Local Course Rules

Local Course Rules
USGA Rules Govern Play Subject to
Local Course Rules or Other Exceptions


Play the Ball as it Lies

The most fundamental rule of golf is to play the ball “as it lies” (USGA rule 13-1). Exceptions may be made on a per tournament basis because of poor overall course conditions due to weather. When an exception to rule 13-1 is declared by the Tournament Committee for a specific day, the following local rule will be in effect:  “A ball lying on a closely mown area through the green on the hole you are playing 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 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 lift his ball only once.”

Embedded Balls

The Embedded Ball Rule, USGA rule 25-2, is in effect, modified as follows:  “Through the green, a ball that is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.”
The “placement” of a previously embedded ball is only permitted when rule 13-1, “play it as it lies” is waived for the day.  The damaged turf should not be repaired until after the shot is played.

Leaf Rule

If a ball is lost in fallen leaves, inside the tree line, and if another member of the group attests to the loss of the ball thus, then the player may, without penalty, drop another ball at the location closest to where the other ball was estimated to have been lost.  A ball lost in the woods is not subject to relief under this provision.  Note that tournament committee will make a determination before the tournament if the Leaf Rule will be in effect.

Rocks in Fairways

Exposed rocks in FAIRWAYS, whether marked with white circles or not, are “Ground Under Repair” and Rule 25-1 applies. Relief is provided by a free lift and drop within one club-length of where the ball originally lay, not nearer the hole.

Stones in Bunkers

Stones in BUNKERS are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies).  Please note that this rule DOES NOT grant a player the right to intentionally touch or move his ball. However, if the ball is INADVERTENTLY moved by the act of removing the stone, the ball shall be replaced, and there is no penalty provided the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the removal of the stone. This rule is strictly limited to BUNKERS and no other hazards.

French Drains

All French drains are immovable obstructions under Rule 24-2 and relief is allowed in both fairway and rough for interference with both lie and/or stance The ball may be dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief not nearer the hole without penalty.

 Bridges over Hazards

All walkways or bridges over hazards not covered by grass are considered part of the hazard whether or not they are marked as such.

Hazard and Out of Bounds Markings

When a hazard is marked by both stakes and a line, the line has preference.

Stone Walls

 All stone walls on the golf course have been determined to be integral parts of the course and not immovable obstructions.  Play the ball as it lies or take an un-playable lie with penalty.

Local Rules for Individual Holes

4th hole:

The right side is a Lateral Water Hazard from the tee to the drainage ditch in front of the Ladies tee. Along the right, stance and lie relief are permitted from the French drain at the base of the hill only, and not as relief from the hill itself. The nearest point of relief for this drop may be up the hill.  Follow Rule 24-2.

8th hole: 

The ditch on the left side, approximately 100 yards short of green, marked with yellow stakes and lines, is a water hazard and relief taken from there incurs a penalty of one stroke. The rocks in front of the hazard are a French Drain and Rule 24-2 applies.

The entire original maintenance area is Ground Under Repair. The boundaries of this area are the foundation of the old building along the 8th fairway, the INSIDE boundary of the stone wall between that building and the 5th green, the INSIDE boundary of the stone wall along the 4th fairway, and all the bare areas on the 8th green side of the building. The stone walls are treated by the Stone Wall rule above.  A ball drop has been established, whether marked or not, two club lengths from the foundation of the old building. In order to obtain relief, the ball must be found within these boundaries. If the ball is lost, no relief is permitted, and the customary stroke-and-distance penalty for Lost Ball applies. Similar relief is also permitted from the new maintenance building. Again, in order to obtain relief, the ball must be found.

The current maintenance area is an immovable obstruction and its boundaries are the road around it and the adjacent putting green.  Rule 24-2 applies

13th hole:

The left side of the hole, from a point nearly at the bottom of the hill below the tee, extending until the point where the existing yellow-staked water hazard already exists near the green, has been marked as a Lateral Water Hazard.

14th hole:

The entire area on the left side from the Back Tee box to the end of the tree line 200 yards off the tee is a Lateral Water Hazard. Any ball entering this area that is not found can be assumed to be in the Hazard.

Tournament Procedures

Tournament sign-up sheets will be posted several weeks in advance of an event. Sign-up sheets for our two season-long tournaments, the Two-Man Team Match Play Championship and the Players Cup (individual match play), will be posted during the opening weekend of the golf course. Tournaments that have pre-set tee times, such as the President’s Cup, have a limit to the number of players permitted. The Two-Man Championship is limited to 64 teams (128 players) and the Players Cup is limited to 64 individual players.  All other Tournaments usually have an unlimited number of openings. New Members must establish an official handicap to participate in any Tournaments.

Unless a Tournament is scheduled with reserved tee times, each group is responsible for securing a tee time for the designated day of the Tournament. Groups that have a Ridgefield resident should coordinate to have that resident participate in the Tuesday morning lottery. The lottery begins at 6:15 a.m. in the restaurant of the Golf Course. To participate in the lottery you must have a valid and up-to-date RGC member’s golf card. Players should pick-up their prepared score card and Tournament rules sheet in the Pro Shop. USGA rules govern all Tournaments of the Ridgefield Golf Club, unless temporary exceptions and/or local rules are posted on the RGC bulletin board in the locker room or on the Club web site.

Tournament Results Review

All tournament results are subject to review and affirmation by the Tournament and Rules Committee.

Breaking Ties

In MATCH PLAY TOURNAMENTS, ties at the end of regulation play will be broken by sudden death extra holes, with handicap holes designated the same as during the regulation 18 holes. The playing of extra holes will begin on the same hole as regulation play began unless required otherwise by the starter.

In STROKE PLAY TOURNAMENTS, except in the President’s Cup, ties for first place will be broken by a match of cards. The Committee will employ a match of cards on the basis of the best net score over the last nine holes. The last nine holes, is defined as holes 10 through 18, regardless of the competitors’ playing order of the two sides of the course. If the tying players have the same net score for the last nine holes, then the winner will be determined on the basis of the last six holes, or the last three holes if still tied, or finally the 18th hole. If still tied, and no playoff was arranged, then the competition will conclude as tied.

In the case of a tie for 1st place in the President’s Cup, the Tournament and Rules Committee may arrange a playoff if feasible. Should there be a playoff, the Committee will determine a reasonable number of holes for the playoff. If it is not feasible to arrange a playoff, then the Committee will employ a match of cards.

The minimum prize paid to any individual who places in any tournament will be $10, regardless of ties. All prizes will be awarded in whole dollar amounts. Fractions of dollars will be rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Administration of these rules and guidelines is solely the responsibility of the Tournament and Rules Committee of the Board of Governors of the RGC.

Submitting Score Cards

Score Cards for GHIN Computer

Scorecards should be checked carefully and adjusted for Equitable Stroke Control as defined by the USGA. Players with Course handicaps from 0-9 can record a maximum score of double bogey on any hole; players with a Course Handicap of 10-19 can record a maximum of 7 on any hole; for 20-29, an 8; for 30-39, a 9; and 40 and above, a 10.

According to USGA rules the maximum index for tournament play is 36.4.

Score Cards for Tournaments

Scorecards for Tournaments should be checked carefully and attested, with a signature, by at least one member of the foursome or playing group, unless otherwise stated on the scorecard. After the card is attested it should be immediately submitted to the Pro Shop for tabulation in the Tournament results. Once the scorecard is signed and submitted, no changes can be made. Your adjusted scores must be posted in the computer with a “T” for Tournament for those events so designated. Failure to do so can result in the imposition of a penalty under the USGA rules. Scorecards will be retained by the Committee.

Posting Tournament Scores

Scores for all tournaments must be posted into the GHIN computer, however, only specifically designated tournament scores should be entered with the designation “Tournament”. On days when scores must be entered as “Tournament” scores, a notice will be posted at the computer. Scores achieved in the Players Cup and Two-Man Team Match Play Championship must not be entered as “Tournament” scores.

Penalty for “No-Shows

Players who sign-up for an event and do not play in that event
will be penalized and not permitted to participate in the next two scheduled Club events. No penalty will be imposed if the player informs the Tournament Manager that he will not play on or before 6:00 pm of the day preceding the event. The Tournament Manager, at his discretion, may waive the penalty if the player has a compelling reason for his failure to withdraw in a timely fashion.

 It is important to note that when tee times are assigned, the Golf Course rules consider failure to play a violation of the reserved tee time rules and additional penalties may be imposed by the Golf Course management.

Rain Outs

Whether the Course closes or not, a decision will be made by the Tournament Committee as to whether a sufficient percentage of the field has finished to make the event official.