QCLGA Rules Highlights

Monthly Rules Questions/Answers


October 2019 Rules Highlight

RULES 9.3 and 13.1d

My Ball Moved on the Putting Green, What Now?

I was lining up my putt and my ball moved. Do I put it back or play from the new spot? The putting green is one of the five defined areas of the golf course. It is an area specially prepared for putting and the Rules of Golf allow certain privileges when your ball is at rest on the putting green.

If a ball on the putting green moves from its original spot and comes to rest in another location, first consider whether the ball had been marked, lifted, and replaced. Once a ball on the putting green has been marked and lifted, the ball owns that spot. After replacement, if the ball subsequently moves for any reason it must be replaced on that owned spot, without penalty (Rule 13.1d). This new portion of the 2019 Rules of Golf standardizes what happens to a ball on the putting green that moves after it has been marked, lifted, and replaced.

If a ball on the putting green moves before it has been marked and lifted, then it is important to identify who or what caused the ball to move (See Rule 9.2b for guidance). If the ball was accidentally moved by any person or outside influence (perhaps an animal or bird) it must be replaced, without penalty. If it is not known or virtually certain that the ball was moved by any person or outside influence, the ball is treated as having been moved by natural forces such as wind or water or gravity. If the ball was moved by natural forces, play the ball from its new location regardless of whether the new location is closer to the hole or farther from the hole than its original position (See Rule 9.3).

September 2019 Rules Highlight

Penalty Areas
Relief from a Red Penalty Area

How do I take relief from a red penalty area?

When you take relief from a penalty area, you get one penalty stroke. For RED penalty areas, you have three relief options (the same two relief options as you do for yellow, plus one additional option.) For a yellow penalty area, you may take relief by dropping into a relief area using (1) the spot at which your last stroke was made under stroke and distance (see Rule 17.1d(1). Quail #8 also has the option of using a drop area) or (2) the back-on-the-line relief procedure (see Rule 17.1d(2).

For a RED penalty area, you have the two options above, plus an additional option to take LATERAL relief. Lateral relief allows you to drop a ball into a relief area measured from where your ball last crossed the edge of red penalty area. From that reference point, you are allowed to drop outside the penalty area and anywhere WITHIN two club-lengths of that spot, no nearer to the hole (see Rule 17.1d(3)). Note that when this option is chosen, THE BALL MUST STRIKE THE GROUND AND COME TO REST WITHIN THE RELIEF AREA! If it does not, the ball must be dropped again.

August 2019 Rules Highlight (ETIQUETTE)


Today we will address two points of etiquette from our Rule Book that seem to be the violated the most.


Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise.

Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players.

On the teeing ground, a player should not tee her ball until it is her turn to play.

Players should not stand close to or directly behind the ball, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to play.


On the putting green, players should not stand on another player’s line of putt or, when she is making a stroke, cast a shadow over her line of putt.


Players should play at a good pace and keep up with the group ahead.

It is a group’s responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group. Where a group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind can play faster, it should invite the faster moving group to play.


Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When playing on or near the putting green, they should leave their bags or carts in such a position as will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the green.


If a player believes her ball may be lost outside of a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, she should hit a provisional ball.

Players searching for a ball should signal the players in the group behind them to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not be easily found. Having allowed the group behind to play through, they should not continue play until that group has passed and is out of range.

July 2019 Rules Highlight


An example of this situation is when your ball lies anywhere off the green, such as on the fringe of the green and another player is farther out from the green but your ball may be in the way. If you decide on your own to mark your ball and pick it up thinking you are helping the other player by getting it out of the way, you will incur one penalty stroke.

It is OK to mark and lift if the other player asks you to mark it. Or, you can ask them if they want it marked. And, remember, not to clean the ball or give the impression that you may be cleaning it. There is no penalty to clean if the Rules allow you to lift or move your ball. Rule 14.1c covers when a ball may be cleaned. Please read this rule in your book.

June 2019 Rules Highlight


10.1a Fairly Striking the Ball

In making a stroke:

The player must fairly strike at the ball with the head of the club such that there is only momentary contact between the club and the ball and must not push, scrape or scoop the ball. If the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty

May 2019 Rules Highlight


Rule 17 is a specific Rule for penalty areas, which are bodies of water or other areas defined by the Committee where a ball is often lost or unable to be played. For one penalty stroke, players may use specific relief options to play a ball from outside the penalty area.

What to do if your tee shot enters the pond on Quail #8.

The pond is marked as a YELLOW penalty area and there are only 2 options:

1. play another ball from the teeing area (you may use a tee), OR

2. play a ball from the "Drop Area" (no tee).

There is one penalty stroke for using either of these options. (You would be "lying 3" after hitting the ball from either location.)

Quail Creek Local Rule 2 permits the play of a provisional ball either from the teeing area or the drop area if there is doubt that the ball entered the penalty area.

April 2019 Rules Highlight


There is no penalty to any player. This is true even if the ball hits the player, the opponent or any other player or any of their caddies or equipment.

Exception - In stroke play, if the player’s ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were on the putting green before the stroke, the player gets the general penalty (two strokes).

March 2019 Rules Highlight



When Ball or Ball-Marker Moves on Putting Green

There are two specific Rules for a ball or ball-marker that moves on the putting green.

1. No Penalty for Accidentally Causing Ball to Move. There is no penalty if the player, opponent or another player in stroke play accidentally moves the player’s ball or ball-marker on the putting green.

The player must:

*Replace ball on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (Rule 14.2) or
*Place a ball-marker to mark the spot.

2. When to Replace Ball Moved by Natural Forces.

*Ball already lifted and replaced. The ball must be replaced on the original spot (if not known must be estimated). (Rule 14.2) or
*Ball Not Already Lifted and Replaced. The ball must be played from its new spot. (Rule 9.3)

This Rule Changed in 2019

February 2019 Rules Highlight


There are 5 defined areas of the course:

The TEEING AREA of the hole you are playing (Rule 6.2)


All BUNKERS (Rule 12)

The PUTTING AREA of the hole you are playing (Rule 13)

The GENERAL AREA. This covers the entire course EXCEPT for the four specific areas listed above. (Notice there is no mention of "rough" or " fairway").

It is important to know the area of the course where the ball lies, since this often affects the player`s options for playing the ball or taking relief.

January 2019 Rules Highlight



If your ball comes to rest against the flagstick left in the hole, and any part of your ball is in the hole below the surface of the putting green, your ball is treated as holed.

If no part of your ball is in the hole below the surface of the green:

Your ball is not holed and must be played as it lies.
If the flagstick is removed and your ball moves (whether it falls into the hole or moves away
from the hole), there is no penalty and it must be replaced on the lip of the hole.