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The current edition of the USGA, THE RULES OF GOLF, shall serve as the basic reference governing play. USGA allows clubs to make exceptions or modifications to help speed up play. The following LOCAL rules are for the Piperettes ONLY and should not be used at other golf courses or in tournaments. Any questions concerning the rules should be brought to the attention of the Rules Chairwoman for explanation.

1. No mulligans allowed.

2. All putts must be holed out.

3. Play the ball down (ball may not be moved) from April through September. However, when required to play cart path only, we are adopting lift, clean, and place one club length, no nearer the hole, in your fairway only. During the months of October through March, winter rules or preferred lies may be used. During these months, you may move your ball one club length, no nearer the hole, in your own fairway only.

4. Penalty Area (Water hazards). Use designated drop areas on par threes (Piper 3 and Bay 3) if the ball does not clear the water hazard unless you choose to hit the ball out of the hazard. The par three on Sand 2 is a regular water hazard and if your tee shot enters the water hazard you are required to re-tee the ball during Tuesday league play. The Par 3 on Sand 2 is now a red stake, if your tee shot enters the penalty area you may elect to rett the ball or use any option available for a penalty as stated in Rule 17. (Identify the point where your ball crossed into the water and drop within 2 club lengths, no closer to the hole).

During League play only, on Bay 7, play the ball as you normally would. If you hit your tee ball in the water, between the red stakes, you must drop the ball behind the penalty hazard using any of the options available for a penalty hazard, as stated in Rule 17. You would then be hitting your third shot. If that shot goes in the water, proceed to designated drop area, where you would be hitting your 5th shot. If your tee ball is short of the water and you hit your second shot in the water, proceed to designated drop area, where you would be hitting your 4th shot.

When the Red Tees are on the gold tee box on Bay #4, if your tee ball goes in the water, pick up and proceed to the sprinkler head directly across the water, located as the rough ends and fairway begins. Drop your ball and you are hitting your 3rd shot.

5. Environmentally sensitive Penalty area. Bay 8 is the only hole on the course with an environmental area. If you hit a ball into the environmental area, the ball is out of bounds. You are not allowed to enter the area for any reason. You must retee the ball and take a 2 stroke penalty. If your ball is outside of or on the line of the environmental area, but you are required to stand in it to hit the ball, you are allowed relief as follows: Take your stance so that your feet are outside the environmental area. From that point you are allowed to drop your ball within one club length from your stance, no nearer the hole.

6. Pampas grass is considered part of the course and you are not allowed relief. If the ball is not found, the ball is considered lost and you must proceed under the lost ball rule of stroke and distance. If the ball is found, but you are unable to play it, consider it an unplayable lie. In this instance, under penalty of one stroke, you may (a) play the ball as near as possible to where your previous stroke was made; (b) drop a ball behind the spot from where you ball lay keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit as to how far back you can drop it; or (c) drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the ball lay, no nearer the hole.

7. Embedded ball. This is a ball embedded in its own pitch mark through the green, and does not include bunkers or penalty hazards. Without penalty, an embedded ball may be lifted, cleaned, and dropped as near as possible to the spot where it was embedded.

8.Ground under repair. This includes fire ant hills and French drains. First take full relief from the ground under repair, the fire ant hill or the French drain. Then take one club length from the point of nearest relief no closer to the hole.

9. Aeration holes. Through the green, a ball that 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, but not nearer the hole. On the putting green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be placed at the nearest spot not nearer the hole that avoids the situation.

10. Tournament tie-breakers will be under the discretion of the professional staff. Tiebreak rules should be stated on the tournament rules sheet.

11. Designation of play from Red or Maroon Tees

Upon payment of annual dues, each member will designate the tee from which she will play for the season. Red tee play will be assumed unless otherwise stated. Moving to the Maroon tees is an individual decision based on player ability as indicated by a handicap index of 38 or higher from the red tees. The member's designated tee will remain in effect thereafter. During the playing season a member may, at her prerogative, change her red tee designation to maroon upon notification of said Handicap Chairperson and handicap requirements are met. Thereafter, any request by a member to change her tee designation during the same season must be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval and would only be considered for medical or extenuating circumstances.

The GHIN system calculates course handicaps regardless of handicap index. However, USGA rules set a maximum index of 40.4. In order to meet this rule, the following adjustments are made to any handicap indexes of 40.4 and above. Red Tees - Maximum handicap 40 and Maroon Tee a maximum handicap of 35.

Handicap Adjustments for Maroon Players. When players are using red and maroon tees, they are effectively playing different courses. To equalize course difficulty, the established GHIN handicap of Maroon players will be decreased as follows to meet USGA rules:

Sand-Piper - subtract 6 strokes from Maroon course handicap.

Piper - Bay - subtract 7 strokes from Maroon course handicap

Bay - Sand - subtract 7 strokes from Maroon course handicap

Weekly Games. Either Maroon or Red tees, as designated, may be used in all weekly games. When there are at least 4 players signed up from the Maroon tees, a Maroon flight can be established. No course rating would be deducted as they will be competing against each other. Maroon players will be placed randomly even though they are competing against each other. If there are less than 4 players signed up from the Maroon tees, the Maroon players will be placed randomly with red tee players using the Maroon handicap and the course rating would be deducted as they will be competing against red tee players. On Low Gross/ Low Net day Maroon players will play with and compete against each if the number playing allows. When playing a scramble of any kind we will be using 2 drives from everyone in fairness to all.

E. Piperette Tournaments. Either Maroon or Red tees, as designated, may be used in Piperette tournaments. Handicaps will be adjusted accordingly.

F. Sandpiper Bay Tournaments. Either Maroon or Red tees, as designated, may be used in Club tournaments. Handicaps of all players will be adjusted by the Club Pro during these tournaments to equalize play..

12..Handicaps. It takes twenty(20) rounds to establish a true handicap, of which the best 10 scores represent your handicap index. Your handicap is calculated twice monthly by the GHIN system. For League play, Match play and Interclub, handicaps from the beginning of the month are used. For all other Piperette events handicaps are used on a bi-monthly basis by the clubs' professional staff. On league days all scores will be posted by the Handicap Committee game participation or not. For new or returning members, the individual must submit 5 scores within the last 12 months prior to the date of membership application. Once the 5 scores are posted in the GhIN system the individual may participate in the game on league day.

13. Bunker Rule. This rule is to be used ONLY when it is cart path only. If your ball lies in a bunker that has any water (not mud) in it, You may lift it and drop it outside the bunker keeping the spot where the ball (originally) lay between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped. Where you drop the ball may be NO CLOSER to the hole than where it originally lay in the bunker. You may do this with no Penalty.

14.. Root Rule. Exposed Roots by definition applies only to roots that have surfaced away from the normal trunk of the tree. In the spirit of addressing this circumstance for PIPERETTE LEAGUE PLAY, if it is determined that your ball has come to rest on or within striking distance of an Exposed Root and you request relief without penalty, the following steps must be applied.

  • · It must be determined that your ball is playable, except for the presence of the Exposed Root.

  • · You must have concurrence from all members of your playing group before taking relief.

  • · The allowable relief distance must be no greater than the distance required to ensure complete relief from the Exposed Root.

A. Place a tee at the spot where your original ball lies.

B. Take relief by placing the ball in a spot that ensures relief from the Exposed Root only, which in most cases should be no more than two club lengths and no closer to the hole.

C. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this rule.

Exception to Rule: Interference by an Exposed Root with the player?s stance is deemed not to be, of itself, interference under this rule. Again, in the spirit of fair play, you may not take additional relief that could improve your stance or swing away from trees, bushes,

o Exposed Root relief does not apply within a marked hazard. If you elect to take relief from roots within a marked hazard area, you must declare the ball unplayable and take relief as specified by Rule 28: Ball Unplayable

15. Birdie and Hole-in-one Recognition

Birdies will only be counted on Regular League Days, M/M and M/G. Birdies will not count in scrambles and match play. Hole in One will count during any official Piperette play (scramble, match play, tournaments and Fun Day).

16. Lost Ball and Out of Bounds - Stroke and Distance

If this local rule is in effect you can still take stroke and distance relief but you will now have this additional option which may be used under penalty of 2 strokes. Determine the spot where the ball went out of bounds or id likely to be lost after the alloted search time has been used. Find the nearest fairway edge no closer to the hole. Drop the ball in the relief area as defined by extended area on both sides using 2 club lengths.

17. Participation in Member/Guest, Member/Member, Sadie Hawkins or The Christmas Scramble shall include those members who have played at least 5 rounds of posted golf on a league day, one (1) year prior to each respective tournament. Exceptions will be reviewed by the Executive Committee ( work, prolonged illness or injury etc.). For Member/Guest 2017, these requirements will be waived.


It is each player?s obligation to ensure that the round is played fairly and honestly. Playing with friends and neighbors may make this a difficult responsibility, but for the integrity of the game and in fairness to all players, it is essential that any violation of the rules be brought up immediately and handled in a manner which enables the player to correct the error at the time and place where it occurs.
Revised March 2017

Revised March 2017

Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club

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