QCLGA Rules Highlights

Monthly Rules Questions/Answers



Rule 19 Unplayable Ball )

If you are in a situation where you don’t want to or don’t think you can play your ball, you always have the option of taking relief under the unplayable ball Rule. The player is the only person who can decide that their ball is unplayable, and this can be done anywhere on the golf course EXCEPT when your ball lies in a penalty area. If your ball is in a penalty area, your only relief option is to take relief under the penalty area Rule.

When you decide that your ball is unplayable, you have three relief options, all for one penalty stroke. Your first option is to go back to the spot of your previous stroke and play again (stroke and distance relief). Your second option is to go back as far as you’d like and drop on the line from the hole through the spot where the ball lies (back-on-the-line relief). Your third option is to drop anywhere within two club-lengths of where your ball lies, no closer to the hole (lateral relief).

If your ball lies in a bunker,you must remain inside the bunker under options two and three. You also have a fourth option for an extra penalty stroke (two penalty strokes total) which allows you to go back on the line and drop your ball outside the bunker.


Rule 11.1a Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person or Outside Influence

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).



Under Rule 10.1a, if the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once during a single stroke, there is no penalty and the ball is played as it lies.


Rule 5.6 encourages prompt pace of play by recommending that:

- Players should recognize that their pace of play affects others and they should play promptly throughout the round such as by preparing in advance for each stroke and moving promptly between strokes and in going to the next tee.
- A player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds (and usually in less time) after the player is able to play without interference or distraction.
- Groups are encouraged to play ready golf.


If a member of your group is searching for a lost ball, it is usually best to first go to your ball and hit before assisting with the search. It is important to remember that the time for a ball search is now three (3) minutes.

March 2020 Rules Highlight


Did you know that the WASTE areas on the right side of Coyote #3 and Coyote #8 are NOT bunkers? They are considered part of the General Area so, you may take a practice stroke, ground your club, etc. (Quail Creek Local Rule #4).

Etiquette Note:

Rakes are provided next to these areas. Please have consideration for others and use them.

February 2020 Rules Highlight

RULE 19-3

How a drop from an unplayable lie in a bunker could help you (and speed up play):

"If a player deems a ball unplayable in the bunker, she now has an option to remove her ball from the sand without going back to the spot of her previous shot. Players can take relief outside of the sand on a line from the hole to where the ball come to rest in the bunker, but at a cost of TWO penalty strokes (Rule 19.3b). Players are still allowed to drop in the bunker within two club-lengths of the ball or, behind the ball on a straight line from the hole, for ONE penalty stroke. But if they want to go out of the sand, under the new rules addition, it will cost an additional stroke.
Please refer to the diagram on page 119 of your Rule Book.

January 2020 Rules Highlight

RULE 19.2a

The other day my ball hit a tree and deflected behind me into a bush where I decided it was unplayable. I wanted to return to the spot of my previous stroke but another player told me I couldn’t because it was closer to the hole than the spot where the ball was unplayable in the bush. Is that correct?

No, it is not correct. Rule 19.2a allows the player to declare his or her ball unplayable and, under penalty of one stroke, return to the spot where the previous stroke was made. Rules Interpretation 19.2a/1 clarifies that it does not matter whether the previous spot is closer to the hole than the spot where the ball is unplayable.

December Rules Highlight


A player’s ball may be identified in any of these ways:

1. By the player or anyone else seeing a ball come to rest in circumstances where it is known to be the player's ball.
2. By seeing the player's identifying mark on the ball. ( See Rule 6.3a)
3. By finding a ball with the same brand, model, number and condition as the player’s ball in an area where the player’s ball is expected to be (but this does not apply if an identical ball is in the same area and there is no way to know which is the player’s ball).

If a player’s provisional ball cannot be distinguished from her original ball, see Rule 18.3c

November Rules Highlight


If a ball might be a player’s ball but cannot be identified as it lies:

- The player may lift the ball to identify it (including by rotating it), but:

- The spot of the ball must first be marked, and the ball must not be cleaned more than needed to identify it (except on the putting green) (see Rule 14.1).

If the lifted ball is the player’s ball or another player’s ball, it must be replaced on its original spot (see Rule 14.2). If the player lifts his or her ball under this Rule when not reasonably necessary to identify it (except on the putting green where the player may lift under Rule 13.1b), fails to mark the spot of the ball before lifting it or cleans it when not allowed, the player gets one penalty stroke. Penalty for Playing Incorrectly Substituted Ball or Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 7.3: General Penalty under Rule 6.3b or 14.7a. (loss of hole in match play; 2 strokes in stroke play).

October 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.