PNGA Winter Rules

Pacific Northwest Golf Association Winter Rules         Today’s Weather

Preferred Lies

The following is the official Pacific Northwest Golf Association position regarding the establishment of a Local Rule at PNGA Member Courses to deal with unpleasant course conditions.

Playing the ball as it lies should be in force at all possible though the following two Local Rules may be used when the Committee determines that extreme course conditions prevent proper course maintenance and/or the playing of the game. Note that the Rules of Golf provide two options that are materially different from one another.

If conditions require the Committee to extend relief outside of closely mown areas* only Option #1, Cleaning Ball is available – Option #2, Preferred Lies/Winter Rules is not an option under the Rules of Golf outside of closely mown areas*.

Option #1 – Cleaning Ball Appendix I, Part B/4b

Through the green* (or a more restrictive area, e.g. on the 6th – 10th holes) a ball may be lifted, cleaned and replaced without penalty.

Note: The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted under this Local Rule – see Rule 20-1.

Option #2 – Preferred Lies/Winter Rules Appendix I, Part B/4c

A ball lying on a closely mown area through the green* (or specify a more restrictive area, e.g. at the 6th hole) may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within (define distance [e.g. 6”, one club length]) of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it was placed, Rule 20-3d applies. If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.

If a player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke. If a player incurs the general penalty for a breach of this Local Rule, no additional penalty under the Local Rule is applied.

Penalty for Breach of Local Rules:

Match Play – Loss of Hole; Stroke Play – Two Strokes

*Through the green is the whole area of the course except:

a. The teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played; and,

b. All hazards on the course.

*Closely mown area means any are of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.

In addition to the above option the PNGA recommends that all clubs and courses use the Local Rule for Embedded Ball Through the Green throughout the year. It can be found in Appendix I, Part B/4a.

Should you have any questions regarding the position above, please contact:

Pacific Northwest Golf Association, Championship Department at 1-800-643-6410 or

PNGA Championship Committee Revised: October 19, 2010

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