Local Rules

In order to ensure a more equitable and pleasurable game of golf, the following Local Rules and Conditions of Competitions are in effect for all play at the Thorny Lea Golf Club. These local rules apply to everyday play and may be modified by the Committee. Unless otherwise specified, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in match play.

  • PACE OF PLAY: Golf at Thorny Lea is intended as a (4) four hour event. Whenever there is a hole open in front, the faster player(s) must be invited to play through.
  •  AERATION HOLES: Through the green, a ball which comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay no nearer the hole. On theputting green, the player shall place the ball at the nearest spot no nearer the hole which avoids such situation.
  • CADDIE RULES: A player will not incur a penalty if his caddie inadvertently breaches a Rule of Golf or a Condition of the Competition, provided he did not do so at the direction of the player and the player does not gain an unfair advantage against his opponent in Match Play or his Fellow Competitors in Stroke Play.
  • DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES: For all play at Thorny Lea Golf Club, a player may obtain information by using a device that measures distance only. The Rules of Golf permit players to share yardage information.
  • EMBEDDED BALL RULE: Through the green, a ball which is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground, other than sand, may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole.
  • OUT OF BOUNDS: Is defined by inside points, at ground level of white stakes, fence posts and white lines. A ball is considered out of bounds when the entire ball lies outside the margin of the boundary.
  • INTEGERAL PARTS OF THE COURSE: All stone walls – no relief without penalty.
  • LOOSES IMPEDIMENTS: Stones in bunkers are loose impediments and may be removed or touched without penalty.
  • OVERHEAD WIRES: If a ball in play is deflected or stopped by an overhead wire, the stroke must be cancelled and replayed.
  • GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Ground under repair is defined by white lines. Decorative flower beds, newly planted trees and shrubs and newly seeded/sodded areas are deemed ground under repair from which relief is mandatory.
  • IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS: All cart paths and service roads and extensions and worn margins thereof, are considered immovable obstructions. Through the green, the player may lift the ball, clean it and drop it without penalty within one club length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief.
  • IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS CLOSE TO A PUTTING GREEN: Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be taken under Rule 24-2. In addition, if a ball lies off the putting green but is not in a hazardand an immovable obstruction, in a closely mown area, on or within two club lengths of the putting green and within two club lengths of the ball intervenes on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief, without penalty, as follows: the ball must be lifted, cleaned and dropped at the nearest point to where the ball lay which (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids intervention and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. If the ball lies on the putting green, the ball must be placed.
  • PRACTICE: Practice is allowed on the course prior to and in between rounds of stroke play competitions per note to Rule 7-2. On any day of a match-play competition, a player may practice on the competitions course before or after a round.
  • TIME OF STARTING/LATE TO TEE: During club tournaments and competitions rule 6-3a provides,”The player shall start at the time laid down by the committee.” The penalty for breach of Rule 6-3a is disqualification. However, it is a condition of competition that if the player arrives at this starting point, within 5 minutes after his starting time, in the absence of circumstances which warrant waiving the penalty for failure to start on time is two strokes for the first hole and loss of hole in match play.
  • SUSPENSION OF PLAY DUE TO A DANDEROUS SITUATION: When play is suspended by the committee for a dangerous situation, if the players in a match are between the play of two holes, the must not resume play until the committee has ordered the resumption of play. If they are in the process playing a hole, they must discontinue play immediately and not resume play until the committee has ordered the resumption of play. If a player fails to discontinue play immediately, he is disqualified unless circumstances warrant waiving the penalty provided by rule 33-7.
  • TREE WELLS: The tree wells on the left side of the #4 Hole are considered immovable obstructions.
  • 16th HOLE – If a ball comes to rest near or against the stockade fence surrounding the 16th hole, the player may play the ball as it lies or under penalty of one stroke proceed under the unplayable ball rule.
  • 18th HOLE – The margin of Out of Bounds over the 18th Green is defined by the outside edge of the roadside curb
  • Additional Thorny Lea Golf  Rules: It is the duty and responsibility of all members to acquaint themselves, their guests and their families with all club rules and regulations. Conventional golf attire is required at all times on the golf course and on all practice facilities. Only soft spike shoes are allowed. Specifically excluded are dungarees, short shorts, tank tops and tee shirts. Golf Cart use must be authorized by the Pro Shop personnel and then only within areas designated by the cart signs.  No carts are allowed on or near the driving range.  All carts must be returned in enough light that they may be cleaned and stored safely.   Members have the responsibility to record all rounds home and away with the Pro Shop.  Any round that is not recorded will be given a par score in its place until the actual round is posted.    The Deadline for advance sign up Club tournaments registration is 6:00 pm on THURSDAY. The Golf Committee and Pro Shop have sole discretion over weather cancellations and postponements with said decisions being based on player safety and preservation of the golf course. Non participants in club tournaments may obtain tee times subject to availability and the discretion of the Pro Shop, but said tee times will never compromise any tournament or participant.  Driving Range use is available only during the posted hours and then only from designated hitting areas. Please note any daily restrictions such as irons only or mats only.   All players must register in the Pro Shop and begin on the first tee unless otherwise directed or authorized by the Pro Shop. Tee times may be reserved up to one week in advance.  Five somes are not allowed between April 15th and October 15th, otherwise shop approval is required. All effort should be made to maintain pace with the group ahead, as no round should exceed 4 hours and 15 minutes. Pets of any kind are not allowed on the golf course.
  • Local Rule for Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green
    Rule 18-2 provides for a one-stroke penalty if a player causes his ball in play to move, unless certain exceptions apply. Decision 18-2/0.5 explains that when it is uncertain what caused a ball to move, all relevant information must be considered and the weight of the evidence must be evaluated. If it is more likely than not that the player caused the ball to move, the player incurs a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 and the ball must be replaced. Otherwise, the player incurs no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies unless some other Rule applies (e.g. Rule 18-1).
    Starting 1 January 2017, a Committee may adopt a Local Rule that modifies Rule 18-2 by providing that there is no penalty if a player accidentally causes his ball on the putting green to move. For consistency, this Local Rule also modifies Rule 18-3 to eliminate the similar penalty in match play when an opponent accidentally causes the player’s ball on the putting green to move.

    As a related issue, this Local Rule also modifies Rule 20-1 by providing that there is no penalty if a player or his opponent accidentally causes the player’s ball-marker on the putting green to move.
    If a Committee wishes to introduce such a Local Rule, the following wording is recommended:

    “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 the putting green, there is no 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 is replaced.”