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8A
Out of Bounds and Course Boundaries
8A
Out of Bounds and Course Boundaries
A-1

Defining Boundaries

Purpose. There are many ways in which a Committee may define the boundaries of the course and it is not appropriate or possible to provide a complete list of Model Local Rules that can be used for this purpose. The key is to be clear and specific when defining boundaries in the Local Rules. No specific Model Local Rules are included in this section given the variety of options available, but some examples are provided below:
  • Out of bounds is defined by the line between the course-side points at ground level of white stakes and fence posts. Out of bounds is also defined by [insert description of other methods of defining out of bounds].
  • The boundary on [specify hole number] is defined by [insert description of feature].
  • The boundary to the left of [specify hole number] is defined by the course-side edge of the white paint dots on [specify location, such as the pavement].
  • The boundary to the right of [specify hole number] is defined by the course-side edge of the white line painted on [name of road].
  • The maintenance area between [specify hole numbers] is out of bounds. The boundary is defined by the inside edge of the fence posts surrounding the area.
See Sections 2A and 5B(1) for more information on defining out of bounds.
A-2

Clarifying Boundary When Using Wall or Road

Purpose. The definition of "out of bounds" clarifies that when a boundary is defined by objects such as a wall or road, the Committee should define the boundary edge. Depending on the nature or condition of a wall, there may be good reasons for defining the boundary as being beyond the wall or using the course-side edge of the wall as the boundary. Model Local Rule A-2.1 "The course-side edge of any wall [course-side edge of road] defines the boundary of the course." Model Local Rule A-2.2 "A ball is out of bounds when it is beyond any wall defining the boundary of the course."
A-3

Out of Bounds When Public Road Runs Through Course

Purpose. When a public road runs through a course, it is usually defined as out of bounds. This can make it possible for a ball played from one side of the road to come to rest in bounds on the other side of the road, even though that ball would be out of bounds if it came to rest on the road itself. If the Committee believes that it is unfair or dangerous to treat those situations differently, it may adopt a Local Rule stating that a ball played from one side of the road that comes to rest on the other side of that road is out of bounds. If a road crosses a particular hole where the players have to play from one side to the other in the normal course of play, the Committee should specify that this Local Rule does not apply to that road in the play of that hole. Model Local Rule A-3 "A ball coming to rest on or beyond the road [identify the road or the holes where it comes into play] is out of bounds, even if it comes to rest on another part of the course that is in bounds for other holes."
A-4

Internal Out of Bounds

Purpose. For course design or safety reasons, a Committee can choose to specify that a particular part of the course is out of bounds during the play of a particular hole. This is done to stop players who are playing that hole from playing to and from another part of the course. For example, on a dogleg hole, an internal out of bounds may be used to prevent a player from cutting the dogleg by playing a ball to the fairway of another hole. But a Local Rule stating that a ball is out of bounds if it crosses a boundary, even if it re-crosses the boundary and comes to rest on the same part of the course, is not authorized. Model Local Rule A-4 When the boundary is defined by stakes: "During play of [specify hole number], the [describe the part of the course] on the [specify location or side] of the hole, defined by [specify colour of stakes, for example, white stakes], is out of bounds. These stakes are treated as boundary objects during the play of [specify hole number]. For all other holes, they are immovable obstructions."
A-5

Stakes Identifying Out of Bounds

Purpose. When out of bounds is defined by a line on the ground, a trench or in another way that might not be visible from a distance, the Committee may place stakes along the boundary to allow players to see where the boundary edge is from a distance. Boundary objects are not permitted to be moved and free relief is generally not given, but the Committee may provide for relief from these stakes through the following Model Local Rule, which should also clarify the status of these stakes. It is recommended that such stakes be marked differently than other boundary stakes on the course, for example, white stakes with black tops may be used for this purpose. Model Local Rule A-5 "Where a boundary is defined by [identify boundary, for example, a white line painted on the ground], white stakes with black tops have been placed for visibility. These stakes [describe any special marking] are [immovable | movable] obstructions."
EXPLORE MORE
Section 1The Role of the Committee
The Rules of Golf define the Committee as the person or group in charge of a competition or the course. The Committee is essential to the proper playing of the game. Committees have the responsibility of running the course on a day-to-day basis or for a specific competition and they should always act in ways that support the Rules of Golf. This part of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf provides guidance to Committees in fulfilling this role. While many of the duties of a Committee are specific to running organized competitions, an important part of the Committee's duties relates to its responsibility for the course during general or every day play.
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