Middlesex Golf

England Golf Hard Card

Hard Card 2017


The following Local Rules, together with any additions or amendments published by the HGU at the golf course, will apply to all championships and tournaments run by the HGU.

1. Out of Bounds (Rule 27–1)

a) Beyond any wall, fence, hedge or line of white stakes defining the boundary of the course.

b) On or beyond any white line defining the boundary of the course.  (A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies on or beyond such a line).

Note: i. Where out of bounds is defined by a fence or line of white stakes, the line joining the nearest inside points at ground level of such stakes or any inside fence posts (excluding angled supports) defines the boundary. A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies beyond such a line.

ii. Objects defining out of bounds are not obstructions, therefore relief without penalty from them is not available.

2. Water Hazards, including Lateral Water Hazards (Rule 26)

Water hazards are defined by yellow stakes or yellow lines.

Lateral water hazards are defined by red stakes or red lines.

When both stakes and lines are used, the stakes identify the hazard and the lines define the hazard margin.

Note: i. A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard, including any stake or line that defines the hazard.

ii. The part of a bridge that crosses a water hazard is in the hazard.

iii. Stakes defining the margin of a water hazard are obstructions.

iv. Relief without penalty is not available from immovable obstructions or abnormal ground conditions when the ball is in a water hazard.

v.  Retaining artificial walls and pilings surrounding/bordering water hazards are immovable obstructions.

3. Ground Under Repair (Rule 25–1)

a) Any area encircled by a white or blue line.

b) Any area of damaged ground that is considered by a referee to be abnormal.

4. Immovable Obstructions (Rule 24–2) include:

a) All artificially surfaced roads and paths on the course, including those covered with wood chips. All other paths and tracks are integral parts of the course.

b) White lined areas adjoining any immovable obstruction are part of the obstruction and not ground under repair.

c) Stone-filled drainage ditches or channels.

d) Sleepers or wooden boards within bunkers.

5. Temporary Immovable Obstructions (“TIOs”) 

The specimen Local Rules in the Rules of Golf (pages 147-150) are in effect, with any additions or amendments in the Local Rules published by the HGU.

6. Temporary Power Lines or Cables

The specimen Local Rule in the Rules of Golf is in effect (pages 150-151)

7. Trees which are staked or otherwise identified or protected (e.g. by wrapping)

If such a tree interferes with a player’s stance or the area of his intended swing, the ball must be lifted, without penalty, and dropped in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Rule 24-2b (Immovable Obstruction).

8. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Green

The specimen Local Rule in the Rules of Golf is in effect (pages 146-147)

9. Stones (not shells) in Bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24–1 applies)
10. Wrong Greens (Rule 25–3)

Practice putting and/or pitching greens on the course must be treated as wrong greens.

11. Bunker Faces

a) A bunker face which consists of stacked turf is not part of the bunker and is not deemed to be a “closely mown area” (Rule 25–2 : Embedded ball).

b) A grass covered bunker face, not consisting of stacked turf, is likewise not part of the bunker.

12. Distance-Measuring Devices (Rule 14-3, Appendix I-A-7, page 153 and Appendix IV, page 181)

In all HGU Championships and Tournaments, a player may obtain distance information by use of a distance-measuring device. If, durung a stipulated round, a player uses the device (including a multi-functional device such as a mobile phone) to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (eg. elevation changes, wind speed etc) the player is in breach of Rule 14-3. Penalty: Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.             Penalty for any subsequent offence: Disqualification.

Note: i. This Local Rule applies to team captains in both stroke play and match play Championships. If a team captain uses a device in breach of this Local Rule, any distance information sought and received by a player from that team captain or given by that team captain and willingly received by a player, will result in a breach of Rule 14-3.

13. Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green 

Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:                                                                                                                                 When a player's ball lies on a putting green, there is on penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

This Local Rule applies only when the player's ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player's ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances must be replaced.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF A LOCAL RULE, unless otherwise specified above or the breach is covered by a Rule of Golf:                                                         Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes


The following Conditions of Competition, together with any additions or amendments published by HGU on the relevant entry form or at the golf course, will apply under Rule 33–1 to all HGU Championships and Tournaments.

1. Eligibility. Entries. Withdrawals.

Refer to HGU’s “General Conditions” and Conditions of Competition for the particular championship or tournament at www.hertsgolfunion.com

2. Clubs and Ball

a) Conforming Driver Heads and Golf Balls

The specimen Conditions in the Rules of Golf, pages 154 & 155Con (1a and b) are in effect.

b) The groove and punch mark specifications

The specimen Condition in Decision 4-1/1 of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf is in effect, except for all handicap tournaments.

Note: An updated List of the above equipment is available on the R&A’s website (www.randa.org) and can be checked at the HGU Championship Office.

3. Caddies

There are no restrictions on the use of caddies, except in junior championships and tournaments (see Conditions of Competition for the particular championship or tournament), when either caddies are not allowed or they must be under 18 on 1st January of the year in which the championship or tournament is being played.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION: See Rules of Golf, page 157

4. Practice (Rule 7–1)

a) Match play: On any day of a competition, practice on the championship course is prohibited before the player’s first match and between matches.

b) Stroke play: Rule 7–1b applies.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITIONS 4 a or b: Disqualification

Note:  All recognised practice areas within the bounds of the course may be used by players for practice on any day of a competition.

See also Practice Rounds’ Regulations (C.4 below).

5. Time of Starting (Rule 6–3)

All players in a group must be present and ready to play at the time established by the Committee and should report to the starter at least five minutes before their start time.

6. Pace of Play (Note 2 to Rule 6–7)

a) Time Allowed for Round

Each hole is given a maximum completion time, primarily based upon its length and difficulty. The maximum time allotted for the completion of 18 holes will be available prior to play.

b) “Out of Position”

The first group and any group after a starter’s gap will be considered to be “out of position” if, at any time during the round, the group’s cumulative time exceeds the time allowed for the number of holes completed. Any following group will be considered “out of position” if it is more than the starting interval behind the group in front.

c) Procedure when Group is "Out of Position"

i) A group "Out of Position" shall be asked by the referee to get back into position within a specified time. Failure to do so may lead to players being individually timed.

ii) If a decision is taken to time a group, each player in the group will be informed the group is out of position. At the referee's discretion, each or any player will be subject to individual timings.

d) Time Allowed for a Stroke

i) The maximum time allocated per shot is 40 seconds. 10 extra seconds are allowed for the first player to play: 
- on a par three hole;
- an approach shot; and
- a chip or putt

ii) The time will start when the player has had sufficient time to reach his ball, it is his turn to play and he is able to play without interference or distraction.

iii) The time allowed includes any yardage assessment, any walking forwards or backwards and any pre-shot routine, including practice swings.

iv) On the putting green, timing will start when the player has had a reasonable amount of time to lift, clean and replace his ball, repair pitch marks and move loose impediments on his line of putt. Time spent looking at the line from beyond the hole and/or behind the ball is included in the time allowed for the stroke.

e) Timing Ceases

Timing ceases when a group is back in position. Players will be advised accordingly.

f) PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION (Note 2 to Rule 6-7 and Note 3 to Rule 32-1b).

Stroke Play                                              Match Play                                  Stableford

1 Bad Time      One stroke penalty                              Loss of hole                                 1 point from total

2 Bad Times   Further two stroke penalty               Further loss of hole                  2 further points from total

3 Bad Times   Disqualification                                     Disqualification                         Disqualification

g) Procedure When Again Out of Position During Same Round

If a group is subsequently out of position during a round, the above procedure will apply on each occasion. Previous bad times and penalties applied in the round will be carried forward until the round is completed.

h) Individual Timings Without Warning When Group Not Out Of Position

In addition to the above, a player without notice may be individually timed (whether "In Position" or not).
If their time exceeds 60 seconds the player will incur a warning. Any future bad times will result in penalties being imposed as highlighted in clause f) above

7. Suspension of Play Due to a Dangerous Situation (Note to Rule 6–8b)

a) The specimen Condition in the Rules of Golf (page 158) is in effect

i.e. when the klaxon sounds, play must be discontinued immediately.


Note: i. A suspension of play for a dangerous situation will be signalled by one prolonged note of klaxons.

ii. Other suspensions will be signalled by three consecutive notes of klaxons.

b) Resumption of Play (Rule 6–8b) will be signalled by two short notes of klaxons. Players must then (but not before then) resume play.


Note: i. Players will be informed by HGU Officials that play will resume.

ii. Players will be given sufficient time to reach the place where they were on the course before play was suspended.

8. Advice in Match Play Team Competitions (Note to Rule 8)

i. Each team may appoint one person (in addition to the persons from whom advice may be asked under Rule 8), who may give advice to members of that team. Such person must be identified to the Championship Committee before giving advice.

ii. That person may not:
- walk on to a putting green
- give advice to a player on or around the putting green when the player’s ball lies on or has been lifted from the putting green.

See also Note ii, Local Rule 12.

9. Transportation

The specimen Condition in the Rules of Golf (page 159) is in effect: Players must not ride on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorised by the Committee.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION: See Rules of Golf, pages 159-160.

Note: See also HGU Transportation Policy (www.hertsgolfunion.com), which includes provisions for people with disabilities.

10. Returning Score Card

A player’s score card is deemed officially returned to the Committee when the player has left the recording area.

Note: Players must report to the Recording Area immediately after leaving the 18th green.

11. Deciding Ties

See HGU General Conditions.

12. Results of Match or Championship/ Tournament: Competition Closed

a) Match play: The result of a match is deemed officially announced when it has been recorded in the Championship Office.

b) Stroke play: The results of the competition are deemed officially announced and the competition is closed when the Trophy is presented to the winner.

13. Disputes

will be settled by a committee, formed by the Chairman of the Championship (three to form a quorum). That Committee’s decision shall be final.


The following regulations, together with any additions or amendments published at the course, will apply to all HGU Championships and Tournaments, including practice days.

1. Dress Code

Players and caddies may wear tailored shorts and white sports socks, unless otherwise specified in the Players’ Information for a particular championship or tournament.

2. General Behaviour

During the course of a championship or tournament (including practice days) players may not misbehave by, for example, swearing, spitting, abusing others, throwing clubs or purposely damaging the golf course, clubhouse or other club property, or act in a manner which otherwise might bring the game into disrepute.

3. Trolleys

must not be taken onto tees or between a greenside bunker and the green and/or onto fringes of greens.

4. Practice Rounds

One ball only may be played during practice rounds, with the following exceptions:

a) If a player misses the green with his shot to the green, he may play one additional shot.

b) Where the Rules of Golf apply (e.g. provisional ball).

c) A player may practise putting (but not chipping or bunker play) provided play is not unduly delayed.

5. Mobile Phones

(including pagers and similar devices): May not be used on the course (including on practice days) by players or caddies for making/sending or receiving calls or texts except in cases of emergency.

If a serious breach of the above Regulations occurs, or where there are repetitive breaches, a player may be disqualified under Rule 33–7 for a serious breach of etiquette and/or may be barred from entering or playing in HGU Championships and Tournaments for such period as the Championship Committee may decide.

HGU Officials will signal a suspension of play for a dangerous situation with one long note of klaxons.

That is the signal for everyone to evacuate the course.

If it is not possible to give sufficient warning to clear the course before an electrical storm, anyone affected should comply with the following advice. This advice is designed to assist. It is not an instruction or a Condition of Competition. HGU is not liable for any injury or damage caused by following this advice.

When the warning klaxon is sounded to suspend play for a dangerous situation:

DO NOT stand under overhead power lines.

DO NOT shelter under trees or on high ground.

DO NOT take cover in wooden or metallic shelters, unless the shelter is fully enclosed and properly earthed.

DO NOT exit the course by walking under trees if at all possible.

Keep as low as possible and, if necessary, crouch in the nearest bunker or other low point on the golf course.

Switch off and most certainly DO NOT use a mobile phone.

DO NOT put up your umbrella under any circumstances.

DO NOT stand near your golf clubs; they act as a magnet to lightning. (If you are leaving the course, YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED to leave your clubs behind).

DO remove any headgear which may have metal in or on it.

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