RULES OF PLAY (April 2022)

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The JWGL follows current USGA golf rules and League members are responsible for knowing those rules. However, to maintain pace of play and for player safety there are some local and league rules which are noted below.


  • Anytime you have to measure, use your longest club, other than a putter.
  • The flagstick can be tended, pulled or left as is. A ball is holed if any part of it comes to rest below the level of the lip of the cup. It is not a penalty if the ball hits the flagstick.

  • If your club touches the sand before or behind your ball at any time prior to taking your stroke in a sand trap, a one stroke penalty applies. Please rake trap and leave rake inside the trap near the edge.

  • Please take your shot within 40 seconds of when it is your turn.

  • When dropping a ball, make the drop from knee-height.

  • You must play the ball as it lies. Free Relief is allowed for abnormal course conditions including immovable obstructions, temporary water, embedded ball and dangerous animal conditions. You may pick up your ball and drop within 1 club length of the point of nearest relief, no closer to the hole. For relief from the cart path, see JWGL specific rules.

  • You may only move your ball from interference by a natural obstruction (such as a big root or a tree) by declaring an unplayable lie and taking a one stroke penalty. You may place your ball (no closer to the hole) within two clubs lengths of the place where the ball lies, or go back on a line which includes both the point where your ball lies and the hole and drop within one club length of a point on this line.


Overhead Wires:
If your ball strikes an overhead electrical wire, you have the option to play the ball as is or to replay the shot with no penalty.

Boundary Fence:
The boundary fence surrounding Jefferson may come into play on holes #1, #3, #6, #7, #8 and #9. If your ball comes to rest in bounds close to the fence, but unplayable, you may drop a ball within two club lengths of the fence (no nearer the hole), no penalty.

Drainage Ditches:
The drainage ditch running down the left side of hole 1 is in play. If you deem your ball unplayable, drop a ball within two club lengths of the point where the ball entered the ditch, no closer to the hole. A one stroke penalty applies. The ditch running across holes 6 and 8 is marked with yellow stakes (penalty area). If you deem your ball unplayable, drop your ball between where your original shot was made and two club lengths from the point the ball entered the penalty area. A one stroke penalty applies. To maintain pace of play, do not go all the way back to the tee.

Environmental Area (No Play |Zone):
The marked areas with tall grass and/or wild flowers on hole 1 (on the hill to the right), hole 2 (left side and far right side) and hole 4 (at the fairway turn) are environmental areas (No Play Zones). If your ball goes into these areas, Do not retrieve your ball. Drop another ball within 2 club lengths of where the ball entered the No Play Zone, no closer to the hole. A one stroke penalty applies.

The tall grass between 5 and 8 is not a No Play Zone. A ball landing here can be played as is or under penalty of one stroke, may be dropped within two club lengths (not closer to the hole) from the point where it entered the area.

Cross Hole Hits:
Holes 4 and 5 (between the ponds), 5 and 9, and 6 and 8 are adjacent to each other. If you hit your ball from one of these adjacent holes into another, in must be brought back to the rough of the hole being played. The fairways of each hole are defined by white stakes. Drop a ball within one club length of a line between the white stakes at the point where the ball stopped. No Penalty.

Drop Zone:
On hole 4, if your ball goes into the penalty area (water) on your first shot, drop a ball within two club lengths of where your ball entered the penalty area, no closer to the hole. A one stroke penalty applies. If your ball goes into the penalty area on any shot other than your tee shot, or other than a shot made from beyond the drop zone, proceed to the drop zone. A one stroke penalty applies. If a shot made from the drop zone, or past the drop zone goes into the penalty area, drop a ball within two club lengths of the point where the ball entered the penalty area (no closer to the hole). A one stroke penalty applies.

Flower beds:
Areas that are mulched and have shrubs and or/flowers planted in them are considered ground under repair. Please drop a ball within one club length of any edge of the bed (no closer to the hole). No Penalty.


Relief from Cart Path
You may move a ball from a cart path or an area which serves as a cart path with no penalty.  Drop the ball within two club lengths, no closer to the hole.

Wrong Ball
If you play someone else’s ball, take a 2 strokes penalty, replace the other player’s ball and take your shot with your ball from where it actually landed (stroke made with the wrong ball does not count). If the mistake is discovered after both players involved have made shots, play on and use the balls as they are (switch on the next tee). The 2 shot penalty applies only to the first player to hit the incorrect ball. You are responsible for determining that the ball you are about to hit is indeed your own. You may roll the ball over to verify it is yours. Always return it to its original position. It is important to mark your ball before putting it into play.

Double Par
When a player reaches “double par” (8 strokes for par 4 and par 5 holes, 6 strokes for par 3 holes) and has not reached the green, the ball must be picked up and placed at the nearest point on the green, walking in a straight line from where the ball was lying on the course. Putts are then added to the double par for the total score for that hole.

Lost Ball/Out of Bounds
If your ball is believed to be Inbounds, but outside of a Penalty Area or outside of a No Play Zone, you have a maximum of 3 minutes to find your ball. If the ball is not found after 3 minutes, drop a ball as close as possible to where it was lost and take a 1 stroke penalty. If your ball goes over the Boundary Fence or into the Tennis Courts, it is OB. Take a 1 stroke penalty and drop a ball within 2 club lengths of where the ball went over the fence.

Lift, Clean and Place Rule
In order to accommodate course conditions that may vary throughout the day, JWGL allows lift, clean and place in the fairway for all League days. Mark the location of the ball before lifting and replace it within 6 inches of the original spot, no closer to the hole.


Before teeing off on Hole #1, announce to your group what ball you are using. It is best if you mark your ball so that it is easily distinguishable. Also announce to the group if you change the ball you are using on any subsequent holes or if you replace a lost or damaged ball.

Teeing Ground: If your ball falls off the tee before you take your forward swing, re-tee the ball, no penalty. If you swing and “top” the ball causing it to fall off the tee, play the ball where it lies and count the stroke (even if your ball is still on the tee box).

Mulligans – No mulligans are allowed, unless it is allowed within the “game of the day”.

Whiffs – If you swing and miss (a whiff), this counts as a stroke.


  • Be prepared to putt when it is your turn.
  • Putt out if the ball is within 1 foot of the hole.
  • Do not step on another player’s line.
  • Do not stand directly behind the cup while another player is putting.
  • There is no penalty if you, your partners, your equipment, or their equipment accidentally move your ball or ball marker. Replace your ball or ball marker where it was.



PLAY READY GOLF: When the foursome in front of you is down the fairway far enough for you to safely hit the ball, you should tee off. Practice swings should be limited.

FLIGHT OF BALL: Observe the flight of the ball for each player in your foursome ~~ it helps you and your partners locate balls and speeds up play.

PACE OF PLAY: Keep pull cart with you through the fairways. Park pull carts and power carts on the exit side of the green (between the pin and the next tee box) to speed play.

RECORDING SCORE: Leave the green as soon as your foursome has finished putting; record the score at the next tee box.

DIVOTS AND BALL MARKS: Replace all divots on the fairways and repair all ball marks on the greens.

ANNOUNCING THE STROKES: Upon reaching the green, announce your number of shots to that point. This will help in remembering the players’ strokes at each hole.

CELL PHONES: While some players may use their cell phones to enter scores, please keep cell phones quiet while others are hitting their ball.