Bedfordshire Golf Club - Advisory Information for Members 

Key Changes to Rules of Golf - From January 2109 
 
There are a number of key changes to the rules of golf with effect from January 2019, we strongly recommend that all golfers familiarise themselves with the changes as soon as possible. Please take copy of the 2019 players rule book available at the club, also please download the R&A 2019 rules of golf to your mobile phone or tablet for easy reference and help on understanding the new rules. The app is very useful and has an interactive rules quiz for beginners, intermediates and advanced levels which is excellent.  
 
Some of the key changes are listed below to get you off the mark and be your starter for ten (or 20)! 
20 Must Know Rules of Golf Changes 
 
1. Search Time – Reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes 
2. Ball moving during search – replace (no penalty) 
3. Embedded Ball – Free relief anywhere 
4. Measuring a drop – use longest club 
5. Dropping – knee height rather than shoulder 
6. Taking Stance on wrong green not permitted 
7. Ball hits player or equipment – no penalty 
8. Double hit – counts as one stroke 
9. Touching sand in bunker incidentally is permitted 
10. Loose implements can be removed anywhere 
11. Drop a ball out of a bunker – 2 Penalty strokes 
12. Water hazards are now Penalty areas (You’ll see some changes on the course) 
13. Touching ground in water / penalty areas acceptable 
14. Ball moves on green after being marked – put back without penalty 
15. Ball accidentally moved on putting green – replace (no penalty) 
16. Can repair all damage on green 
17. Positioning a club for alignment not permitted 
18. Caddie assisting with alignment not permitted 
19. Ball hitting flag stick on putting green allowed 
20. Ball wedged against side of hole and flag stick deemed as holed 
Changes to Rules Terminology: 
 
Old New 
Through the green General Area 
Teeing ground Teeing Area 
Water/lateral hazard Yellow and red penalty area 
Wrong putting green Wrong Green 
Outside agency Outside Influence 
Abnormal ground conditions Abnormal Course Conditions 
Casual Water Temporary Water 
Play prohibited No Play Zone 
Nearest point of relief Nearest point of complete relief 
 
A helpful video guide on the key changes is available via youtube at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chPOtfLUHC0 
 
Further reminders will be posted over the coming weeks in advance of the launch as we realise that there is a lot of information to take on board. We encourage Members to watch the video and get a copy of the rule changes from the Clubhouse, so that you can all familiarise yourselves with the rule changes to avoid confusion during play once they have been implemented. 
 
The Competitions Committee 
Temporary Local Rule - rule 25.2 
 
Due to abnormal ground conditions caused by the recent drought, relief is available for balls lying in or near cracks in the ground in closely mown areas. Relief can be taken for lie of ball, stance and area of intended swing, through the green. 
Local Rules Updated & R&A Announce Rule Changes for 2019 
 
The local rules for Bedfordshore Golf Club have been updated - of particular note are: 
Temporary greens are marked with a white ring which signifies ground under repair (GUR). Players MUST take relief in all forms of play (social and competition). Members are reminded that they should not take shots from Temporary Greens 
 
Members should also be aware that there are no longer any canes in the hedge between the 8th and 17the fairways. There are holly bushes which are protected by spiral guards/plastic mesh which are an integral part of the course, but there is NO longer any relief without penalty from this area. 
 
The full version of the new Local Rules can be downloaded by clicking on the following link to Updated Local Rules - March 2018 
 
The R&A have announced changes to the Rules of Golf from 2019 onwards. The full list of changes can be seen via the following link: https://www.randa.org/News/2018/03/New-Rules-of-Golf-unveiled-by-The-RA-and-USGA 
 
Bedfordshire Golf Club Rules, updated January 2018. 
 
The Club rules were updated to reflect the change approved at the Annual General Meeting related to Number of Adult Members (now set at 600) before the Club is considered Full. Please click here for updated Club Rules 
Brown Patches Appearing on Fairways - Treat As G.U.R. 
 
You may have noticed a number of brown patches appearing on fairways recently. This is a result of treatment to kill off course grasses and encourage finer grasses. 
The spot treated areas are sprayed with a product called Rescue, this kills off the thicker broadleaf grass but the finer Fescue glass will come back. 
 
Given the time of year the brown burnt looking areas are likely to remain through most of the winter, but they will recover as soon as new grass grows in the spring. 
Unfortunately though, it’s a little like pushing water up hill, as the courser grasses are natural to the area and will continue to self set and reappear. Our fairways are however some of the best in the region so we shouldn't worry too much! 
 
The brown treated areas should be considered Ground Under Repair (GUR) and usual rules apply. 
BGC Clubhouse - Winter Opening Hours 
 
Members should be aware that throughout the winter months, the clubhouse is usually closed earlier than it is during the summer. 
 
Although the actual closing time on a particular day will depend upon any scheduled events taking place within the clubhouse, it may be closed by 6pm
 
Please ensure belongings, including car keys, are not left in the clubhouse after this time
 
Thanks for your support 
The Management Team 
Reminder to all Members - If it's Still Dark - Please Don't Start! 
As the days grow shorter, members are reminded that they should not tee-off in the mornings until it is light enough to see well beyond the distance of a drive. On the first hole of the Stagsden Course, this means that unless you can see beyond the first bunker for whatever reason, you should not tee off! 
 
The courses are officially closed until first light as they are when foggy. 
 
The Greens Team have reported incidents recently of 'near-misses' whilst they are preparing the course for play before sunrise. At this time of year, the greens team start work in the dark to prepare the course for members to enjoy their golf from first light.  
 
Also, members must respect the club rule, that the greens team have priority on the course when they are working on it - at any time. Balls should not be played when a shot might reach them. We look forward to your full support on this issue. 
 
Photo for illustration purposes only 
For update Local Rules - see 'Local (competition golf) Rules' link below. 
Woods to the right of 14th Fairway - Out-of-Bounds to All Golfers 
 
Members are reminded that the woods on the right of the 14th fairway are private land and entry for any reason is strictly prohibited. We have good relations with the landowner and it is therefore permitted to retrieve balls from the ditch immediately beyond the Out-of-Bounds' posts (where accessible). Beyond the ditch however, you should consider your ball 'lost' and irretrievable. 
 
Aside from this land being privately owned, it is part of a Pheasant Shoot and guns are therefore used in the area. Clearly this poses a danger to life and entry onto this land is also strictly prohibited for this reason
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