As from the 1st November until 30th April (inclusive or as course conditions warrant) ‘Winter Rules’ are in operation and the following applies:

Preferred Lies

A ball lying on a closely-mown area through the green may be lifted, without penalty, and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position.

Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within six inches of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it is placed, Rule 20-3d applies.

If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.

If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it, moves the ball-marker prior to putting the ball back into play or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.

Note: “Closely-mown area” means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.

Relief for Embedded Ball 

Rule 25-2 provides relief, without penalty, for a ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in any closely-mown area through the green. On the putting green, a ball may be lifted and damage caused by the impact of a ball may be repaired (Rules 16-1b and c). 

In addition “Through the green, a ball that is embedded may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green. Note: A ball is “embedded” when it is in its own pitch-mark and part of the ball is below the level of the ground.


1. A player may not take relief under this Local Rule if the ball is embedded in sand in an area that is not closely mown. 

2. A player may not take relief under this Local Rule if interference by anything other than the condition covered by this Local Rule makes the stroke clearly impracticable.

Attending the Flagstick in Winter

In order to protect the greens from wear:

1. Players playing in formal competitions are requested as far as possible to putt with the flagstick out of the hole and to do their best to avoid asking that it be attended. Rule 17-3 (Ball striking Flagstick or Attendant) applies.

2. Players playing outside formal competitions should always putt with the flagstick in or out, but not attended.  There will be no penalty in these situations if a ball played from on the putting green strikes the flagstick while it is in the hole.

For the purpose of this Local Rule, a “formal competition” is any competition that is a qualifier for handicaps or any competition, for which the name(s) of the winner(s) are inscribed on an honours board in the clubhouse.


Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes