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I have a member who wants our club to adopt a local rule during off season events to allow "lift, rake, and place" in bunkers. Kind of "winter rules for bunkers". I'm against this because it is not an authorized local rule (Committee Procedures section 8). Violates rules 1.1 and 8.1. I would prefer to avoid precedents of disregarding USGA rules, even in the off season. Plus, I don't see why we should make it easier to play out of bunkers - they are a hazard. I would like to give the member an authoritative convincing answer. Already tried to get some help from the USGA - asked about their past experience with considering and rejecting this local rule request and/or to explain their perspective on why improving your lie in a bunker is fundamentally different than improving your lie in the fairway (allowed under model local rule E-3). They did not answer, just said it is not allowed. Thoughts on what I can say to this member?
Like many people who casually review the Rules, my knowledge of Local Rules was limited to Appendix I at the end of the Rules book. More knowledgeable people often would cite other Local Rules that could solve unique issues, like animal hoof prints on the green. From where were these Local Rules coming? Rule 33 - Committee - Decisions Decisions 33-8/1-40 list a number of situations. Some have USGA approved Local Rules. Some situations were rejected. My issue with deer hoof prints across the green is solved by 33-8/32 "Other than on the putting green, damage that is clearly identifiable as having been caused by animal hoofs is ground under repair (Rule 25-1applies). Such damage on the putting green may be repaired (Rule 25-1 does not apply)." My rhetorical question is, why not give us a hint that all potentially available Local Rules are not listed in Appendix I? Beats me!