this change is because some of the new mulch beds contains too many large chips of wood  which make it almost impossible to make solid contact with the ball. We felt this was unfair.

If your ball comes to rest in one of these areas you should find your nearest point of relief (outside of the bed), no closer to the hole, and drop the ball within one club length of that spot.

Of course , you can always play the ball as it lies if you so choose.

Once again, this will be a "free drop".

There will be no free drop from the beds which do not contain large wood chips (dark brown mulch).

WASTE AREAS  These are identified by a green post at the forward area of the sand. These are not hazards, and the club may be grounded without penalty. A ball in a footprint or other rough area may be moved to a smooth lie within a club length, no nearer the hole, without penalty.

CONSERVATION AREAS  These areas on holes 9 and 12 are identified by signs and yellow stakes with green/blue tips. These are to be treated as water hazards under the Rules of Golf, except you may not hit a shot from within these areas or walk into them to recover a ball.

BALL IN DIVOT   Since the Men’s Club plays the ball “up” (preferred lies) all year, there is no need for a local rule about divots IN YOUR OWN FAIRWAY. The ball must be played as it lies everywhere else on the course (except waste areas noted above.

EMBEDDED BALL  A ball embedded in it’s own pitchmark through the green (anywhere on the course except in a water or sand hazard) may be lifted, cleaned and dropped without penalty, as near as possible to where it lay, no nearer the hole. Remember, waste areas (see above) are NOT hazards, so a free drop from a plugged lie there is allowed.

ROOT RULE  In order to avoid injury it is permissible to move a ball which is on or next to a root. The ball should be moved no more than 6 inches.

AREA BEHIND THE 3RD GREEN  The uprooted area behind and to the left of the 3rd green where trees have been removed has been declared an “abnormal ground condition”. You have the option of playing the ball as it lies or taking a free drop in the circled drop area behind the green near the cart path. This will change after the uprooted area grows into a more natural state.

DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES Players are allowed to use devices that measure distance ONLY.


These descriptions are meant as guides only. Refer to the USGA Rule Book or the USGA Decisions on the Rules for definitive interpretations.

In stroke play, you can play two balls on any hole where you are in doubt about a rule, then determine the proper ruling when you return to the Clubhouse.  

 WATER HAZARD - If you hit a ball into a water hazard (identified by YELLOW stakes or markings), you can:

1. Play the ball from within the hazard as it lies;

2. Play another ball from where you hit your original shot;

3. Play another ball as follows: draw an imaginary line between the point where your ball crossed the hazard and the pin. You can play the ball as far back along this line as you choose.

  LATERAL WATER HAZARD - If you hit your ball into a lateral water hazard (Identified by RED stakes or markings), you can:

1. Use any of the options described for a water hazard, or;

2. Drop the ball within two club lengths of the point where your ball last crossed the lateral hazard, no closer to the hole.

 WATER HAZARD PENALTIES - If you take relief from a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, you incur a one stroke penalty. (One in, Two out, hitting Three.) If you decide to hit your ball as it lies in the hazard (NOT in environmentally sensitive areas) you cannot ground your club in the hazard. This includes your back swing. Grounding your club or moving a loose impediment in any water hazard results in a two stroke penalty.

 BUNKERS are hazards. See Local Rules for identifying waste areas and bunkers. You cannot ground your club in a bunker, and cannot move a loose impediment, under penalty of two strokes.


In diagrams #1, #2, #3 and #4 Point A is the original position of the ball on the cart path.

 Step 1 involves finding the “nearest point of     relief.”

Simulate an address position on the left side of the cart path (Diagrams #1 & #2, Right Side Diagrams #3 & #4). Point B is where the ball would be positioned and the club would be grounded in a simulated address position.  Point B is not nearer to the hole than point A, avoids interference from the cart path for lie, stance and area of intended swing and is not in a hazard or on a putting green.

Next, simulate an address position on the right side of the cart path (Diagrams #1 & #2, left side Diagram #3).  Point C is not nearer to the hole, avoids interference from the cart path and is not in a hazard or on the putting green.

Line A-B is shorter than line A-C.  Therefore, Point B is “the nearest point of relief.”

Step 2 involves dropping the ball on a part of the course within one club length of Point B, not nearer to the hole than Point A, where there is no interference from the cart path for lie stance and area of intended swing and is not in a hazard or on a putting green (shaded area).

The “nearest point of relief” (Diagram #4)  and drop area will be different for a right-handed player than a left-handed player.

Please keep in mind that the relief without penalty procedure in Rules 24-2b provides relief from the cart path, but does not guarantee a good lie, stance or area of intended swing,  Thus, if point B is in the high rough or in the middle of a hedge, the player’s best choice might be to play the ball as it lies from the cart path.

 LOST BALL or OUT OF BOUNDS - If you hit a ball out of bounds or think it may be out of bounds or lost, you MUST hit another ball from where the original ball was hit, incurring a one stroke penalty.

To save time, you should declare your intention to hit a PROVISIONAL BALL and continue to hit the provisional ball until you reach the place where the original ball is likely to be. If you find your original ball (or if it is in bounds), you MUST play it. If you do not find your original ball or if it is out of bounds, your provisional ball becomes the ball in play, and you incur a one stroke penalty.  

  UNPLAYABLE LIES - You can declare a ball unplayable anywhere on the course, except in any water hazard. With a one stroke penalty, you can:

1. Play another ball from where you hit your  original shot, or;

2. Drop a ball within two club lengths from where the unplayable ball lies, no closer to the hole, except if the unplayable ball was in a bunker, the drop must also be in the bunker, or;

3. Drop a ball behind where the unplayable ball  lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and where the ball will be dropped. There is no limit to how far back the ball must be dropped, except that if the unplayable ball was in a bunker, the drop must also be in the bunker.

TMGC Rules
Vinnie Esposito - Chair