The R&A - Working for Golf
Teeing Areas and Hole Locations
Procédures pour les Comités
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Section 5D
Section 5F
Teeing Areas and Hole Locations
Selecting Teeing Areas

In selecting which teeing areas to use for a competition, the Committee should seek to balance the difficulty of the course with the strength of the field. For example, it would not be advisable and could have a significant effect on pace of play to choose a teeing area that required a forced carry that many of the players in the field are unlikely to be able to make with anything other than their very best stroke.

The Committee may decide to use different teeing areas for competitions than those used for general play. If this is done, the Committee should consult the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System operating in the local jurisdiction for guidance on how the issued Course Rating might be impacted. Otherwise, the scores may not be acceptable for submission for handicapping purposes.

The locations of the teeing areas may be changed between rounds, including when more than one round is played on the same day.

It is a good practice to place a small mark, such as a paint dot, behind or under the tee-markers to ensure that if they get moved they can be returned to their original position. When there are multiple rounds, a different number of dots can be used for each round.

If a competition is being played on a course where there are no signs identifying the holes, or where the Committee has decided to play the course in a different order, signs should be installed to identify the holes clearly.

Selecting Hole Locations

The locations of the holes on the putting greens can have a considerable effect on scoring and the pace of play during competitions. Many factors go into the selection of hole locations, with emphasis on the following points:

  • In selecting the locations, the ability of the players should be considered so that the locations selected are not so difficult as to slow down play significantly or so easy as not to challenge better players.
  • The speed of the greens is a significant factor in choosing the location of the hole. While a hole location may work well for a slower green, it may prove to be too severe when the speed of the greens is increased.
  • The Committee should avoid placing a hole on a slope where the ball will not come to rest. When the contours of the green allow, holes should be placed where there is an area of two to three feet around the hole that is relatively level so that putts struck at the proper speed will stop around the hole.

Some additional considerations include:

  • Setting holes where there is enough putting green surface between the hole and the front and sides of the putting green to accommodate the approach on that particular hole. For example, placing the hole immediately behind a large bunker when a long approach is required by the majority of the field is usually not recommended.
  • Balancing hole locations for the entire course with respect to left, right, centre, front and back locations.