Winter Rules – preferred lies
Winter rules are now in play. “Winter rules” or “preferred lies” are in place to promote fair play and to protect the course through the winter months.
“A ball lying in a closely mown area through the green may, without penalty, be moved or may be lifted, cleaned and placed within six inches of where it originally lay, not nearer the hole, nor in a hazard, nor on the putting green”.
A player may move or place his ball once and after the ball has been moved or placed it is in play.
The penalty for the breach of the local rules:
Match play: loss of hole
Stroke play: two strokes
I would also like to provide an answer to the following commonly asked questions:
Q. Which areas exactly are classed as closely mown?
A closely-mown area is any area of the course that is cut to fairway height or less and includes paths cut through the rough and the fringe/apron around the green. If the ball does not lie on a closely-mown area, the player cannot take a preferred lie.
Q. What happens if I do not mark the position of the ball or move it in another way to prefer the lie?
If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with the club, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.