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SCLGA News Archives

Ladies’ London Foursomes 2019

The Ladies’ London Foursomes will take place from 22nd to 24th March 2019.  It’s a Scratch Foursomes match play competition open to all clubs within a 55-mile radius of central London and each club may nominate one pair.  Entries are limited to 64 pairs and the first two rounds will be played on the Red and Courses at the Berkshire.   To download the Entry Form click on the link below:

London Foursomes Entry Form 2019


Rule change – Substitution of Ball

Under Rule 14.3, when taking relief, the player will always be allowed the choice of substituting a ball or using the original ball, including:

When taking penalty relief as well as when taking free relief (Rules 15-19), and,

Any other time the player is required to drop and play a ball, such as when returning to play from where a previous stroke was made after the stroke is cancelled.

Reasons for change

The requirement to use the original ball in some relief situations but not others is confusing, hard to remember and leads to unnecessary penalties. Taking a consistent approach that always allows a player the choice of substituting a ball or using the original ball is much simpler.

This change will eliminate the need when taking free relief to decide whether the original ball is “not immediately recoverable”, which can raise questions in various cases such as when the ball is in a few inches of temporary water or is under a prickly bush.


England Golf – Replacing the Ball

If a player’s ball at rest is lifted or moved under a Rule that requires the ball to be replaced, it will always be placed on a spot, never dropped. This is the effect of new Rule 14.2c and it applies to any ball at rest, anywhere off the putting green.

If the exact original spot is not known, the player will be required to replace the ball on its estimated spot. This includes placing it on, under or against any attached natural objects that the ball had been at rest on, under or against.

Why the change?

A fundamental principle of golf is to play the ball as it lies. So when a ball at rest is moved it should be returned to and played from its original spot or as close to that original spot as possible.

But when a ball is accidentally moved, the player may not know the exact original spot. By requiring the player to replace the ball on the estimated spot will help make sure the ball is played from as close as possible to its original spot and from the same or almost the same lie.


Ready for the new Rules?

There’s just a month to go before the new R&A Rules become effective on 1st January 2019.  Why not start adopting them in your “fun” competitions during December, which will make it a little easier for you not to make any mistakes in the New Year?

By way of a reminder, here are the main changes:

    • Dropping procedure: When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height. This will ensure consistency and simplicity in the dropping process while also preserving the randomness of the drop.


    • Measuring in taking relief: The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in your bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation, providing a consistent process for golfers to establish their relief area.


    • The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball.


    • Elimination or reduction of “ball moved” penalties: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player is not responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so.


    • Relaxed putting green rules: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.


    • Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Red and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.


    • Relaxed bunker rules: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.


    • Relying on player integrity: A player’s “reasonable judgment” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.


    • Pace-of-play support: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play.

Beginners Girls Coaching 2019

For 2019, Christine Knight (SCLGA Junior Development Co-ordinator) has organised Junior Girls Beginners Coaching at both Brighton & Hove and Haywards Heath Golf Clubs.  At only £5 a session, the girls will enjoy 2 hours coaching at Brighton & Hove GC from 2 – 4 and from 1 – 3 on the same Sundays at Haywards Heath GC.  The first date is Sunday 10th March 2019.

For more details and dates, click on the Application Forms below:

B&H Beginners Coaching Application Form – 2019

HH Beginners Coaching Application Form – 2019

If you know of any young girls who’d benefit from these sessions, then please pass on the information or contact Christine Knight here.


Change of Rule Regarding Golf Ball Moved During Search

The Rules in 2019 will help players avoid unnecessary penalties when it comes to searching for their ball.

Under Rule 7.4, if a player accidentally moves his or her ball while searching for it, there will be no penalty. In addition, under new Rule 7.3 a player will be able to mark, lift and identify their ball without needing first to announce this intention to another person.

The reason for the change is that a fundamental principle of golf is to play the ball as it lies; so the Rules should help the player to find his or her ball and play it from the spot where it was at rest.

Players often need to probe in grass, bushes, leaves and other conditions to look for a hidden ball, and such reasonable acts create a risk of moving the ball.


County Junior Organiser Report for 2018

Louise Simmons, County Junior Organiser, spoke passionately about her involvement with the Juniors at the recent County AGM.  There’s no doubt about her enthusiasm for the role, which she took on a year ago from Pat Johns, that has seen the growth of the Junior Section of the County.  The emphasis on “fun” and participation of the game as a team player, the enjoyment that you derive from this wonderful sport shines through her report.  If you’d like to read more about her achievements this year, then her report is available to download here.

Louise reminds us all that the future of the County is dependent on the Juniors and if anyone knows of a youngster who’d like to learn more about the game, how to get into a club, the training schemes on offer, then they or their parents should speak to Louise Simmons.  Her phone number and email are:

H: 01424 772107 M: 07590 848720 | E: sclgajuniororganiser@gmail.com


New Rule – Ball Moving on Putting Green

In 2019 the new Rules will provide clearer guidance and assistance to players when their ball accidentally moves on the putting green.

Under new Rule 13.1d, there will no longer be a penalty if a player (or opponent) accidentally causes the player’s ball to move on the putting green.

Also under Rule 13.1d, the procedure for when a ball on the putting green is moved by wind, water or other natural forces is revised, so that it must sometimes be replaced and sometimes be played from its new spot:

  • If the ball had been lifted and replaced on its original spot before it moved, the ball must always be replaced on its original spot, regardless of what caused it to move.
  • The ball must be played from its new spot only if the ball had not been lifted and replaced before it moved.



New Joiners to SCLGA

The SCLGA Committee has a new lady on board from Horsham Golf, Karen Thorpe. A little about her – she’s been golfing for about 23 years beginning at Brinsbury Golf Club in Pulborough which was a 9 hole course built by the College for trainee greenkeepers. She moved on from there to Foxbridge, then to West Chiltington and when it was closed onto her present club at Horsham Golf.


During that time, she’s been Lady Captain at Foxbridge, Junior Organiser and Handicap Secretary at West Chiltington and Lady Captain at Horsham and at present she’s the Competition Secretary at Horsham. Her handicap is 16 and she’s a regular player for Horsham’s Div 2 Team, although next season Horsham has entered two teams into Div 4 so she’ll be playing for them.


The Seniors Scratch League will be run by Sara Whittaker from Willingdon where she’s been playing for the last 25 years. Sara arrived in Eastbourne to train as a PE teacher and never left! Over the years she’s played a lot of hockey and a fair bit of squash, and in her words “I love chasing a ball and I am a little competitive!”

When she first took up golf her handicap was 18, then it dropped fairly quickly to 12 for some time whilst she took on a new job in Brighton. Eventually she made single figures (now playing off 6) and has loved the opportunity to play with some of the best players throughout the county. Sara enjoys the camaraderie of club and team golf, and feels it’s a duty to include everyone, whatever their ability.

She’s very much looking forward to taking on the role as Seniors Scratch League Team Manager and hopes she can rely on the likes of the previous squad to support her bid to retain the Mulligan Larsen Trophy for another year!