What are the Winter Rules of Golf.

Posted by Alex Wood on

No matter when or where you play golf the general rules specified by the A&R and USPGA always apply. However, for those living in temperate climates with seasons the winter months can be challenging. Some golf courses close for the winter but in Europe many remain open when they adopt ‘winter rules.
Golf courses that open in winter often apply more local rules or modifications of the standard rules to make playing possible. These modifications take account of adverse weather like frost, snow and heavy rain that can lead to flooding and extremely wet ground. Course operators generally use these rules to help preserve the condition of the course and help player safety. What are the common ‘winter rules’ players may encounter? 
Preferred Lies.  
Also known as "lift, clean, and place," this rule allows golfers to lift, clean, and place their ball within a specified area, typically within one club length in the general area (fairway or closely mown areas) but not closer to the hole. This is often implemented to prevent players from hitting balls off muddy or waterlogged areas during winter and assists players whose balls become ‘plugged’.
Teeing Zones. 
With constant use the tee box wears out fast and courses often move them to alternative locations. Some courses insist that golfers use temporary artificial grass in place of the traditional tee box due to waterlogged or frozen ground. It is not unusual see a tee box moved significantly closer to the green to compensate for reduced distances. 
Winter Greens.  
If greens suffer from frost courses may prevent play until the frost can clear, this is because walking on frost covered greens can cause serious damage. Some courses opt for alternative temporary green placement during winter months to preserve their regular greens. 
Winter Bunkers.  
Bunkers can be subject to flooding and may regularly fill with water, in freezing temperatures the sand will become frozen and compacted making them unplayable. In such cases local rules may allow the lifting and placing of balls within a bunker or using the preferred lie rules.
Local Course Rules. 
Some courses may have additional local rules specific to winter conditions. These could include relief from casual water, temporary immovable obstructions, or other hazards caused by winter weather. When playing in winter golfers should always check with the course operators before teeing off to fully understand what, if any, winter rules apply for the course on that day. When courses become waterlogged some holes may be closed with carts and push trolleys banned so be prepared to carry clubs if necessary. 
Winter Clothing. 
Golfers playing in winter should acquire some good quality clothing that will keep them warm and be wind and waterproof. Specialist golf stores can offer a range of winter clothing that is lightweight and flexible enough to use without impeding a swing.
Wherever you play in the world it’s always great to have the right training aids and accessories to improve your golf game and playing experience. One of the best value online stores is Top Golf Goodies who have a huge range of putting and swing aids and accessories. Most of their products are priced at well under $30 and best of all shipping is free. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published