Golf Australia

New Local Rule for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds

  •  
  • •  The 1-minute video above and the below diagrams explain how the new Local Rule works
  • •  See below the text for the Local Rule in both long and short form.

Purpose of the new 2019 Local Rule option:

When a provisional ball has not been played, significant issues with pace of play can result for a player needing to take stroke-and-distance relief for a ball that is out of bounds or cannot be found.The purpose of this Local Rule is to allow a Committee to provide an extra relief option that allows a player to play on without returning to the location of the previous stroke. 

2019 Local Rule option 1
2019 Local Rule option 2

 

LONG FORM OF LOCAL RULE

When a player's ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds, the player may proceed as follows rather than proceeding under stroke and distance.

For two penalty strokes, the player may take relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3):

Two Estimated Reference Points:

(a). Ball Reference Point: The point where the original ball is estimated to have:

  • Come to rest on the course, or
  • Last crossed the edge of the course boundary to go out of bounds.

(b). Fairway Reference Point: The point of fairway of the hole being played that is nearest to the ball reference point, but is not nearer the hole than the ball reference point.

For purposes of this Local Rule, "fairway" means any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less.

If a ball is estimated to be lost on the course or last crossed the edge of the course boundary short of the fairway, the fairway reference point may be a grass path or a teeing ground for the hole being played cut to fairway height or less.

Size of Relief Area Based on Reference Points: Anywhere between:

  • A line from the hole through the ball reference point (and within two club-lengths to the outside of that line), and
  • A line from the hole through the fairway reference point (and within two club-lengths to the fairway side of that line).

But with these limits:

Limits on Location of Relief Area:

  • Must be in the general area, and
  • Must not be nearer the hole than the ball reference point.

Once the player puts a ball in play  under this Local Rule:

  • The original ball that was lost or out of bounds is no longer in play and must not be played.
  • This is true even if the ball is found on the course before the end of the three-minute search time (see Rule 6.3b).

But the player may not use this option to take relief for the original ball when:

  • That ball is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in a penalty area, or
  • The player has played another ball provisionally under penalty of stroke and distance (see Rule 18.3).

A player may use this option to take relief for a provisional ball that has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds.

SHORT FORM OF LOCAL RULE

When a player’s ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds or identify which holes this applies to, the player may proceed under the Stroke and Distance Local Rule for a penalty of two strokes, rather than proceeding under stroke and distance. This Local Rule is not available if a provisional ball has been played. See Model Local Rule E-5 for full details of the Local Rule.

Click here for all other Model Local Rules.

 View all new rules videos

When a player's ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds, the player may proceed as follows rather than proceeding under stroke and distance.

For two penalty strokes, the player may take relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3):

Two Estimated Reference Points:

(a). Ball Reference Point: The point where the original ball is estimated to have:

  • Come to rest on the course, or
  • Last crossed the edge of the course boundary to go out of bounds.

(b). Fairway Reference Point: The point of fairway of the hole being played that is nearest to the ball reference point, but is not nearer the hole than the ball reference point.

For purposes of this Local Rule, "fairway" means any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less.

If a ball is estimated to be lost on the course or last crossed the edge of the course boundary short of the fairway, the fairway reference point may be a grass path or a teeing ground for the hole being played cut to fairway height or less.

Size of Relief Area Based on Reference Points: Anywhere between:

  • A line from the hole through the ball reference point (and within two club-lengths to the outside of that line), and
  • A line from the hole through the fairway reference point (and within two club-lengths to the fairway side of that line).

But with these limits:

Limits on Location of Relief Area:

  • Must be in the general area, and
  • Must not be nearer the hole than the ball reference point.

Once the player puts a ball in play  under this Local Rule:

  • The original ball that was lost or out of bounds is no longer in play and must not be played.
  • This is true even if the ball is found on the course before the end of the three-minute search time (see Rule 6.3b).

But the player may not use this option to take relief for the original ball when:

  • That ball is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in a penalty area, or
  • The player has played another ball provisionally under penalty of stroke and distance (see Rule 18.3).

A player may use this option to take relief for a provisional ball that has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds.

When a player’s ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds or identify which holes this applies to, the player may proceed under the Stroke and Distance Local Rule for a penalty of two strokes, rather than proceeding under stroke and distance. This Local Rule is not available if a provisional ball has been played. See Model Local Rule E-5 for full details of the Local Rule.
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