I. ‘Penalty Areas’ and ‘Out of bounds’ Hazards:
‘Out of Bounds’ indications are marked with either WHITE stakes or a WHITE line. ‘Penalty Areas' indicators are marked with either RED stakes or a RED line. If you are on the course where the painted lines are not visible for your determination as to whether or not you are in a penaltyy area, you must use the line of sight option between two stakes. You will have to determine your ball situation by visually looking for the stake to your left and for the stake to your right to see which side of the hazard line your ball lies. The placement of the stakes will define the hazard and not the condition of the course. There are different procedures to follow depending on where your ball lands. If your ball is near a RED stake and interferes with your stance, swing or ball, you may remove the stake. Please mark the spot where you removed the stake so that you can replace it back in the same hole. The ground is so hard in some areas that it is impossible to get the stake back into the ground in an upright position. You have four options to use when your ball lands in a penalty area. They are: (1) take your next shot from within the penalty area with no penalty, (2) go back to the spot where you hit your ball prior to going into the penalty area and take a one stroke penalty, (3) drop your ball within two club lengths from where your ball crossed the penalty area, both behind and to the side. This area will now be your drop zone. You must take a one stroke penalty, (4) keeping the flagstick and the point where your ball enter the penalty area in sight, go back as far as you want, staying on the course. Mark the spot where you would like to drop your ball and using a '1' club relief on both sides of the ball, this will now be your drop zone. You must take a one stroke penalty. You cannot declare your ball unplayable in a penalty area. All property lines are ‘Out of Bounds’ and should be marked with the WHITE stake. If the WHITE stake is missing, the edges of property lines are also marked by walls, fences or a small mound of dirt/stones. Remember do not enter someone’s property unless invited to retrieve your ball. Please respect your neighbors. If you do hit your ball ‘Out of Bounds’, to keep pace moving it is suggested and prefered that you use the option of stroke and distance.
II. Causal Water Areas:
Located within the Saddlebrooke Ranch Golf Course are areas that accumulate water during the rainy seasons and are dry during the rest of the year. These areas are part of the golf course and are subject to the rules of golf. Unless the area is staked off, a player who hits his ball in these areas must play it as it lies. Depending on the time of the year, different rules will apply for different conditions. WET CONDITIONS: If a player’s ball enters one of these low areas and standing water is present, that player may deem his ball unplayable due to casual water rule and take relief, without penalty, under Rule 25-1. Relief will be defined as follows: determine the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole; the player will lift, clean and drop the ball one club length with no penalty. These areas are vast in size and a player’s ball could be lost within the standing water or as the area starts to dry out a player’s stance could become unstable due to the soft soil conditions. The local rule will stipulate that relief with no penalty may be taken for these conditions. DRY CONDITIONS: If a player’s ball settles in this area during the dry season when no standing water is present, the player cannot declare ‘Ball in Casual Water’ and will have to play their ball as it lies. Even as grasses/weeds develop within these areas during the dry months, no relief may be taken. A player may declare his ball an ‘Unplayable Lie’ at any time and apply Rule 28.
III. Ball Unplayable (RULE 28):
A player may deem his ball unplayable anywhere on the course, except in a hazard. When doing so, the player has a choice of one of three options. Each option will accrue with a one stroke penalty and the player will be allowed to clean their ball: (1) go back to the spot, as nearly as possible, from which the original ball was last played, (2) drop the ball behind the point where the original ball laid, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot where the ball is dropped (There is no limit as to how far back a player may go as long as you are not in a hazard or off the course.) (3) drop the ball within two club lengths from the spot where the ball laid, not nearer to the hole. A player may also deem his ball unplayable when located in a bunker. All three options may be used but if a player chooses one of the latter two options, his ball must be dropped in the bunker.
IV. Taking Relief (Landscape Area):
Decorative/Landscape areas actually falls under the 'Local Rules' section. To take the correct relief from these areas are procedures outlined by the USGA. 'Landscape Area' is defined by areas having native plants, properly maintained by course staff, with a ground cover of small decorative rocks. A ball coming to rest in one of these areas must be removed. The correct procedures for taking free relief from these areas is as follows: (1) determine your nearest relief from the spot where your ball is lying. This could be either to the leaft or to the right or behind your ball. Remember, the cart path is in play and your nearest relief could be on the cart path, (2) mark the spot where you determine your nearest relief. Using one club length from that mark, determine your second spot of relief and mark that spot, (3) drop your ball within these two marks and if your ball rolls towards the green or more than the one club lenght or back into the Landscape Area, you must do a second drop. If one of the above conditions occurs again, you must then place your ball on the spot where your ball first came in contact with the ground on your second drop. This makes your ball in play and you may now proceed with your next shot, (4) if your ball, which is now in play, is lying on the cart path, you now get a second decision. You may either playy your ball off the cart path or go through a second set of relief procedures. Keeping in mind that your nearest relief from the cart path will probably be on the other side of the cart path, where you couls encounter tall grasses or weeds or even the desert. If you do decide to take relief from the path, repeat steps 1 through 3 from above. Once the three steps have been completed, your ball is now in play for your next shot. Remember, taking relief from these Landscape areas, no penalty strokes are assess to your score.
V. STROKE AND DISTANCE(Local Rule):
When a player’s ball cannot be found on the course or is known or almost certain to be out of bounds, the player may proceed by using the Stroke and Distance option. This rule does not apply to a ball that is lost in a penalty area. The Stroke and Distance option allows the player to drop in a much larger area behind calculated reference points, no closer to the hole and be assessed a two stroke penalty. First, determine ball reference point which is a point where your original ball is estimated to have come to rest on the course(lost ball) or where your ball last crossed the edge of the course boundary line(out of bounds). Measure or estimate your distance from this point to the pin. Second, your fairway reference point, where the rough meets the fairway, is a point that is equally distant to the pin as your ball reference point distance and not nearer to the hole. Take two club lengths from this point, going into the fairway, and make a second fairway reference point. Your relief area is based on a line through these the two fairway points and across the rough to your ball reference point. Your drop zone is now defined as the entire area located behind this line in the general area of the course, not nearer to the hole or in a penalty area. If you believe that you may be in trouble and prior to going to the area where your ball is lying, you may opt to hit a provisional ball and this ball is now in play with a one stroke penalty. Once you hit a provisional ball, the stroke and distance option cannot be used on the original. But if the original ball is found and is not out of bounds, your provisional ball is taken out of play and your original ball is now in play. If the Provisional Ball becomes the ball in play, the stroke and distance option may be used on this ball. Upon arriving to the area where you hit your ball and it is determined the ball is lost or out of bounds, the player must use the stroke and distance option, if a provisional ball was not used prior to the search. Do not return to your original position to hit another ball. This will be the policy of the Men’s Club to maintain Pace of Play procedures during club events.
There are a couple of situations where the stroke and distance option has been modified in helping the player. Using hole #2 as our example, a player hits their ball over the green and out of bounds. The player can always go back to the original ball position and hit another ball with a one stroke penalty or the stroke and distance option, with a two stroke penalty. If using this option, first calculate your distance from where your ball crossed the out of bounds line to the pin. Go to the front of the green, using the calculated distance, located your fairway reference point which may be located on either side of the fairway. Using two club lengths from this point into the fairway create your second fairway reference point. A line between these two points is your relief zone, drop your ball anywhere behind this line and proceed with your next shot. In another situation, using hole#1 as our example, a player hits an errant tee shot going directly out of bounds. The player realizes that the fairway reference point cannot be determined because the beginning of the fairway is closer to the hole then the ball reference point that crossed the out of bounds line. The player may always go back to the tee box and hit another drive with a one stoke penalty. Some courses maintain a well groom pathway leading from all the tee boxes to the beginning of the fairway. This area can be used to determine your fairway reference point. If a pathway is not present a player may then use the edge of the nearest tee box to determine their fairway reference point. Taking your two club lengths from this tee box point, your drop area is now anywhere behind this line and between the two, ball and fairway, reference points. Both these options will result in a two stroke penalty.