RULE: Practice, practice, practice!

It's a busy time of year with all types of championships being decided, both stroke and match play. This is a time when we all decide we need a bit more practice. So, when can we practice? Where is it NOT legal to practice. What are the penalties if we are in breach of this "practice" rule? 

1. BEFORE a ROUND

  • In MATCH PLAY, it is OK to practice before the round on the competition course on the day of play for any match play comp .
  • BUT - before a round on any day of a STROKE PLAY competition (stableford, par, bogey are forms of stroke play) a competitor MUST NOT practise on the competition course, or test the surface of any putting green on the course by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.
  • HOWEVER - there is an exception! Practice putting or chipping on or near the first teeing ground before starting a round or play-off is permitted.Of course, you can always practice on our designated practice areas before a round. Click here to take you to the section which details where we can practice!

The penalty for breaking this rule is DISQUALIFICATION!

2. But what about DURING a round?

You cannot make a practice stroke during the play of a hole.

(A practice swing is not a practice stroke, and may be taken at any place provided you do not breach any other rule eg practice in a bunker or hazard.)

I thought I could have a practice putt after I have holed out?

Yes, you may. Between the play of two holes, you MUST NOT make a practice stroke except that you may practice putting or chipping on or near:

  • the putting green of the hole you last played;
  • any practice putting green; or
  • the teeing ground for the next hole to be played in the round - BUT not from any hazard and you do not duly delay play.

What about if the hole has been decided already (eg loss in match, washout in stableford) - can I play on and finish the hole without penalty?

Yes as long as you are not unduly delaying play! (It is common, and it speeds up play in stableford to pick up if you can not score!) Strokes made in continuing the play of a hole, the result of which is already decided, are NOT practice strokes.

If you breach this part of the rule (during the round) penalty is loss of hole in match play, or two strokes in stroke play!

HOWEVER - be advised that some courses do NOT permit this type of practice - their committee has made a local rule prohibiting this, so remember to check the local rules!

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