Loose Impediments quiz


Let’s have some fun with “loose impediments” and see what we know, don’t know, and what we should do.

1. 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 also remove one piece that’s stuck on our ball.

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.

Decision 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.

2. 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.

You get a TWO STROKE penalty for removing the loose soil and sand. They are only “loose impediments” when on the green, not the fringe. You improved your lie, area of intended stance, swing or line of play, Rule 13-2.

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

. Here on the putting green sand or loose soils ARE loose impediments so you can remove them. Rule 16-1(i)

Go figure who decided this, and what do they have against loose soil and sand anyway?

4. 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 because it has legs and can walk, yikes, 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 you don’t replace it a two stroke penalty is added to your score.

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

NO. He was loose impediment in the fairway but he’s now in the bunker and you cannot remove loose impediments when in a bunker.

However as he is capable of moving on its own you may wave your hand over it, or blow on it to encourage it to fly away. If you remove the insect with your fingers you will be penalized TWO STROKES under Rule 13-4c.

I hope this helps you.


Ok or NOT OK Rules quiz


Here is our first Rules quiz for 2016.

7 questions for an OK or Not OK answer…..

A player in a stroke play event asks a fellow-competitor the distance from the teeing ground to clear a fairway bunker.

OK: Distances to objects are public information (Decision 8-1/2)

A player, while waiting to play a stroke in the fairway, chips a ball back and forth with their partner.

Not-OK: A player cannot practice on course during a round (other than between holes as specified) – two stroke penalty (Rule 7-2)

A player while waiting to play a stroke in the fairway does some “housekeeping”, replacing some divots including one on his line of play but not near his ball.

Not-OK: Player improved their line of play (Rule 13-2 and Decision 13-2/6)
Two stroke penalty.

A player’s ball is on a hillside, as the player approaches they see their ball roll down the hill and out of bounds. The player retrieves ball, replaces it on the original spot and plays from there.

Not-OK: Ball was out of bounds – This is most likely to be called a serious breach in stroke play as the player may have gained a significant advantage from playing from a wrong place. The penalty is disqualification.
If your ball goes out of bounds at any time take a one stroke penalty and play from where the previous stroke was made. (Rule 27-1b and Rule 20-7)

A player’s ball “might” be in a water hazard. The player drops a ball on their best estimate of the line from the hole and where they think it “might “have crossed the hazard. They play the dropped ball and hole out.

Not-OK: The Committee must determine if this a serious breach as it was not virtually certain ball is in water hazard. By playing from the wrong place in this situation the player could incur a three stroke penalty or be disqualified.
(Decision 26-1/3.7 and /4)

While a ball is in motion after a stroke, a player moves another player’s club to prevent the ball from striking the club.

OK: Equipment may be moved while ball is in motion (Rule 24-1)

A player takes relief from a lateral water hazard. They drop a ball which lands outside the allowed two club-length area but the ball rolls into the allowed two club-length area. The player plays the dropped ball.

Not-OK: Player incurs a two stroke penalty for breach of Rule 26-1. The ball must first strike course where prescribed by the Rule (Rules 20-2b, 20-6, 20-7 and 26-1c). If you drop in a wrong place, and do not play that ball, you can pick up your ball and re-drop it in the correct place without penalty, Rule 20-6.

I hope this helps you.

Posting scores and Practice rounds


In the Rules section of next month’s Discovery Bay CC Newsletter I will be writing about Rule 7, “Practice”. I’ll outline how it differs in stroke play and match play, and where can you make a practice stroke during a round. I will send you all a copy of this article in a couple of days.

As Shelly, our Handicap chair, recently correctly reminded us, post all your scores and make sure your scores are accurate.

However, I have been recently asked by some of our members, “Am I allowed to play a round of golf just for practice? What if I want to hit more than one ball on a hole, or try putting over again?” It would be scary to believe that players are not allowed to practice on their course. How better to learn how to play our course than trying different shots, especially in troublesome areas of the course, so we can improve our game.

The USGA Handicap System covers rounds which are not played under the Rules of Golf in section 5-1e (vii) and “Practice during a Round” is covered in Rule 7-2. If you hit two balls by trying different clubs from the same distance, or re try a missed putt to check the read you saw, you are obviously not playing under the Rules!

Here is a recent quote on this subject from the WGANC Ambassadors’ blog.

“The USGA Handicap System” and the Rules of Golf do not define a practice round and do not address declaring such prior to beginning play of a stipulated round. A basic premise of the “USGA Handicap System” is every player will try to make the best score on each hole in every round, and will accurately post every acceptable score. There are few exceptions in which a score should not be posted. When a player does not play a majority of the holes under the principles of the Rules of Golf, a score cannot be posted. An example is playing two balls on some holes. At any rate, it is unanimous that one should not declare a practice round after 4 or 5 holes.”

Many Rules’ experts and golf professionals believe players should be encouraged, and is acceptable, to play practice rounds. If you want to play a practice round make sure you are not delaying play, or more especially, interfering with your fellow players’ games that are not practicing. Tell your fellow players early in your game this is what you are doing, and do not post those scores as they are not played by the Rules.

All our Men’s club scores are audited by their Handicap committee, and when they play practice rounds they submit their scorecards with “practice” written on them.

Do not forget that Shelly very expertly said post your scores accurately whenever you play. However, don’t be scared to play a practice round sometimes. Practice on the range is excellent, practicing real play situations can be better! Just do it occasionally and at the appropriate time.

We are recreational golfers and need to improve our games and have fun at the same time. Practice, wherever it is, can make us perfect!

I hope this helps you.

Recent Rules happenings


Here are a few items about the Rules that have come up recently. Thank you so much for your ideas.

When you have to “drop” a ball under a Rule, for example because you went into the water, or because you are in Ground under Repair, you cannot re drop your ball if you don’t like where your ball ended up. The only time you can is if the ball lands closer to the hole. So, be careful where you drop as…………. it is where it is!

Your ball lands in “Ground under Repair’. You do NOT have to pick up your ball and take relief and drop it out of the area unless you WANT to.

If your feet, or the area of your intended swing are in the Ground under Repair but your ball is not, you have the same options as if you ball were in the Ground under Repair.
You can take relief if you want to, or not.

These two following items are about…. “Think before you pick up and drop”

If you decide to pick up your ball to take free relief as allowed under a Rule, for example if your ball is on a cart path, THINK FIRST, and then think again. You may find that where you are about to drop will put you under a tree, in a terrible lie or in a worse position. Do not pick up your ball until you are sure. Once you lift it your ball you cannot replace it
without incurring a one stroke penalty for lifting your ball in play. That free relief just turned into a penalty stroke.

When you consider using Rule 28 for an Unplayable Lie, think carefully about your options.

If you use option b) as far back as you like in line with pin and where ball lies, or c) within two club lengths no closer to the hole, be very sure of where that will put you.
You could end up in a similar or even worse lie.

Remember the best option might be a), to play a ball from where you made your last stroke. Get the most from your one stroke penalty…..

When your ball goes into a water hazard and you are not sure where to drop the answer is…..Decide where the ball LAST crossed the hazard. Maybe it bounced from land to rocks, to rocks to land, and finally……… into the water, but where did it LAST cross the hazard? Find that place, see if the markers are red or yellow, and then use one of the allowed options under Rule 26.

If you make a stroke at your ball and your ball hits you, you incur a one stroke penalty. If it hits a tree and ricochets backwards and hits you, or bounces off a rock and hits you, or bounces off a yardage marker and hits you, ouch, sadly you play the ball where it lies, take the bruises and the penalty. The bruising is just not enough punishment.

I hope this helps you.

Ground Under Repair Quiz


Currently we have area of Ground under repair in the front of several greens so here’s a quiz to remind you of the Rules.

Abnormal ground Conditions/ Ground Under Repair. (RULE 25)

If your ball lands in an area marked as “Ground Under Repair” (GUR):

  1. Do you have take relief from GUR?

2. If you take relief is there a penalty?

3. If you take relief but your foot, club or ball still touches the GUR is that okay?

4. If your ball lands on bare bumpy ground can you decide it is Ground Under Repair?

5. May you remove the stakes and rope lining the GUR before you make your stroke?

6. Once you find your nearest point of relief from Ground Under Repair how many club lengths do you measure from that point in which to drop your ball?

7. Can you clean your ball if you lift it to take relief from GUR?

8. If GUR is on your line of play can you get free relief?


  1. No you do not HAVE to take relief, you may play the ball as it lies unless there is a Local Rule in effect prohibiting play, or the area is deemed as an environmentally sensitive area.

2. There is no penalty, you get free relief.

3. No it is not okay. When you drop your ball and are set up to make your stroke you must have COMPLETE relief from the GUR. If you do not you will incur a TWO stroke penalty!

4. No, only the Pro Shop or Committee may decide which area is Ground Under Repair.

5. Yes you may. The stakes are considered to be “Obstructions”. After your stroke replace the stakes from where you removed them.

6. One club length. You may use any club in your bag to measure this one club length.

7. Yes you may.

8. No you cannot take relief just because the area is on your intended line of play.

I hope his helps you.


July Rules quiz

Hi Ladies:

It’s quiz time again……….enjoy!

  1. All ground or water within the margin of a water hazard is part of the hazard?

a) True
b) False

Answer: a) True, Definition of Water Hazard

Find where the red stakes or the red lines outline the hazard margins.
If the red lines or stakes are in front of the rocks or grass around the water then the rocks and grass are in the hazard. If you want to try, you may hit from the rocks or grass inside the hazard without a penalty stroke, but you cannot ground your club or adjust any rocks to make a footing for your stance.

  1. A player may not stand out of bounds to play a ball that lies in bounds?

a) True
b) False

Answer: b) False).

You CAN stand ob to hit a ball that is in bounds, see Definition of Out of Bounds.

  1. In stroke play a player’s ball is up against an out of bounds fence. They want to take free relief under Rule 24 Obstructions and play the ball. Can they?

a) Yes
b) No

Answer: b) No

OB stakes are NOT obstructions so there is no free relief. You may use Rule 28, Unplayable lie to get relief, and take a one stroke penalty, but if not you have to play the ball where it lies

  1. You rotate your ball on the putting green to line up the trademark or line on the ball with your intended line of putt to the hole. You didn’t lift it, change its position or mark its position. What is the ruling?

a) No penalty.
b) Two stroke penalty
c) One stroke penalty

Answer c) A one stroke penalty for touching the ball on the putting green without its position being marked.

Under Rules 16-1b and 20-1 a ball on the putting green may be lifted, touched or rotated after its position has been marked.

  1. In stroke play a player marks and lifts their ball on the green. As they walk away they accidentally step on their marker and move it. What is the ruling?

a) No penalty
b) One stroke penalty
c) Two stroke penalty

Answer: b) One stroke penalty. Decision 20-1/5.5.

The ball must be placed as near as possible to its original position.

I hope you got them all correct and this helps you.


It’s too hot for long rounds of golf…..

Ladies I know you have heard me talk about slow play many, many times but with the weather heating up we certainly do not want rounds of over 41/2 hours.
Please take the time, yet again, to read the tips below. Your fellow competitors will thank you.

Watch your ball until it stops
After every shot – especially from the tee – keep an eye on your ball until it comes to rest, and get a clear sight onto a marker or reference point near it – a tree, bush, mound…anything. If there is even the slightest chance that it could be lost, play a provisional ball.
If it’s lost, it’s lost.I realize that your ball wasn’t cheap, and it might be your favorite one, but when your five minutes is up, it’s up. Declare it lost and move on.

Be prepared
When on the green, in the fairway, or anywhere else, get prepared for your shot while riding or walking to your ball. If you are ready before your fellow competitors play ready golf, and remember not too many practice swings!

On the green.
Slow play is very, very common on the green.
Line up your putt while others are putting then step up, take a practice stroke and putt!
When it’s your turn you should be immediately ready to hit your own ball.
Continuous putting speeds up play, marking and unmarking take extra time.

Cart Management.
Each member of your group should go directly to their ball. Avoid traveling from one ball to the other. When sharing a cart, drop off one player and then proceed to your own ball while she does her pre-shot routine and hits, play ready golf!

Take Multiple Clubs
If you need to leave your cart away from where your ball is positioned, take a couple of clubs with you. This will save you from having to go back and forth in case of indecision.

Always think ahead
As you approach the green, determine where the next tee is, and then park your cart between the hole and the next tee. That way, when you are done with the hole, you can clear the green quickly. And for heaven’s sake, don’t loiter around the green discussing the scores — record your scores at the next tee!

Hold that club
When playing in a cart, do not put your club back in the bag until you arrive at your ball for your next shot, or when leaving the green, at the next teeing ground. This can save a significant amount of time over the course of a round.

Don’t Wait
If your group has fallen behind for whatever reason, the first 2 players to putt out should immediately head over to the next tee and tee off.
This saves time, and can really help you catch up. Filling in score cards for the previous hole can be done as the last 2 players are preparing to tee off.

Watch the groups around you
If the group in front of you is more than one shot ahead (i.e. if they are on the green of a par-4 before you even tee off) you need to speed it up. Unless the game you are playing stipulates you must hole out and you’ve taken more than 8, 9, 10 strokes, pick up

Thank you all!


June Advisory Board minutes

June Advisory Board meeting minutes.

The trees and bushes have been trimmed outside the Fairway room and the dead one will be removed soon.

“Handicap access only” signs will be placed on certain fairways where cart traffic is not normally allowed. Instructions on how to drive on these
areas will be given to the members who are allowed to have handicap flags. It is estimated that less than 6 members will qualify.

Ed Turman has generously made holders for the pins with American flags so it will be easier to avoid laying the flags on the greens.

Drought problems. Wetting agents are working well and will be re-applied in a month. In areas the Poa grass is stressing and
sod will be replaced in certain areas close to some greens. Due to this extra work the leveling of tee boxes has been postponed.

The 30 hp pump in the pump house needs replacing. Cost approx. $10,000.

Zak has left to go back to college and has been replaced with Frank who has previous Pro shop experience at Deer Ridge/Shadow Lakes.

The water fountain on hole #5 has been repaired.

The Corena Green event will be next month.

Membership inquiries are up this month.

Jenelle is looking for replacement for Mary in the bar and has employed a new server.

Water will be only given to diners upon request only.

Sick leave accrual will begin July 1st for employees with over 90 days of service.

Mouse pads are being given to members who play liar’s dice in the grill to attempt to reduce their noise level.

A new counter will be installed in the Ladies locker on June 29th.

It was requested that new faucets be added as well or at least the existing ones be cleaned better.

It was requested that the faucets, sink, grout and soap dispenser in the ladies bathroom outside the Pro shop be cleaned better.

Mark wanted to let the Sunday couples’ group know that the Management is extremely willing to accommodate them eating at the Club after their play but they must
co-ordinate their plans with him or Jenelle. The dining room may be previously booked with events that day making efficient service difficult or impossible.
Joanne Leete said that she will communicate this to the group as she is a participant.


Lifting and cleaning your golf ball


If I am allowed to lift my ball under a Rule am I always allowed to clean it?

Answer: NO

Rule 21: When you lift your ball using a Rule it may be cleaned

EXCEPT when it has been lifted:

Because it is interfering or assisting with play, Rule 22.

For identification, in which case it may only be cleaned to the extent necessary for its identification. Rule 12-2.

To determine if it is unfit for play, Rule 5-3.


If I am not allowed to clean my ball when it is lifted are there any special procedures I should follow?

Answer: YES

In order to be sure you do not incur a one stroke penalty for removing anything from your ball:

Lift the ball carefully and hold it preferably with two fingers.

Make sure the ball can be seen at all times so it is certain that nothing has been removed.

Replace the ball carefully in the exact position it was before.

This may seem overly cautious but why get a penalty stroke for not being careful?

I hope this helps you.


May Rules Quiz

Ladies, let’s do some True or False quiz questions.

  1. In taking relief from a cart path Maria drops her ball in the correct place but before it comes to rest it deflects off her shoe. Maria must re- drop the ball.

True or False?

True. There is no penalty if a ball is being dropped under a Rule and it hits the player or their equipment. The ball must be re-dropped, Rule 20-2a.

2. Miranda chips her ball up a slope to the green and the ball rolls back and is accidentally stopped by her foot. She moves her foot and the ball rolls further down the slope. She incurs a one stroke penalty and must play the ball at the spot where it came to rest against her foot

True or False?

True. Even though when Miranda moved her foot the ball rolled to a different position she must replace it where it originally came “to rest” against her foot. Decision 19-2/1.

3. Barbie putts her ball towards the hole and it hits the lip and bounces backwards. It is deflected by Barbie’s shoe and comes to rest six feet from the hole. She gets a one stroke penalty and may put the ball back where she was standing when the ball hit her.

True or False?


Barbie does get a one stroke penalty but she must play the ball where it now lies, 6 feet from the hole. Rule 19-2.

4. In a Discovery Bay CC tournament the format is “alternate shot”. One of the partners makes a stroke when it is not their turn. The player’s stroke is canceled and the side must correct the error by playing in the correct order as near as possible to where the last stroke was made. They incur a one stroke penalty.

True or False?

False. They replayed the shot correctly but they incur a TWO stroke penalty. If they do not correct their error before teeing off at the next hole they are disqualified. Rule 29-3.

5. Ball marks may only be fixed on the putting green if the player’s ball is on the green.

True or False?

False. A player may repair an old hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball whether or not their ball lies on the putting green. Rule 16-1c.

6. Anna’s ball goes into the water on hole #4. She stands erect, with her arm straight out at waist height and she drops her ball in the correct place under Rule 26. She then plays her ball to the green. She adds a one stroke penalty to her score for the hole .

True or False?

False. Anna incurs a one stroke penalty for going into the water BUT also incurs an additional one stroke penalty for incorrectly dropping the ball and playing it. She adds two strokes to her score.

When dropping a ball the player must stand erect, hold the ball at arm’s length and SHOULDER height and drop it. If Anna had corrected her drop error before she played the ball she would not have incurred the additional one stroke penalty. Rule 20-2, 20-6. Be careful when dropping your ball, do it correctly.

I hope this helps you.