R&A 2018 Local Rule

2018 Local Rule: Modification of Score Card Penalty

Rule 6-6

 Scoring in Stroke Play

  1. Recording Scores

After each hole the marker should check the score with the competitor and record it. On completion of the round the markermust sign the score card and hand it to the competitor. If more than one marker records the scores, each must sign for the part for which he is responsible.

  1. Signing and Returning Score Card

After completion of the round, the competitor should check his score for each hole and settle any doubtful points with the Committee. He must ensure that the marker or markers have signed the score card, sign the score card himself and return it to the Committee as soon as possible.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 6-6b:
Disqualification.

  1. Alteration of Score Card

No alteration may be made on a score card after the competitor has returned it to the Committee.

  1. Wrong Score for Hole

The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.

Exception: If a competitor returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken due to failure to include one or more penalty strokes that, before returning his score card, he did not know he had incurred, he is not disqualified. In such circumstances, the competitor incurs the penalty prescribed by the applicable Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes for each hole at which the competitor has committed a breach of Rule 6-6d. This Exception does not apply when the applicable penalty is disqualification from the competition.

Note 1: The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores and application of the handicap recorded on the score card – see Rule 33-5.

Note 2: In four-ball stroke play, see also Rule 31-3 and 31-7a.

The R&A and USGA have recommended that all Committees introduce the following Local Rule commencing 1st January 2018.
This Local Rule overrides the change to the Exception to Rule 6-6d introduced on 1st January 2016, which penalised a player an additional two strokes for a penalty that was not recorded on their returned score card.

The Exception to Rule 6-6d is modified as follows:
Exception: If a competitor returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken due to failure to include one or more penalty strokes that, before returning his score card, he did not know he had incurred, he is not disqualified. In such circumstances, the competitor incurs the penalty prescribed by the applicable Rule, but there is no additional penalty for a breach of Rule 6-6d. This Exception does not apply when the applicable penalty is disqualification from the competition.

So when this Local Rule is introduced, a player will only be penalised one or two strokes (depending on the penalty for the breach incurred), for not including a penalty on their score card, providing they were not aware that they had incurred one.

NOTE:

  1. If your Golf Club does not apply this local rule, you will incur penalty strokes applicable to the rule that you have infringed, plus an additional penalty of two strokes
  2. If your Golf Club does apply the local rule then you will only incur the penalty strokes applicable to the rule you have infringed

A typical example may be:-

You ground your club in a hazard, so lightly that you are not aware you have done so. It should cost you a penalty of two strokes but you do not include them on your scorecard because you were unaware that you had incurred a penalty and return an incorrect scorecard.

  1. If your club has not applied the local rule, you will incur two penalty strokes for grounding your club in a hazard and an additional two penalty strokes for returning a wrong score at a hole, a total of four penalty strokes
  2. If,however, the local rule has been applied, you will only incur two penalty strokes for grounding your club.