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 course rules & procedures

• Summary of changes to 2019 Rule of Golf (click to download)

• Bag Tag Rules (click to download & print) Cut it to size, fold it in half, and place inside the plastic envelop

• New 2020 Maximum Hole Score for Handicap Purposes Watch the Video or Download the document

• COMMON ISSUES (Click to watch videos)

• LOP LOCAL RULES (Click to jump to that section)

USGA Handicapping Website

World Handicap System Website


Rules Videos back to top
E-5 Alternative to Stroke and Distance for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds Download the PDF HERE
Relief from Water Hazards Ball Unplayable Relief from Lateral Water Hazards
Nearest Point of Relief Provisional Ball  
lop local rules back to top

All tournament play shall follow USGA/WNHGA rules, subject to the following "local" rules:

  1. Summer rules always apply unless otherwise directed by Pro Shop. For winter rules you may lift, clean and place the ball without penalty within a club grip from where the ball originally lay, in like grass, not nearer hole.

  2. Out of bounds is defined by the inside edge of white 4x4 posts or lines, boundary fences, or roads (4x4 posts are not obstructions; therefore, there is no relief and they may not be removed). A ball is "out of bounds" when all of it is out of bounds. Penalty is one stroke and distance.

  3. Distance markers give distance to the center of green and are located on cart paths and colored disks and stakes in fairways. (Blue=200 yds., white=150 yds., red=100 yds., and gold=50 yds.) Some sprinkler heads are also labeled for distance.

  4. Yellow penalty areas are defined by yellow stakes and/or yellow lines. LOP yellow penalty areas are the pond in front of #4 green and creeks on #12, #13, #14, #17 and #18. A ball touching hazard line is in the penalty area. Yellow penalty relief options: 1) Play the ball as it lies (no penalty stroke). 2) Stroke and Distance (play ball from previous ball location). 3) Back-on-the-line using where their ball last crossed the margin of the penalty area (One Penalty Stroke). Then on a line from the hole and through that entry point, the player can go back as far as they wish before determining where to drop the ball (One Penalty Stroke).

  5. Red penalty areas are defined by red stakes and/or red lines. LOP lateral water hazards are base of hill right of #6 fairway, creeks on #8, lake on #12, and right side #16 drain near 150 yards to the green. A ball touching hazard line is in the penalty area. Red Options: Same as Yellow plus lateral relief (2 club-lengths) using the point where the ball last crossed into the margin of the penalty area (One Penalty Stroke).

  6. Ground under repair (GUR) is any portion of course roped off or marked by white lines around the GUR area. You may either play your ball as it lies from the GUR or take free relief. To take relief, you must find the nearest point of complete relief from the GUR. Then within one club-length of that point not nearer the hole. For GUR on the Putting Green the nearest point of relief is any part of the course that is not a penalty area.

  7. Relief with no penalty (ball dropped within one club length of nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole) may be taken from obstructions, i.e., French drains, cart paths, staked trees, sprinkler heads, embedded rocks in fairways, catch boards to right of #3 green, catch boards to right of #4 fairway, and protective fence behind #4 green, including line of sight (take relief between end of fence and Torrey Pines). Out-of-bounds posts and tee signs are not obstructions but are permanent parts of the golf course; therefore, relief is not allowed.

  8. Erosion in Bunkers - Ball may be lifted, cleaned, and dropped as near as possible to spot where it lay, but no nearer to hole, and must remain in the bunker (free relief). You may take relief for two penalty strokes using the back-on-the-line relief option to drop outside of bunker.

  9. Pace of Play - All golfers should have a pace of play to complete nine holes in 2-1/2 hours or less. Slow players may be asked to pick up balls and proceed to next tee.

  10. Hole # 6 - When hitting off the Hole # 6 red or green tees, if you fail to get to the bottom or are unable to find your ball, you may take a drop to the left of the cart path, adjacent to gold tees, take a 1 stroke penalty and hit your third stroke or hit a provisional ball. (This is a WNHGA/USGA approved rule and is allowed during TOC, Team Play or any WNHGA event. You are not allowed to hit your ball from the wooded hill area as it is unsafe.

  11. The LOP Lady Niners voted to adopt the 2019 USGA suggested "local" rule, E-5, which allows the player to drop in a large area between the point where the ball is estimated to have come to rest or gone out of bounds and the two club lengths from the edge of the fairway not nearer the hole (Two Penalty Strokes).

NOTE: Every golfer should have a current USGA Rules of Golf book to refer to when needed. If in doubt, contact Rules Chair or Golf Pro to interpret rules.


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