Golf courses have put in place some local rules to protect the golfers against Covid-19. I will show you example of Local Rules that are not acceptable under the Rules of Golf, and the governing bodies R&A, USGA and Golf Canada don’t approve them.
BALL HOLED IF IT TOUCHES THE FLAGSTICK
Because of Covid, most of the golf courses don’t permit the players to take out the flag. This is acceptable. But a committee is not allowed to put a local rule saying that the ball is considered holed if it touches the pole.
HOLE LINER ABOVE THE SURFACE
A ball can’t be considered holed if it hits the hole liner. This practice is not a good legal.
PREFERRED LIES IN THE BUNKER
It is acceptable to use the preferred lies local rule for a ball lying in a bunker. Some golf course had said that the preferred lies rules may be used only if the player has a bad lie. The other players decide if the player may use the option. This is an opening for unnecessary arguments between players. When this local rule is in effect, only the player may decide if he takes relief.
SMOOTHING THE SURFACE OF THE BUNKER
A player is never allowed to smooth the sand before placing the ball back in the bunker, even with Covid-19.
Playing golf should be fun and we are all allowed to play it as we wish. But if we are in a competition, in a group where money is involved or for handicap purposes. We must abide by the rules even if we don’t like some of the Rules.