Pros Advice

Need-to-know rules


Gary Quainton - Golf and Pro Shop Manager Kirtlington Golf Club

19 September 2021


While golf, and sport in general, can often feel pretty unfair, there are certain rules in place to ensure that winter's weather doesn’t play too harsh a role in your round. Oh, and it helps to protect the course as well (that’s pretty important!).

Mud ball & Plugged lies

A mud ball is when soil or other debris gets stuck to your ball. A plugged lie is....well, we all know what those are! When the ground’s wet, neither of these are uncommon and they can have a pretty drastic impact on your next shot. So, when 'Winter Rules' are in place, be sure to use them to your advantage in these types of situations

Preferred lies

Golf is a game of skill, but sometimes you still get lucky or unlucky. That’s why the classic ‘play your ball as it lies’ rule can only stretch so far. If you send a perfect drive down the fairway but find a divot, dead grass or a similar hinderance then you are entitled to mark your ball and then find a nearby preferred spot (not nearer the hole) to play from.

Standing water

Standing water is considered, as the boffins might say, to be an ‘abnormal course condition’. This means that if ‘temporary water’ interferes with your stance or swing then you can take relief. As with any of these rules, it’s always a good idea to check with your playing partner first.

We hope this quick breakdown of winter rules will help avoid any Brooks vs. Bryson-type arguments, but it could also help improve your scorecard! So, keep these in mind next time you're out on the course and feel free to visit us with any questions.

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