Condition of Play & Local Rules

Members and Visitors are encouraged to enjoy themselves while playing at Balgowlah Golf Club Ltd, and in doing so are expected to abide by the Rules and By Laws of the Club. These Rules have been developed to ensure that all players are equally able to enjoy their game of golf and the hospitality at the Clubhouse. Members and visitors are requested to acquaint themselves with these requirements.

Rules of Golf. All golfers are required to abide by the Rules of Golf as approved by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Scotland, The R&A and in affiliation with Golf Australia, who is the governing body of golf in Australia.

GOLF ETIQUETTE.  Is for the consideration of other players.  Players should ensure, through good manners and common sense, that their conduct does not upset their, or others, enjoyment of the game. On a course like Balgowlah, players can do a lot in the interest of etiquette and avoiding slow play by following these simple rules.

BEHAVIOUR. Golf is a sport of great tradition characterized by golfer’s exemplary behaviour and fair play.  No unsportsmanlike behaviour will be tolerated and golfers must abide by the written and unwritten rules of Golf.

Unacceptable behaviour includes: * Loss of temper * Verbal abuse of officials or players * Deliberately distracting or provoking opponents * Throwing clubs * shouting, swearing or making unnecessary noise * Cheating in any form including manipulating scores and moving a ball to improve its lie * Damaging or littering the Course * Intoxicated behaviour.

Local Rules

(a) Avoid slow play at all times by walking quickly between shots and being read to play without delay.  Please refrain from continuing conversation when addressing the ball.

  • Avoid leaving bags and buggies in front of the green.  Players should keep their bag and buggies as near as practicable, avoiding the need to go out of the way to retrieve them.
  • Do not cause a break in the field when stopping between nines.
  • Call following players through, immediately a ball is considered lost, or whilst looking for a lost ball
  • Leave the green before marking cards
  • Pick up the ball immediately the hole is lost in Par or Stableford competitions.
  • Be prepared to start play five minutes before called to the tee by the starter. The 1st and 10th tees shall be occupied at all times during a competition until the last group has hit off the 10th.
  • Do not risk a penalty for slow play.  Keep up with the group in front, not just in front of the group behind.
  • Do not move, talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole, when a player is addressing a ball or making a stroke.
  • Players should not play until the players in front are out of range.

Players must smooth out ALL damage in the bunkers with the rakes provided after playing their shot and replace the rakes in the bunkers with the handle pointing in the direction of the tee.

Replace or repair all divots after playing a shot.

Repair pitch marks in the green.

Players should avoid damaging the greens and surrounds by keeping motorised carts well away from greens, not dropping bags or the flag stick on the green, not damaging the hole or the green near the hole and in particular, by not standing too close to the hole when retrieving the ball.

The lowest marker in each group assumes responsibility for the conduct of the group and its speed of place.  All players are expected to comply with the pace of play guidelines.  PLAY READY GOLF!

Players should not practice golf on the course except in designated practice areas, such as, the practice putting green, the area to the right of the Public Tee on the 1st, the temporary hole where rope defines practice area when out of play or any other hole on the course defined as out of play during a competition.

Playing two or more balls concurrently on the course is prohibited.

MARKING OF CARDS. If Members are not sure how to score a competition, they should confirm the rules with a Member of the Match & Greens Committee before handing in the card.  It is the duty of the marker to observe a competitors number of strokes and to correctly and clearly mark the cards. Only handicapped Members of recognised Golf Clubs are eligible to mark competition cards and cards submitted for handicap purposes.  It is a recommendation, to avoid error, that score cards be recorded after completion of each hole at the next tee. The player should ensure that their Club Membership Number, date and current handicap is correctly shown on the card and should check the marker’s recording and addition before countersigning it.  An incorrectly marked card may cause a player to be disqualified. All competition cards, whether complete or incomplete, must be handed into the Pro Shop. In a Four-Ball event, allocate each member of a pair to a column on the card, with their initials shown in the space provided. In an Ambrose event, it is desirable but not essential, that each member of the team be responsible for verifying the scores and signing the card. Cards for 2BBB and/or 4BBB must be signed by both Players as well as the Marker.


COURSE CARE BUNKERS Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill and smooth over all holes and footprints made by him, and then leave the rake with the handle pointing toward the tee of the hole being played. Always enter the bunker at the lowest point.

  • Pull the rake toward you as you exit the bunker
  • If required, rake other affected areas
  • Do not pile sand at the edge of the bunker. Push back excess sand with reverse side of rake.
  • Always leave the rake in the flat of the bunker with the handle pointing towards the tee of the hole being played and parallel to the line of flight of the ball. Rakes should be placed as far from the edge as possible.

REPAIRING BALL MARKSAlways start at the back of the mark and push forward with the repairer;

  • Use the repairer around all sides and slowly ease the turf toward the centre of the mark. Do not lift the soil upwards.
  • Tap down lightly with a putter.

(c) Your completed repair should look like this


  • Remove any loose turf from the affected area
  • Knock in all the edge of the divot with your club or your shoe
  • Sand are be careful not to use too much sand.

Damage to green flagsticks. Players should ensure that, when putting down bags or the flagstick, no damage is done to the putting green and that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to it when handling the flagstick or in removing the ball from the hole. The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.

handling the flag

(a) Don’t drop the flagstick on the putting surface as it will cause damage.

(b) Always lower the flagstick by using a club or by hand.

(c) Avoid damage to the surrounds by placing the stick in the centre of the cup.


Players must NOT use their putter to remove their golf ball from the hole.