Rules and Practices

Download: 2022 Local Rules for Dalewood Senior Men’s League FINAL

Local Rules and Practices for Dalewood Senior Men’s League

(Updated September 2022)

Preamble: The Local Rules and practices outlined below only apply to play for the Dalewood Senior Men’s League, and are not Local Rules for Dalewood Golf Club, nor other golf courses. The intent is to keep play moving briskly while making scoring and play consistent for all of our members and to keep the fun in the game.

A stray shot in golf is frustrating, but it happens to even the best golfers. Where the ball is hit makes a difference in how it is played and scored. Some of the most common Rules are those that deal with Out of Bounds, Lost balls, Unplayable lies, and Water Hazards.

The purpose of our Local League Rules is to speed up play and minimize the time searching for a ball knowing that the penalties are consistent and that if the ball is not found, a player doesn’t have to return to the original location to play the next shot.

Hazards and Options for Play:

Lateral Hazards:  Water Running Parallel to the Fairway (red stakes) and bush or heavy rough (with no water) which are also now designated through Local League Rules as a RED-staked Lateral Hazard even though there are no red stakes on the course in these areas.

Option 1: Play it where it lies (usually impractical). No penalty

Option 2: Ball cannot be found in two minutes. Drop a ball within 2 club lengths where it crossed into the hazard. Penalty 1 stroke.

Option 3:  Go back to where you played the shot from: Penalty 1 stroke (This is usually impractical for pace of play and if you thought it was more advantageous, you should have hit a Provisional Ball.)

Out-of-bounds:  (Off the property, or in White Stake marked areas such as the Driving Range)

Applying Local League Rules, you may treat Out of Bounds shots the same as if you entered a Lateral Hazard except you may NOT play the ball where it lies and MUST treat it as lost. Penalty 1 stroke.

Water Hazards: (Crossing the fairway and marked with Yellow Stakes)

Option 1: Play it where it lies in the hazard. No penalty

Option 2: Ball cannot be found in two minutes or is found in the water. Drop a ball where it crossed into the hazard as far back towards where it was hit from and in line with the pin. Penalty 1 stroke.

Option 3:  Go back to where you played the shot from: Penalty 1 stroke (This is usually impractical for pace of play and if you thought it was more advantageous, you should have hit a Provisional Ball.)

Note: A common misconception in a water hazard is, if the ball landed on the bank on the far side of the hazard and is unplayable or rolled back in the water, that you can play from the other side of the water. You must drop the ball on a line connecting point of entry and the flag on the side of the water where it entered the hazard.

Unplayable Lies: Behind trees, in very deep rough, or in an area where you can’t swing your club etc.

Option 1: Drop the ball within two club lengths of the original spot, not nearer to the hole. Penalty 1 stroke.

Option 2: Drop the ball as far back as you want, as long as you keep the original unplayable lie point between you and the hole and away from the hole. (A situation where you would do that; is where you wanted to hit it over a big tree, and you needed to go farther away from it to clear it.) You may even return to the spot from which you played your original shot if you prefer but bear in mind holding up the pace of play. Penalty 1 stroke.

Tree Root Exception: If your ball is on or near a tree root, and by hitting it where it lies, you may damage your club or potentially injure yourself, you may move the ball a short distance, no closer to the hole nor to a better position to get a clearer shot. NO Penalty.

Balls Lost in Leaves:  This happens primarily in the fall, so beginning Sept 21st each year, if a ball that was hit into the rough that you would normally have expected to find, but was in a area of leaves and you didn’t find it in two minutes, then you may drop a ball in the rough approximately where you expected the ball to be with NO penalty.

Provisional Shots

The Dalewood local rule is to always play a provisional ball when any shot has gone out of bounds or is likely lost in a lateral hazard or water. If you choose not to hit a provisional ball and unsuccessfully search for your ball within two minutes your options are to return to the place of hitting the lost ball and hitting again (not really a good practice, because it holds up play),  or dropping a ball as outlined in the Local League Rules governing hazards. It is recommended to play a provisional ball when you are not absolutely sure you can find your ball and are not prepared to hit your next shot as outlined above in each of the hazards.

Example: You hit your tee shot into the trees, brush or fallen leaves.  You think you can find it, so you walk up and look for two minutes. but to no avail. The next group is now on the tee, so your only real option is to take the penalty stroke and have to hit from 2 club lengths from where it entered the hazard. Alternatively, if your ball is found in the trees or brush but is unplayable, you take a 1 stroke penalty and can only move the ball 2 club lengths.

Finding Original Ball After Hitting a Provisional Ball:  If you hit a provisional ball, and you find your first shot, you MUST play the first ball from where you find it, (except in a marked hazard) or take a drop with the penalty. You don’t have the option to play the provisional ball.  The exception is where you declare before you hit the ball, that your provisional ball is the ball in play, (even if someone looks for, and finds your first ball).


Playing Practices – Senior Men’s Local League Rules

Sand Traps: Occasionally, sand traps aren’t raked so you may move your ball in a sand trap if it is in a depression or other mark that would normally have been raked smooth. You may NOT improve your lie or location to get a better shot and may only move the ball the minimum distance to compensate for the man-made depression or mark.

If your ball lands in standing water in a sand trap, you may move your ball out of the water and place it in another location in the trap as close to where it landed that allows you have both your feet and ball out of the water.

Bare Patches  (Fairway Only): During long dry periods or after grub infestations, there may be times where the fairways have significant bare or dormant grass patches. It is permissible to move your ball to a grassy area no closer to the pin. You may NOT improve your lie nor set the ball in grass for the purpose of elevating it for a better shot.

Conceding Putts: Putts may be conceded when the entire ball (not just a portion of the ball) is close enough to the hole to be between the blade of the putter and the bottom of the grip.

Rainy and Muddy Days: (In the spring and after heavy rains, balls may be partially plugged or be very dirty. When those conditions exist, it is permissible to lift, clean and place the balls back on the fairway. This practice does not apply to balls that are not on the fairway.

Searching for Balls: Struck balls which apparently enter a hazard or are potentially lost can only be searched for a maximum of two minutes.

Tees That You Play From: You may play from any of the Tees that have a recognized handicap from Golf Canada. Currently the recognized tees are White, White/Red, Red, Red/Green, Green and Orange. Players are encouraged to play from the Tees most suitable for them. (See: What Tees Should I Choose)

At the beginning of the season, you must inform the Scorekeeper which Tees you will play from and let him know before play, if you change for a game or change permanently.

Scoring: Players must record their actual score on each hole regardless of how many strokes. There is no maximum score on a hole. Moreover, players must enter their actual score into the Golf Canada Handicap system. Players must also enter all completed rounds into the system as soon as possible after playing their round.

Note: The Golf Canada Handicap system automatically adjusts scores, for handicap purposes, discounting holes with high scores.

Handicaps: Your net score will be calculated using your gross score and then deducting your Golf Canada handicap calculated from the Tee you play from at Dalewood. Handicaps are updated by the Scorekeeper before play. We use the Golf Canada Handicap system and members must register and constantly update their scores to have their handicaps used in Net Scoring. Players that fall behind entering scores may be assigned a handicap of 0 until they cath up..

Note: Help is available from the Scorekeeper to get registered and receive coaching on using the Golf Canada Handicap System.

Handicaps for New Players:  When a player joins our league, they will play 5 games and enter their scores into the Golf Canada Handicap System to create their beginning handicap. They may then play in the money games and are expected to enter and update their handicaps in the same way as the other players in the League. If the new player  is already registered with Golf Canada and has a current handicap, they may play in the money game immediately.

Handicaps When Changing Tees: Players moving more than one Tee i.e.: White to Red, or Red to Orange, must enter at least 5 eighteen-hole scores into the Golf Canada scoring/handicap system to be eligible to compete in the Money Game.

Players moving more than one Tee i.e.: White to Red, or Red to Orange, must enter at least 5 eighteen-hole scores into the Golf Canada scoring/handicap system to be eligible for the Low Net award at the end of the year. Net scores achieved before the 5 eighteen-hole scores are entered will not be recognized.

Money Game: Before play every day, each player puts $2.00 Exact Change into the cash box and puts a check mark beside their name. The Scorekeeper tallies the Net Scores using Retrogression (see explanation below) and pays out the winnings to the lowest 5 Net Scores as follows: First – $30%, Second – 25%, Third – 20%, Fourth – 15%, Fifth – 10%. Amounts are rounded down to the nearest dollar. Envelopes with the cash are available for pick up the next morning of play.

To be eligible for prizes a member must pay the daily prize fee before teeing off. The fees for individual and team competitions will be set at Opening and will remain for the year. If the siren sounds to halt play before all rounds have been completed, no prizes will be awarded, and the monies added to the year-end tournament prizes.


Closest to the Pin: On Mondays, a bottle of wine or an LCBO Gift Card is awarded to the player that is closest to the pin on holes #4, #8, #11, #13 and #17. When a player is closest to the pin, he writes his name on the sign and places it where his ball landed. Wine and Gift Cards are delivered to the Pro Shop for winners later in the week.

Fees: The annual membership fee will be determined each year after the Club financial situation is known. The fee will be charged through our Dalewood accounts. The annual fee is used for weekly closest-to-the-hole prizes, the Closing Dinner expenses, and any other expenses incurred by the Executive in the running of the Group.

Tee Time Booking: Tee-times for Monday, Wednesday and Friday play are booked with the Golf Shop by the Scheduling Coordinator. Members will receive an email every Tuesday asking what days they will be playing next week.

The deadline is 5:00PM Thursday, and after that you must contact the Pro Shop directly to see if there is an opening for you to play.

You will receive a copy of the Pro Shop Tee Sheets from the Scheduling Coordinator on the weekend before play.

If you are unable to play on a day that you are scheduled, please contact the Pro Shop and the other members of your foursome so that they are not expecting you.

Play: Please show up at least 20 Minutes before your Tee-Off time. Foursomes should NOT Tee-Off until their assigned time to avoid congestion on the course. Members unable to make their scheduled tee time must notify the pro shop before the day of play.

Pace of Play:  To ensure you maintain the “pace of play”, you should always be able to see the group ahead of you on the next hole. Captains are encouraged to “rally” their group to keep up and aim to complete the round in 4 hours.

Players must play “Ready Golf” throughout all portions of the course including tees, fairways, and greens to encourage a brisker pace of play as long as player safety is not compromised.

Any group that falls more than one hole behind the group in front should take the first available opportunity to let a trailing group ‘play through’ if the trailing group is being held up.

You should also practice all the guidelines for searching for lost balls and hitting provisional balls as set out in the Local League Rules above.

Fellowship: To encourage “good fellowship” members are welcomed and encouraged to stay after play.

Retrogression: We use retrogression to determine the winner of a game or match when two or more persons are tied.

Retrogression works backwards starting from the last hole to see which person/team played better up to the last hole that was not tied. If holes 18 & 17 were tied, you would continue to the score on hole 16. The player(s) with the HIGHEST score on 16 would win by retrogression. This is because that player or team had played better for 15 holes. Because they scored higher on hole #16, their score up to that hole was lower. A lot of people think the lower score wins but that is not correct because they would have had a higher score up to that point in order to finish with a tie.

Things that You Can’t Do (No one would really do any of these)

Mulligans and Do-Overs:  Not allowed

Polara Golf Balls: Not Allowed

Foot Wedge: Not Allowed

Self Declared “Gimmees”: Often seen when a player misses a short put and then goes a couple of feet past the hole and then picks it up in disgust. Not Allowed

Putt Hits Pin and Bounces Out: It’s not in. You still have to putt again.