2021 Rules Quiz #1

1) What does the term “Through the Green” mean?
A) Everywhere on the course

B) Just in the fairway

C) Nothing








Correct answer is C. Nothing.  Since January 2019 the term Through the Green no longer exists. The new term is “The General Area”


2) What does the term “The General Area” mean?

A) Everywhere on the course

B) The rough and bunkers only

C) The entire course except, the teeing area the player is playing from, all penalty areas, all bunkers and the putting green of the hole the player is playing.








Correct answer is C.  Many Rules only apply to the “General Area” so it is important for you to know its correct name and Definition.


3) In a Tournament what is the penalty if you show up late for your tee time?

A) The general penalty, two strokes

B) Disqualification

C) No penalty, they are just happy to see you….








The correct answers are A and B.  However it depends on the timing.  If you  are NO MORE than 5 minutes late you will get a two stroke penalty, answer A.  If you are more than 5 minutes late you will be disqualified, answer B.


4) In a Tournament what is the penalty if you tee off before your tee time?

A) The general penalty, two strokes

B) Disqualification

C) No penalty, again……… they are happy to see you.








The correct answers are A and B.  The same Rule applies to teeing off late and early. The Conditions of the Competition apply equally.  No more than 5 minutes early, two strokes, more than 5 minutes early disqualification.  A player being late or early is penalized the same.


5) What is the Local Rule, Preferred lies (Winter rules)?
A) It allows a player to move their ball whenever they want in the winter

B) It allows the player to move their ball out of abnormal ground conditions on the course that interfere with fair play

C) A player can hit more than one ball until they get the lie they “prefer”.








Correct answer is B. The distance the ball is allowed to be moved is determined by the Committee.  It may be 6 inches, or the length of a score card or sometimes a club length.


6) If the Local Rule for Preferred lies (Winter rules) is in place as the course conditions are unsatisfactory where on the course can the player use it?
A) Anywhere they like

B) In the General area

C) In the General area and the rough








Correct answer is B.  The General area, cut to fairway height or less.  It is not allowed in the rough.


7) When a player use a Rule in Stroke play such as checking if a ball is embedded, or taking relief from aeration holes, or dropping a ball because their went into a penalty area, do they have to announce it to their fellow players?
A) Always or they will be penalized

B) No

C) Only if they think their fellow players can see them








Correct answer is B.  Since January 2019 the USGA has eliminated the requirement to announce any actions you may take, or have your fellow players watch your actions using the Rules, EXCEPT for two Rules.  

Playing a Provisional ball, you must announce it to your fellow players before you play your Provisional ball.

Announcing which ball you want to count if allowed when playing two balls because you have doubt how to proceed.  

(In Match play you do need to let your opponent you have incurred a penalty, so if that is the case, you will need to let them know after you take relief.  But, you do not need to inform them before doing so.) 


8) Where is a player allowed relief from aeration holes?
A) Anywhere on the course

B) In the General area

C) On the putting green








Correct answer is B and C.  

Relief for aeration holes is covered under Local Rule E-4.  The Committee may declare them Ground Under Repair, Rule 16.1b, although relief is not given for stance.  On the putting green relief is only allowed if the ball is in an aeration hole, not on line of play or stance, Rule 16.1d.  Relief in the rough is not allowed.

I hope this helps you.



July Rules Quiz

Happy 4th of July ladies and enjoy the quiz. From your Rules Guru – Hilary:

Ladies: Answer YES or NO to the following questions: (see below for answers)
1. A player’s ball is just off the green but 10 yards closer to the putting surface than your ball, and it’s on your chipping line. She voluntarily marks her ball to allow you to chip without interference. OK?



2. Your playing partner hits her ball in the woods. The ball is lost, so she drops a ball next to the point where the ball entered the woods, takes a penalty stroke, and plays on. OK?



3. Your opponent uses tees which are 4.5 inches long. OK?



4. After you sink your putt in Match play, you concede your opponent’s one-footer for par to halve the hole, but she taps in anyway. OK?



5. Your partner’s ball is on the green. She wants to clean it, so she puts a tee down to mark the ball’s position and picks the ball up and cleans it. OK?



6. You’re about to putt out for a bogey on a par 4, and you ask your match-play opponent how many strokes she has taken. She says “five,” and waits until you make the putt, then says; “No, I meant four,” which is correct. OK?



[scroll down for the answers]

1.) No. The ball was lifted without a request from you. It’s a one-stroke penalty for the player, and the ball must be replaced (15.3b (2)).

2.) No. She should have taken a one-stroke penalty and played from the spot where she took her last shot (18.2b).

3.) No. A tee must be no longer than 4 inches (Definitions).

4.) Yes. In match play, this type of practice is OK, but remember a concession cannot be declined or withdrawn. (3.2b).

5.) Yes. You can use a tee to mark the position of a ball but be sure it will not interfere with the other players’ line of putt. (Definitions).

6.) No. She must not give wrong information about her score. She loses the hole (3.2d).

October Rules quiz

Hi Ladies:

Let’s have some fun with a “loose impediments “quiz and see what we know and don’t know.

Our ball is on the fairway surrounded by little pieces of cut grass. We think, “Thank goodness they’ve finally mowed the rough!” We remove them from around the ball, and we also remove one piece that’s stuck on our ball. The ball does not move. Penalty or no penalty?

Answer. No penalty for removing the grass around the ball BUT a one stroke penalty for removing the grass adhering to the ball. Rule 21/2 says that anything “adhering to the ball” is not a loose impediment. The grass is a loose impediment when it’s on the ground, not when it’s on your ball.

Your ball is on the fringe of the green and before you make your next stroke you remove some twigs, leaves, loose soil and sand from around your ball. Penalty or no penalty?

No penalty for removing the twigs and leaves as they are loose impediments.
But a TWO STROKE penalty for removing the loose soil and sand, because here they are not “loose impediments.” You improved your lie, area of intended stance, swing or line of play. Rule 13-2.

Now you’re on the putting green. You mark your ball and, on your line of play, there’s some sand and loose soil. Can you remove them, or will it be another two stroke penalty?

Answer. Here on the putting green sand and loose soils ARE loose impediments so you can remove them. Rule 16-1
Go figure who decided this, and what DO they have against loose soil and sand eh?

Your ball lies on the fairway and a live insect is on your ball, can you remove it?

Yes, because unlike the grass in question #1, it is not considered to be adhering to your ball as it has legs and can walk and therefore is a “loose impediment”. BUT if your ball moves while removing the pesky critter you get a one stroke penalty and have to replace your ball. If your ball moves and you don’t replace it it’s a two stroke penalty.

Same ball, same insect, now in a bunker. Can you remove the insect?

NO. Even though he/she is a loose impediment it is “in the bunker” and it’s forbidden to move loose impediments in a bunker.
However, as it is capable of moving on its own you may wave your hand over it, or blow on it to encourage it to fly away on its own. If you remove the insect with your fingers you will be penalized TWO STROKES under Rule 13-4c.

I hope this helps you.


loose impediments quiz.docx

March Rules quiz, Match play.


Team play is coming up very soon so this month’s Rules quiz is about Match play. Go TEAMS!

I have attached a copy of the quiz and also included it below as some of you have difficulties opening some docs.


March Rules Quiz

Match Play

Your opponent concedes you a short putt in Match play. Instead of picking up your ball you casually slap it toward the hole and miss the putt. According to the Rules you should:
A. Count your score with the conceded putt even though you struck the ball afterwards.
B. Forget the concession and continue to putt out.
C. Penalize yourself one stroke and replay the ball from the original position of the conceded putt.

ANSWER: A. The conceded putt is good. Under Rule 2-4 in Match play, a concession may not be declined or withdrawn. In other words, once a stroke is conceded, it doesn’t matter what the player does afterwards.

In Match play the player who is the furthest out should play first. If your opponent plays out of turn what may you do?

A. Give them a one stroke penalty.

B. Give them a loss of hole penalty.

C. Recall their shot before anyone else has made a shot, or let their shot stand.

ANSWER: C. It is your decision whether to recall their shot or let it stand, but you must do this immediately before any more strokes are made. There is no penalty, Rule 10-1c. (Remember ladies that in some team play systems “Ready golf” IS allowed so check before you play!)

In Stroke play if you play from outside the teeing ground you incur a two stroke penalty and must then play from within the teeing ground. If you do this in Match play what is the penalty?

A. A one stroke penalty.

B. Loss of hole.

C. No penalty.

ANSWER: C. No penalty. Your opponent may ask you to replay your shot from within the teeing ground, or they have the option to let your shot stand without any penalty. If you replay your shot your first shot is canceled. Rule 11-4a.

In Stroke pay if you are unsure of a Rule or procedure you are allowed to play a second ball under Rule 3-3. What are you allowed to do in Match play?

A. You can play a second ball under Rule 3-3

B. You have to make the decision of how to play the one ball.

ANSWER: B. You have to try and resolve the issue with your opponent without delay. If you cannot agree then, before you tee off at the next hole, or if it is the last hole, before all players leave the putting green, you must tell your opponent that at you will ask the Committee for a ruling before you sign your score card. Rule 2-5.

I hope this helps you,

July Rules quiz

Hi Ladies, the July Rules quiz for you to enjoy! Yippee…….

1. Felicity marks the position of her ball on the putting green with her marker and causes her ball to move. What is the penalty?

A. One stroke penalty
B. Two stroke penalty
C. No penalty

2. Helen tees her ball on the teeing ground and while practicing her swing she knocks the ball off the tee. What is her penalty?

A. No penalty
B. One stroke penalty
C. Two stroke penalty

3. Brenda’s ball lands next to a red stake marking the margin of a lateral water hazard. Before she makes her next stroke she removes the stake as it restricts her intended swing. What is her penalty?

A. One stroke penalty
B. Two stroke penalty
C. No penalty

4. Delilah’s ball lands “in bounds” but her swing is restricted by a white out of bounds stake. Before making her next stroke she removes the stake. What is her penalty?

A. No penalty
B. One stroke penalty
C. Two stroke penalty

5. Judy asks her fellow competitor Constance to attend the flagstick. Constance is not quite awake and Judy’s ball hits the flagstick. Who gets the penalty Judy or Constance?

6. Suzie is playing hole #12 at Discovery Bay Country Club and her balls lands on the bridge over the water hazard. She grounds her club on the bridge and hits her ball onto the green. How many penalty strokes does Suzie incur?


1. C. No penalty. Rule 20-1, states if a ball, or ball marker, is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball, or marking its position, the ball or marker must be replaced. There is no penalty provided the movement of the ball or marker was directly attributable to the specific act of marking or lifting the ball.

2. A. No penalty. TheDefinition of a “stroke” is the forward movement of the club with the intention of striking at, and moving the ball. As the ball on the teeing ground is not in play until a “stroke” has been made, the ball may be re-teed without penalty, Rule/Decision 18-2/19.

3. C. No penalty. Under the Definition of Water Hazard stakes used to define the margins of a Water Hazard are Obstructions. Red and yellow stakes may be moved without penalty and, if your ball moves due to you moving the stake, there is no penalty but you must replace your ball. Also your ball may be cleaned when you lift it. Rule 24-1

4. C. Two stroke penalty. TheDefinition of Out of Bounds states that objects defining out of bounds are NOT Obstructions, therefore they must not be moved. If a player removes them they breaking Rule 13-2, Improving lie, Area of intended Swing, or Line of Play.

5. Sadly Judy does! She is penalized two strokes as her ball hit the attended flagstick (Rule 17-3 and Decision 17-3/2). Judy then plays the ball where it lies.

6. NONE. You may ground your club on a bridge over a water hazard. Decision 13-4/30. The bridge is an obstruction and NOT “ground in the hazard”.

I hope this helps you.

Ball on the bridge on Hole #12


Problem areas are always a problem and the question about your ball being on the bridge on hole #12 has come up again.

I have attached a photo of the situation to this e mail. Hopefully you all can open it!


The bridge is IN the hazard.

You are ALWAYS allowed to hit from a hazard without penalty.

But……You MAY NOT ground your club in a hazard.

The bridge, although it is deemed to be IN the hazard, is an “obstruction” in the hazard , NOT ‘”ground” in the hazard

Decision/Rule 13-4/30 allows you to touch an “obstruction” in a hazard.

So this is what you may do:

1. You may, without penalty, hit your ball from the bridge and ground your club.

2. You may, with a one stroke penalty, take relief from the bridge using Rule 26, Water Hazards.

As you well know that means:

Hit from where you were before, if from the tee box you may tee your ball up again.

Go back and drop a ball as far as you like, in line with the pin and where your ball last crossed the hazard.

Drop a ball within two club lengths, no closer to the pin, from where your ball last crossed the hazard.

I do not advocate plagiarism but this time I have included here link here http://www.usga.org/videos/2015/07/07/150707-womens_rules-of-golf-bridges-4342577694001.html to the USGA Rules website that will visually help you.

I hope this helps you,

A golf quiz for you!

Ladies, no golf today eh? So lots of time for a golf quiz…..enjoy!

Q. Maria’s ball is on the apron between the green and a bunker. Her fellow-competitor then plays from the bunker and deposits sand on and around Maria’s ball. Is Maria entitled to any relief?

A. Yes. Maria is entitled to the lie and line of play she had when her ball originally came to rest. Accordingly, in equity (Rule 1-4), she is entitled to remove the sand deposited by her fellow competitor’s stroke, and also lift her ball and clean it, without penalty.

Q. Susie drops her ball to take relief from a cart path, the ball is no longer on the cart path but her stance is on the cart path. Is Susie’s ball properly in play ?

A. No, Rule 20-2 c (v). Susie’s dropped ball must be re-dropped, without penalty, if it rolls to and comes to rest in a position where there is interference by the condition from which relief was taken. The penalty would be two strokes or loss of hole if the ball was not re-dropped prior to stroke.

Q. Miranda hits a great 7 iron to the green but it accidentally hits a slow walking goose and the ball lands in the bunker. Can she replace her ball where it hit the goose?

A. Sadly no, it is the rub of the green, (or goose), and Miranda must play her ball where it lies, in the bunker. Rule 19-1.

Q. Beth putts her ball and it hits the flagstick which is lying on the ground. Is she penalized?

A. Yes, a two stroke penalty. Rule 17-3. A player’s ball must not strike the flagstick when removed, held up or attended.

(The exception to this is if the flagstick had been removed, held up, or attended during a stroke or while the ball is in motion, without the player’s authority. If in doubt do not have the flagstick attended, or have the flagstick moved well out of the line of your next stroke.)

Q. Ellen his her ball out of the bunker and accidentally strikes the ball twice. Is there a penalty?

A. Unfortunately there is a penalty for being a klutz. Ellen must count her stroke and add one penalty stroke, Rule 14-4.

Q. Vanessa found her ball touching the course side of a white line indicating Out of Bounds. Does she have to take a stroke and distance penalty?

A. No, a ball is not out of bounds unless ALL of the ball is out of bounds. See Definition of Out of Bounds. Vanessa’s ball was not, so she may continue play without penalty.

I hope you got all these questions right, and this helps you.


Hole #12 ice plants

Ladies I am sure you read yesterday Barbara’s minutes from this month’s Advisory Board meeting
where the ice plants behind the green on hole #12 were discussed. I quote:

  • “A question was raised about the procedure if your ball goes in the ice plant behind #12. As this is infrequent, no special consideration needs to be given.”

This was one of the 18 holers concerns that I addressed last year. I have copied my answer below in case there is still confusion.

What should you do if your shot from the fairway flies over the green and you think your ball may have landed in the ice plants behind the green?

This area is not Out of Bounds.

As you do not know the exact place where your ball has landed, and you think it “may” be lost, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HIT A PROVISIONAL BALL FROM WHERE YOU LAST HIT. (Always tell your playing companions this is what you are doing.)

If you find your original ball and it is PLAYABLE, pick up your Provisional ball and play on. No penalty.

If you cannot find your original ball after a five minute search, then it is LOST, play your Provisional ball and take a ONE STROKE PENALTY.

If you decide to search for your ball, and not hit a provisional ball, this is what you do.

If you find your ball in the ice plants, and it is impossible for you to play it without altering your area of intended swing by moving the ice plants, or unnecessarily pressing them down when you take your stance then you may declare your ball UNPLAYABLE.

You incur a ONE STROKE PENALTY and your options for 3 are:

Return to where you last hit and put another ball in play.

If your ball is visible and IF, AND ONLY IF when you measure your ball’s distance from the cart path a measurement of two club lengths* would make your ball touch the path, you may drop the ball at your nearest point of relief on the path, and then take your nearest point of relief from the path onto the grass but no closer to the hole.

(To speed up play you can just find the nearest point of relief on the grass and drop your ball there, no closer to the hole.)

*Please note that if your ball is further back in the ice plants than two club lengths from the path you will have to take multiple drops and multiple one stroke penalties until you ball is on the cart path, not worth it!

The third option for the Unplayable Rule is not possible because, to go back as far as you like in line with the pin would just put you further and further back into the ice plants and you’d have to drop your ball back in the plants.

I hope this helps you.


Tips for your Spring Handicap tournament.

Ladies: Our Spring Handicap tournament starts next week. Here are some helpful reminders!.

Tournament play is more stressful than regular play days as more is on the line, the chance to be the Champion or place in your flight! With this in mind we should be sure to follow golf etiquette and the Rules of Golf. Consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times. Make each day of the tournament a pleasant experience for your fellow competitors and yourself.

Pace of Play

Nothing is more annoying than slow play. Long waits to make your shots ruins your rhythm and slows down the whole field.

Keep up with the group in front.

Take all the clubs to your ball that you “may” need for your next shot.

Do not take excessive time over the ball or an excessive number of practice swings.

Be prepared to step up and putt when it is your turn. Check out your line and speed of putt while others are putting. Be ready.

As soon as everyone has putted out leave the green quickly. You can put your clubs back in your bag at the next tee box.

If you bring clubs to the green leave them on the line of your exit path. This way you will not be wasting time retrieving your clubs that are on the other side of the green.

If you walk make sure you leave your push cart away from the front of the green so it is out of the way of players hitting behind you. Put your cart on your exit path.

Write the scores on the scorecard at the NEXT tee box.


Be courteous. Do not talk or make a noise while your fellow competitors are hitting or setting up for their shot.

Be patient. If your fellow competitor is playing badly help them by moving their cart if needed.

If your ball is on the green and your fellow competitors are still hitting up from the fairway do not stand on the green in the line of play. It is very distracting for players hitting to the green to see you on their line of flight and dangerous for you.


Do not be early or late for your tee time. Tee off at your designated time. If you don’t you may be penalized 2 strokes or DQ’d

Check that your handicap is correct on your scorecard.

Do not ask for or give advice.

If a ball is on your line of play or distracting for your next shot ask your fellow competitor to lift their ball and mark it. (Rule/Decision 22/1)

If you want to play a Provisional ball because your ball may be lost or out of bounds tell your fellow competitors before you hit the Provisional ball.

If you are unsure how to play your ball using a Rule you may play two balls, your ball in play and a second ball. Before you hit both balls decide which of the two you want to count if it is played by the Rules. Complete the hole with both balls and put both scores on your score card. Do not sign your card and bring it to the Committee for a decision. (Rule 3-3)

If you believe that you or a fellow competitor has broken a Rule and may have incurred a penalty do not sign the score card and bring the question to the Tournament Committee at the end of your round.

Double check all your scores for EVERY hole before you sign your scorecard. Check your addition. Do not be DISQUALIFIED because you made a scoring mistake.

I hope this helps you.