With the commencement of the “New Rules” on 1st January 2019, the Club has reviewed a number of our Penalty Areas (formerly known as Water Hazards and/or Lateral Water Hazards). Rule 17, Penalty Areas, covers areas such as bodies of water, as well as other areas defined by a Committee where a ball is often lost or unable to be played.
Under the new rules if a player wishes to play a ball from within a Penalty Area there are no specific rules limiting how a ball may be played that applied previously (eg not grounding the club, not moving loose impediments etc). In fact, the same rules apply as for a ball played in the General Area.
The following Penalty Areas have been redefined and expanded and members should be aware of the new boundaries and relief options:
1. 3rd Hole: Yellow Penalty Area immediately in front of the forward tee and to the left-hand side of the bitumen path. If a player’s ball is in this Penalty Area, including when it is known or virtually certain to be in the penalty area even though not found, the player may take one stroke penalty relief using either of these two options:
• Stroke and Distance Relief by playing the original ball or another ball from where the previous stroke was made (eg. the Teeing Area)
• Back-On-Line-Relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in a relief area that is based on a reference line going straight back from the hole through the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area.

2. 3rd Hole: Red Penalty Area. This is the creek area previously marked as a Water Hazard (yellow) to the right-hand side of the bitumen path. This Penalty Area has been considerably expanded and now takes in an area extending from roughly half way down the path through to the out of bounds fence. In additional to Stroke and Distance Relief and Back-On-Line-Relief, a Red Penalty Area also provides the option of
• Lateral Relief. This is a two club-length relief area measured from the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the red penalty area (Reference Point), and must not be nearer the hole than the reference point.
The Club has introduced an additional relief option for a ball that is in this Red Penalty Area, including when it is known or virtually certain to be in the penalty area even though not found:
• Dropping Zone. Drop the original ball or another ball in the dropping zone located at the end of the bitumen path. This dropping zone is identified by a stake marked “Dropping Zone” and the relief area is defined as being within one club-length of the stake.

3. 5th Hole: Red Penalty Area. This area taking in the creek running along the right-hand side has been extended out to the edge of the path running through the rough adjacent to the 9th hole. This should provide virtually certainty that a ball that has not been found is in the penalty area. In order to take one-stroke penalty Lateral Relief, as described above for Hole 3, the player must estimate the point where the ball last crossed the edge of the red penalty area (Reference Point).

4. 7th Hole: Red Penalty Area. This area behind and to the left of the green has been realigned and extended out to the edge of the path adjacent to the 6th Tee. This should remove any doubt that a ball that has not been found is in the penalty area. The one-stroke Lateral Relief option can then be taken from the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the red penalty area. The two club-lengths relief area is measured from this reference point. The player should ensure that the ball is not dropped nearer the hole than the reference point; on most occasions this can be achieved by taking the two club-lengths along the edge of the penalty area.

The Club is considering a number of other areas to mark as Red Penalty Areas and members will be advised if/when this occurs.
Dropping Zones:
Located on holes 3, 11, 14 & 16 are now indicated by “Dropping Zone” stakes. When taking relief in a dropping zone, which is a one club-length radius of the stake, the ball must be dropped in, and have it come to rest in, the dropping zone.
All members should make an effort to familiarize themselves with at least the major changes to the rules. There are a number of resources available on the Golf Australia website to assist golfers, with the link below being a 2¼ minute video covering “The 20 Must Know Rules”. For those wanting more details there is also a longer video containing all the major rule changes.
View video-all-major-rules-changes.

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