Laurel Canyon Men’s Golf Association

“LCMGA Rules of Play”

13th Revision January 2021


Play shall be governed by USGA rules except as modified below and by “Special” rules announced prior to play.  All members are required to understand and play by the USGA rules.


The adoption of the following rules are meant to speed play and clarify various playing conditions/situations.   

Note: As of January 1, 2019, the USGA has made significant changes to the rules.  Please click here to review the new 2019 USGA rules ==>  http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/golfs-new-rules.html




Course or “Playing Field” – Maintained tee boxes, fairways and maintained rough up to tree-lines/woods are considered the “playing field”.  All other conditions are considered penalty areas, including all ponds/water, areas/hills with high weeds and woods (beyond the tree line). Maintained means mowed daily/weekly.  Cutting weed areas once a month is not consider maintained. 


Areas marked by red stakes are penalty areas.

Note: red line markings on cart paths do not define penalty areas.


Line of Flight– If the original line of flight did not cross any defined “playing field”, then a line of flight does not exist.  The next shot is played from the original location, incurring a one stroke and distance penalty. Note: “line of flight” may not be a straight line.


Improving Lie – Anywhere in the “Playing Field”.  A ball may be rolled/moved to improve lie or stance, but no more than “12 inches or 1 foot” no closer to the hole.  Player may not move a ball from rough to fairway, fringe to green or bunker/trap to fairway.


Putting – Any putt within 6 inches (not 7) of the cup does not have to be holed (a gimme). Pick up the ball and add one stroke.


Penalty Area – A ball in a penalty area must be played as it lies and cannot be moved/touched without penalty.


Out of Bounds – All residential property and areas defined by white stakes. A ball that lies “out of bounds” cannot be played.  Follow “Penalty Procedure” below.


Penalty Procedure – If your ball is in a penalty area and cannot be played, is lost, out of bounds, or deemed unplayable, player incurs a one stroke penalty and proceeds as follows:


  a) From the point your ball ENTERED the penalty areadrop anywhere along original “line of flight”, going as far back as necessary (not laterally where the ball ended up). This generally is your best option.  Note: “Line of flight” may not be a straight line.

  b) Play from the original location. 

  c) Drop ball within one club length on either side using “reference point” (USGA) going as far back as necessary.

  d) Lateral – From the point your ball last crossed the penalty area, drop ball within two club lengths on either side using “reference point” (USGA).


Hole #3 – NO DROP ZONE.  The ditch/gully in front of the fairway and left of the fairway is a Penalty area.  White stakes (right of fairway) define “Out of Bounds.  Follow the “penalty procedure” above.  Note: after a heavy rain, a temporary water condition may exist, especially  in the gulley to the right of the fairway–proceed under USGA rule 16.1. https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=pe&section=rule&rulenum=16


Hole #14 – Use Drop Zone Only for OB.  Out of Bounds is defined by the “side walk”, not by the white stakes (i.e. any ball on the side walk (cart path) or to the right of it is considered “out of bounds”). Ball over the Cart path (not sidewalk) behind the green is not OB.  All other areas outside the “Playing Field” are considered penalty areas.  


NOTE: If DZ is not defined, drop as follows: from the lamp post, take 14 strides towards Publix, then 4 strides towards green.


Sand Traps/Bunkers

When a ball lands in a footprint or similar disruption, proceed as follows: 

    a)  drop or place the ball at the point of nearest relief in the sand trap, no nearer to the hole (no penalty)
    b)  lift, rake, and replace the ball in its original location (no penalty)

If your ball comes to rest against the lip of bunker/trap, the ball must be played as lies, Or:

    a)  drop along line of flight inside the trap (1 stroke penalty)

    b)  drop along line of flight outside the bunker (2 stroke penalty)


 Ball or Stance on Cart Path – If your ball comes to rest on a cart path or your stance is on the cart path, proceed as follows:

    a)  Play as it lies
    b)  Without penalty, drop to the left or right of cart path – players choice.

Determine nearest point of relief, no closer to hole and drop within one club length. 

Obstructions – Hole #5 and #13 – boulders are considered obstructions. Without penalty, determine nearest point of relief, no closer to hole and drop within one club length.


Provisional Ball – It will be a rare occasion that a provisional ball be hit. If your original shot did not cross the “playing field” and may be lost or unplayable, hit a provisional ball.


USGA Local Rule E5:

The LCMGA has NOT adopted local rule E5: Alternative to Stroke and Distance for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds.