Guidance on Running a Competition

Protection of Young Trees

Many courses have newly planted trees that the Committee wishes to protect. If it is desired to protect young trees, they should be identified in some manner (e.g. a stake, tape, etc.) and the Local Rule contained in Appendix I, Part B, of the Rules of Golf is recommended.

It should be noted that when such a Local Rule is introduced, the tree is deemed an immovable obstruction and any branches or foliage are part of the obstruction.

In some instances, newly planted trees may be so close together that relief from one tree automatically results in interference from another tree. In this situation, it may be advisable to define the affected area as “ground under repair” which will enable the player to take relief outside the area. It is not permissible for a Committee to state that relief must be taken on a particular side of a plantation (e.g. the fairway side of the hole being played) as this would modify Rule 25-1b. However, if the Committee considers that it is not practicable to proceed in accordance with Rule 25-1b due to the fact that players may have to play through the trees thereby causing damage, it may introduce one or more dropping zones (see point 13, Chapter 3). 

Staked Trees Tree2

If a Committee introduces a Local Rule giving relief from young trees it should identify such trees with stakes or some other means  Where there are many trees close together that require protection, it is advisable to define the area as ground under repair.