Thursday, 21 June 2018


Phil Mickelson has certainly been the subject of a lot of discussion since his questionable actions at the US Open at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday. He blatantly broke rule 14-5 by striking his putt more than once in order to prevent it from rolling down off the green. Rule 14-5 states a player must not make a stroke at his/her ball while it is moving. However, there is another rule which could have been used which was Rule 1-2 where a player must not (i) take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play or (ii) alter physical conditions with the intent of affecting the playing of a hole. I would say Phil certainly influenced the movement of his ball. The penalty for this misdemeanour is 2 strokes or if a player has gained a significant advantage then it is disqualification.

The key principle in golf is that you play the ball as it lies and you don’t do anything to improve your surroundings. For example, if your ball lands at the bottom of a bush or tree you must step in and fairly take your stance without bending, breaking the flora and fauna around you. Rule 13-2 states: A player must not improve or allow to be improved: 
·      the position or lie of his/her ball, 
·      the area of his/her intended stance or swing, 
·      his,her line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole, or 
·      the area in which he/she is to drop or place a ball, 
by any of the following actions: 
·      pressing a club on the ground, 
·      moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds),
·      creating or eliminating irregularities of surface, 
·      removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots or other cut turf placed in position, or 
·      removing dew, frost or water. 
It is also important to remember that if in the course of taking a practice swing you happen to knock one tiny leaf off the tree behind you, then you are in breach of Rule 13-2 and you would be penalised two strokes in strokeplay and loss of hole in matchplay.
Sandy Bushby
R&A Rules Qualified


Monday, 18 June 2018



Don't worry if you have not entered online, just come along and teams of 3 will be made up on the evening.  Please be aware that you may not play on the course you have booked.

A light supper of Salmon & Chive Fishcakes and French Fries will be available after play at £10pp.

Looking forward to seeing to you all for a fun evening of golf.

Janice Lang
Ladies Captain

Friday, 15 June 2018


Challenging conditions on the 15th green
Yesterday I was playing a match with Margaret, Katy and June and we were up against 30 mile an hour winds. These conditions create rule queries. What happens if the ball is moved by the wind and what do you do about debris on the greens?

If you are about to putt and the wind moves your ball, then you play the ball from the new position where it has come to rest. If by chance the gust of wind is strong enough to blow your ball into the hole, then lucky you, you don’t have to count it as a stroke! With regard to  loose impediments on the green caused by the wind, prior to 2004 the rule stated you could only use your hand to remove debris to clear your line. With the rule change you can now use your hand, putter, towel etc… as long as you do not press down hard on the line of your putt otherwise you could be seen to be testing or improving the surface. Rule 16-1.

Another point to note is when indicating the line of a putt to your partner, you must not touch the putting surface with your finger, putter, flagstick or anything else. This applies to caddies as well. Rule 8-2.b

Penalty for Breach of Rule 16-1and 8-2.b:

Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.
Sandy Bushby
R&A Rules Qualified