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Bending the Rules of Golf in the Off Season

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Our official season ends each year on 11/1.  Many courses attempt to remain open through November and a few stay open all year, conditions permitting.  At various times over the past several decades I have found myself playing "golf" on semi-frozen courses in December, January and February.  Typically I would not venture out if the ground is completely frozen as that is like playing golf in a paved parking lot.  But when there are several mild days and sun, the ground will soften and allow one to play an approximation of golf.

 

Since it is out of season and the conditions are pretty variable depending on what parts of the course get sun, I often trample upon the Rules.  A few of my personal rules are:

 

1. If the flagstick is frozen into the cup liner or the hole filled with ice, it is okay to leave the flagstick in when putting.

2. Preferred lies granted from frozen muddy turf (essentially areas that were hard pan but now are frozen)

3. Frozen sand bunkers played as GUR

4. Approach shots hitting a frozen green on the fly may be played from the spot where the green was struck if one can approximately identify the spot.

5. Leaf rule - a ball that is seen landing in a large collection of leaves on areas of the course that are mown and subsequently can not be found is allowed a free drop in the area where last seen

 

Any one else have any personal rules for the off season?

 

 

 

 

I did not post this in the Rules forum since these are not official Local Rules and the game I am playing under my personal rules is only an approximation of golf.

post #2 of 47

I'm just a little south of you and normally stay in if anything is frozen. Had really good luck down here last winter.

 

My guys and I do liberalize things if leaves are problem. We'll take relief from bad divots (since the grass isn't growing). Of course, we're not playing really serious games at this point in the year anyway.

post #3 of 47

I've heard of people using "winter rules", even in So. Cal.. It never really gets that bad, at most you might get yourself a little bit muddy.

 

http://golf.about.com/cs/golfterms/g/bldef_winterrul.htm

post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post
 

Our official season ends each year on 11/1.  Many courses attempt to remain open through November and a few stay open all year, conditions permitting.  At various times over the past several decades I have found myself playing "golf" on semi-frozen courses in December, January and February.  Typically I would not venture out if the ground is completely frozen as that is like playing golf in a paved parking lot.  But when there are several mild days and sun, the ground will soften and allow one to play an approximation of golf.

 

Since it is out of season and the conditions are pretty variable depending on what parts of the course get sun, I often trample upon the Rules.  A few of my personal rules are:

 

1. If the flagstick is frozen into the cup liner or the hole filled with ice, it is okay to leave the flagstick in when putting.

2. Preferred lies granted from frozen muddy turf (essentially areas that were hard pan but now are frozen)

3. Frozen sand bunkers played as GUR

4. Approach shots hitting a frozen green on the fly may be played from the spot where the green was struck if one can approximately identify the spot.

5. Leaf rule - a ball that is seen landing in a large collection of leaves on areas of the course that are mown and subsequently can not be found is allowed a free drop in the area where last seen

 

Any one else have any personal rules for the off season?

 

 

 

 

I did not post this in the Rules forum since these are not official Local Rules and the game I am playing under my personal rules is only an approximation of golf.

The only one that I think is pushing it is #4. Obviously not using these rounds as anything more than entertainment.

post #5 of 47

Around here there would be no reason for the "frozen greens" rules. Not a chance anyone is going to let you on a course when the greens are frozen.

 

This time of year at the lower budget courses it would be silly to not use a leaf rule. With the wind constantly blowing the leaves, and leaves still falling, it makes no financial sense to even attempt to keep them removed until they all fall. Just not enough golfers playing to justify it.

 

About the best the golfers can expect is for the greens to be blown off on the weekends.

 

P.S. There is nothing I would rather hit the ball off of than very short grass and frozen ground. A close second is baked out hard pan clay. Not normal but true.

post #6 of 47

Rule #5 is a must in this time of the year after 2 minutes of search...

 

Lately due to lots of rain and less maintenance on the course due to bad weather we've been playing lift, clean and place (also in rough areas).

 

Bunkers can be raked to get some fluff and place the ball on since they are too packed and frozen

post #7 of 47

When playing winter golf, chances are, I am not going to go out there to practice my game or play competitively. I will play winter golf as just something to do. For those reasons, pretty much anything goes. If I hit a bad shot, I will rehit. If I don't like a lie, I will move it. It's just going to be me and my buddies and we all know it's winter golf so it isn't taken as seriously.

 

If I was playing competitively (which I do when not winter), then I obviously play strictly by the rules. But when conditions are cold, hard, and we are just out there to have fun as something to do, no one is going to make any big deals over rulings.

post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

Around here there would be no reason for the "frozen greens" rules. Not a chance anyone is going to let you on a course when the greens are frozen.

 

some course around here stay open year round. luckily I shut mine down for the winter. Nothing better for the roots than healthy dose of shearing. I need the leaf rule. I have guys out blowing leaves everyday and it's still hard to keep up

post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

some course around here stay open year round. luckily I shut mine down for the winter. Nothing better for the roots than healthy dose of shearing. I need the leaf rule. I have guys out blowing leaves everyday and it's still hard to keep up

Two or three golfers a day (if that) hardly justifies paying me to get rid of the leaves when it will look the same the next day. If it was up to me I would do it anyway but I'm not the one writing the checks.

 

On Bermuda in this area the grass has to be left longer for the winter or winter kill is a huge problem. We are right on that borderline where bent grass can be a problem in the summer and Bermuda can be a problem in the winter.

post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post
 

Our official season ends each year on 11/1.  Many courses attempt to remain open through November and a few stay open all year, conditions permitting.  At various times over the past several decades I have found myself playing "golf" on semi-frozen courses in December, January and February.  Typically I would not venture out if the ground is completely frozen as that is like playing golf in a paved parking lot.  But when there are several mild days and sun, the ground will soften and allow one to play an approximation of golf.

 

Since it is out of season and the conditions are pretty variable depending on what parts of the course get sun, I often trample upon the Rules.  A few of my personal rules are:

 

1. If the flagstick is frozen into the cup liner or the hole filled with ice, it is okay to leave the flagstick in when putting.

2. Preferred lies granted from frozen muddy turf (essentially areas that were hard pan but now are frozen)

3. Frozen sand bunkers played as GUR

4. Approach shots hitting a frozen green on the fly may be played from the spot where the green was struck if one can approximately identify the spot.

5. Leaf rule - a ball that is seen landing in a large collection of leaves on areas of the course that are mown and subsequently can not be found is allowed a free drop in the area where last seen

 

Any one else have any personal rules for the off season?

 

 

 

 

I did not post this in the Rules forum since these are not official Local Rules and the game I am playing under my personal rules is only an approximation of golf.

 

Can't say that I changed much.  About the only one on your list is the flagstick frozen into the socket - not much choice there.  Otherwise, I play the same rules as usual, just modify my shots to suit the conditions.  Hard or frozen ground is a part of winter golf.  I just play "links" style, hitting low runners instead of high carries.  We did it enough that I never had too much trouble adjusting to it.  Loved the long drives on frozen fairways. :dance:

post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

Two or three golfers a day (if that) hardly justifies paying me to get rid of the leaves when it will look the same the next day. If it was up to me I would do it anyway but I'm not the one writing the checks.

 

On Bermuda in this area the grass has to be left longer for the winter or winter kill is a huge problem. We are right on that borderline where bent grass can be a problem in the summer and Bermuda can be a problem in the winter.


week days we get between 30-60 a day. weekends we have a shotgun start each day usually around 100 players each. I am all done mowing now. just doing clean up and course set up. next on the agenda is to blow out the irrigation system the apply my snow mold treatment. we usually close thanksgiving weekend. I still have 7 guys on staff right now.

post #12 of 47

I'm not sure what the rules are in Michigan but here in NY after Oct 31 you can't submit scores for handicap (unless you're playing someplace that is "in season").  If you're not playing for money, you can play by any rules that make sense in order to maintain pace of play and have a good time, imo.

post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

I'm not sure what the rules are in Michigan but here in NY after Oct 31 you can't submit scores for handicap (unless you're playing someplace that is "in season").  If you're not playing for money, you can play by any rules that make sense in order to maintain pace of play and have a good time, imo.

 

Handicap seasons vary by location.  In Colorado, it was March 15 through November 15.  There are years when that might be pushing the envelope a bit.

post #14 of 47

I played a lot of winter golf last year. I observed the ROG as close as possible. Odd situations come up due to the weather and course conditions but you just have to roll with it. You will get some bad breaks but you'll also get good ones so it washes out. For example your drives will be longer and you may bounce a few off frozen ponds and that makes frozen sand and shaggy greens bearable. Even the though the scores don't figure into handicap you can still post them, it will be tagged as offseason. I'd have to go back and look but I am fairly certain I played at least 30 times between Dec and Feb. To be honest I didn't see much difference in how I scored before the 2012 season ended and 2013 started.

post #15 of 47

Up here in Vancouver my course enters the "inactive period" for posting scores used to determine the handicap on November 15th.

 

So when I do play it is really just for fun and hopefully a few $$$ in winnings.

 

For the money games we adopt these rules:

 

1. The leaf rule ...... if the ball is not hit in the direction of OB or red stakes then free drop at nearest point - not usually a problem as the grounds crew do a very good job of raking up the leaves.

2. Rake and place ball in bunkers where they have not been raked. If bunker is full of water then free drop outside of bunker.

3. Lift clean and place within 6 inches unless standing water or really mushy ground then 6 inches nearest point of relief.

post #16 of 47

Winter golf for us is mostly about who is crazy enough to bear the elements..............

 

It's cold !!!  We all are attempting to win a few buckaroos (skins) and we usually have a little "anti freeze juice" in our systems to keep warm.

 

We play ball in hand every where except staked hazards which excludes sand bunkers, one can rake and place.

 

We are generally thankful to be playing and enjoying the day with each other.

 

After the round usually requires a few more beverages to bring the body out of the frozen stake and back to normal temperature and the winner always picks up the tab...................

 

Club Rat

post #17 of 47

As @wils5150 said, there are courses in MA that stay open.  I haven't had the flagstick frozen yet, but I guess I would just play it in if I had to.  The courses that do stay open have two holes set up and want us to move the stick each time to minimized wear on the greens (Far Corner is one like this).  Most courses will close at the first snow.

 

I am more like @Fourputt in that I just change the way I play.  With frozen greens, I aim short of the green and let it bounce on.  The funny thing is the ball flies 10 to 15 yards shorter below 45 degrees, so if I would normally use a 7 iron from 150, I would still use a 7 iron.  It would go 140 or 135 and bounce and roll the rest of the way.  Reminds me of the show Bowling for Dollars!

post #18 of 47

I agree with the posts that since you really can't post a score, and the weather (as well as the heavy clothing that you wear) prohibits normal golf, pretty much anything goes. Here are some of our Winter Rules and Considerations.....

 

#1 - Winter Weather - My retired friends and I use 37° as our line of demarcation for whether to play or not, although our record is 29°.  We have played in the snow, but that was not on purpose.  This usually happens when a squall comes through the area, but then is followed by sun... so, onward we go.

 

#2 - Winter Clothing - My bag includes winter gloves and a woolly cap. I also put on warm socks and have multiple layers of shirts/sweaters/coats, so that I can take one or two off as the temperatures improve.

 

#3 - Walk Whenever Possible - Walking the 18 holes helps you keep a little warmer, and is better for you, anyway.

 

#4 - The Leaf Rule - Don't look too long and drop your ball close to where you think it might be, but give yourself a shot. During the season I put my dinged balls in a bag. These are balls that been around for 2 or 3 rounds and have a few scuff marks.  Then when the leaves start falling in late October, I take the good balls out of my bag and put these ones in.  Then I don't feel so bad when I lose a ball. 

 

#5 - Hit Another One - Since we don't post scores, we get a couple of mulligans per nine.

 

#6 - Tee It Forward - On really cold days, when the balls go significantly shorter, we take the USGA initiative "Tee it Forward" to heart, and go to the most forward tees on the course. This usually gives us a chance to get to the green in regulation.

 

#7 - Misc - We usually start the round with a hot cup of coffee and finish with a Hot Toddie or some other beverage to warm our bones.

 

Winter golf can be a lot of fun. I love this game!

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