Hole in One.
The 7th hole lent itself out to another hole in one on the 21st of September 2023.
Ruco Beneke added his name to the hole in one recognition board whilst playing in the Sefalana golf day.
Rules for the month
Rule 5: Playing the Round
Purpose of the Rule.
Rule 5 covers how to play a round – Such as where and when a player practise on the course before or during a round, when a round starts and ends and what happens when play has to stop or resume.
Players are expected to:
- Start each round on time, and play continuously and at a prompt pace during each hole until the round is completed.
- When it is a player’s turn to play, it is recommended that they make the stroke in no more then 40 seconds, and usually more quickly than that.
Rule 5.1: Meaning of Round
A “Round” is 18 or fewer holes played in the order se by the Committee.
When a round ends in a tie and play will go on until there is a winner:
- Tied Match Extended One hole at a Time. This is the continuation of the same round, not a new round.
- Play-off in Stroke Play. This is a new round.
A player is playing their round from when it starts until it ends (see Rule 5.3), Except while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a.
When a Rule refers to actions taken “during a round, that does not include while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a unless the Rule says otherwise.
Rule 5.2 Practising on Course Before or Between Rounds
- “Practising on the course” means playing a ball, or testing the surface of the putting green of any hole by rolling a ball or rubbing the surface, and the limitations on practising on the course before or between rounds apply only to the player, not the player’s caddie.
5.2a Match Play
A player may practise on the course before a round or between rounds of a match-play competition.
5.2b Stroke Play
On the day of a stroke-play competition:
- A player must not practise on the course before a round, except that the player may:
- Practise putting or chipping on or near their first teeing area.
- Practise on any practise area.
- Practise on or near the putting green of the hole just completed even if they will play that hole again on the same day (see Rule 5.5b)
- A player may practise on the course after completing play of their final rounds for that day.
If a player makes a stroke in breach of this Rule, they get the general penalty applied to their first hole. If they make an additional stroke in breach of this Rule, they are disqualified.
See Committee Procedures, Section 8: Model Local Rulel-1 (In either form of play, the committee may adopt a Local Rule prohibiting, restricting, or allowing practise on the course before or between rounds).
Rule 5.3 Starting and Ending Round
5.3a When to Start Rounds
A player’s rounds starts when the player makes a stroke to start their first hole (see Rule 6.1a).
The player must start at (and not before) their starting time:
- This means that a player must be ready to play at the starting time and starting point set by the committee.
- A starting time set by the Committee is treated as an exact time (for example, 9am means 9:00:00 am, not any time until 9:01am).
If the starting time is delayed for any reason (such as weather, slow play of other groups or need for a ruling by a referee), there is no breach of this Rule if the player is present and ready to play when the player’s group is ready to start.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.3a: Disqualification, Except in these three cases:
- Exception 1 – Players Arrives at Starting Point, Ready to Play, No More Then Five Minutes Late: The player gets the general penalty applied to their first hole.
- Exception 2 – Player Starts No More Than Five Minutes Early: The player gets the general penalty applied to there first hole.
- Exception 3 – Committee Decided that Exceptional Circumstances Prevented Players from Starting on Time: there is no breach of this Rule with no penalty.
5.3b When Round Ends
A player’s round ends:
- In match play, when the result of the match is decided under Rule 3.2a(3) or (4).
- In stroke play, then the player holes out at the final hole (including correction of a mistake, such as under Rule 6.1 or 14.7b).
See Rule 21.1e, 21.2e, 21.3e and 23.3b (when a round starts and ends in other forms of stroke play and in Four-Ball).
Rule 5.4 Playing in Groups
5.4a Match Play
During a round, the player and opponent must play each hole in the same group.
5.4b Stroke Play
During a round, the player must remain in the group set by the Committee, unless the Committee approves a change either before or after it happens.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.4: Disqualification.
Rule 5.5 Practising During Round or While Play Is Stopped
5.5a No Practise Stoke While Playing Hole
While playing a hole, a player must not make a practise stroke at any ball on or off the course.
These are not practise strokes:
- A practise swing made with no intent to strike a ball.
- Hitting a ball back to a practise area or to another player, when done solely as a courtesy.
- Strokes made by a player in playing out a hole whose result has been decided.
5.5b Restriction on Practise Strokes After Completing Hole
After completing play of a hole, but before making a stroke to begin another hole, a player must not make a practise stroke.
Exception – Where Player Allowed to Practise Putting or Chipping: The Player may practise putting or chipping on or near:
- The putting green of the hole just completed and any practice green (see Rule 13.1e), and the teeing area of the next hole.
But such practise stokes must not be made from a bunker and must not unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a).
See Committee Procedures, Section 8: Model Local Rule I-2 (The Committee may adopt a Local Rule prohibiting players from practising putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole just completed).
5.5c Practise While Play Is Suspended or Otherwise Stopped
While play is suspended or otherwise stopped under Rule 5.7a, a player must not make a practise stroke except:
- As allowed under Rule 5.5b,
- Anywhere outside the course the committee allows.
If a match is stopped by agreement of the players and will not be resumed on the same day, the players may practise on the course without restriction before the match is resumed.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.5: General Penalty.
If the breach happens between two holes, the penalty applies to the next hole.
Rule 5.6 Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Pace of Play
5.6a Unreasonable Delay of Play
A player must not unreasonably delay play, either when playing a hole or between two holes.
A player may be allowed a short delay for certain reasons, such as:
- When a Player seeks help from a referee or the Committee,
- When a player becomes injured or ill, or when there is another good reason,
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.6a:
- Penalty for first breach: One penalty stroke
- Penalty for second breach: General Penalty
- Penalty for third breach: Disqualification
if the player unreasonably delays play between two holes, the penalty applies to the next hole.
See Rule 25.6a (Application of Rule 5.6a to players with disabilities)
5.6b Prompt Pace of Play
A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace.
Each player should recognize that their pace of play is likely to affect how long it will take other players to play their rounds, including both those in the player’s own group and those in following groups.
Players are encouraged to allow faster groups to play through.
- Pace of Play Recommendations. The players should play at a prompt pace throughout the round, including the time take to:
- Prepared for and make each stoke.
- Move from one place to another between strokes.
- Move to the next teeing area after completing a hole.
A player should prepare in advance for the next stroke and be ready to play when it is their turn.
When it is the player’s turn to play:
- It is recommended that the player making the stroke in no more than 40 seconds after they are (or should be) able to play without interference or distraction, and the player should usually be able to play more quickly than that and is encouraged to do so.
- Playing Out of Turn to Help Pace of Play. Depending on the form of play, there are times when players may play out of turn to help the place of play:
- In match play, the players may agree that one of them will play out of turn to save time (see Rule 6.4a Exception).
- In stroke play, players may play “ready golf” in a safe and responsible way (see Rule 6.4b(2)).
- Committee Pace of Play Policy. To encourage and enforce prompt play, the Committee should adopt a Local Rule setting a Pace of Play Policy.
The Policy may set maximum time to complete a round, a hole or series of holes and a stroke, and it may set penalties for not following the Policy.
See Committee Procedures, Section 5G (recommendations on contents of Pace of Play Policy).
Rule 5.7 Stopping Play; Resuming Play
5.7a When Players May or Must Stop Play
During a round, a player must not stop play except in these cases:
- Suspension by Committee: All players must stop play if the Committee suspends play (see Rule 5.7b).
- Stopping Play by Agreement in Match play: Players in a match may agree to stop play for any reason, except if doing so delays the competition. If they agree to stop play and then one player wants to resume play, the agreement has ended and the other players must resume play.
- Individual Player Stopped Play Because of Lighting: A player may stop play if they reasonably believe there is danger from lighting, but must report to the Committee as soon as possible.
Leaving the course is not, by itself, stopping play. A player’s delay of play is covered in Rule 5.6a, not by this Rule.
If a player stops play for any reason not allowed under this Rule or fails to report to the Committee when required to do so, the player is disqualified.
5.7b What Players Must Do When Committee Suspends Play
There are two types of Committee suspensions of play, each with different requirements for when players must stop play.
- Immediate Suspension (Such as When There Is Imminent Danger).
- If the Committee declares an immediate suspension of play, a player must not make another stroke until the Committee resumes play. The Committee should use a distinct method of telling players about an immediate suspension.
- Normal Suspension (Such as for Darkness or Unplayable Course).
- If the committee suspends play for normal reasons, what happens next depends on where each playing group is:
- Between Holes: If all players in the group are between two holes, they must stop play and not make a stroke to begin another hole until the committee resumes play.
- While Playing Hole: If any player in the group has started a hole, the players may choose either to stop play or to play out the hole.
- The players are allowed a brief amount of time (which normally should be no more than two minutes) to decide whether to stop play or play out the hole.
- If the players continues play of the hole, they may go on to complete the hole or may stop before completing the hole.
- Once the players completed the hole or stop before completing the hole, they must not make another stoke until the committee resumes play under Rule 5.7c.
- If the players do not agree on what to do:
- Match Play: If the opponent stops play, the player must also stop play and both players must not play again until the committee resumes play. If the player does not stop play, the players gets the general penalty (loss of hole).
- Stroke Play: Any player in the group may choose to stop play or go on to continue the hole, no matter what the others in the group decided to do, except that the player may continue play only if the player’s marker stays to keep the player’s score.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.7b: Disqualification.
Exception – No Penalty If Committee Decides That Failure to Stop Was Justified: There is no breach of this Rule and no penalty if the committee decides that circumstances justified that player’s failure to stop play when required to do so.
See Committee Procedures, Section 8; Model Local Rule J-1 (recommended ways for Committee to indicate immediate and normal suspensions to players).
5.7c What Players Must Do When Play Resumes
- Where to Resume Play: A player must resume play from where they stopped play on a hole or, if between two holes, at the next teeing area, even is play resumed on a later day. If a player resumes play from a different spot than where they stopped play, see Rules 6.1b and 14.7.
- When to Resume Play: The Players must be present at the location identified in (1) and ready to play:
- At the time set by the committee for play to resume, and the players must resume play at (and not before) that time.
If the ability to resume play is delayed for any reason (such as when players in the group ahead need to play first and move out of the way), there is no breach of the Rule if the player is present and ready to play when the player’s group is able to resume play.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.7c(2): Disqualification.
Exception to Disqualification for Failure to Resume on Time: Exception 1, 2 and 3 in Rule 5.3a and the Exception to Rule 5.7b apply here as well.
5.7d Lifting Ball When Play Stops; Replacing and Substituting Ball When Play Resumes
Lifting Ball When Play Stops or Before Play Resumes: When stopping play of a hole under this Rule, the player may mark the spot of their ball and lift the ball (see Rule 14.1).
Either before or when play is resumed:
- When Player’s Ball Was Lifted When Play Stopped: The Players must replace the original ball or another on the original spot (which if not known must be estimated)(see Rule 14.2)
- When player’s Ball Was Not Lifted When Play Stopped: The players may play the ball as it lies, or may mark the spot of the ball, lift the ball (see Rule 14.1) and replace that ball or another ball on the original spot (see Rule 14.2).
In either case:
- If the lie of the ball is altered as a result of lifting the ball, the player must replace that ball or another ball as required under Rule 14.2d.
- If the lie of the ball is altered after the ball was lifted and before a ball isreplaced, Rule 14.2d does not apply:
- The original ball or another ball must be replaced n the original spot (which if not known must be estimated)(see Rule 14.2)
- But if the lie or other conditions affecting the stroke were worsened during this time, Rule 8.1d applies.
- What to Do If Ball or Ball-Marker Is Moved While Play Stopped: if the player’s ball or ball-marker is moved in any way before play resumes (including by natural forces), the player must either:
- Replace the original ball or another ball on the original spot (which if not known must be estimated)(see Rule 14.2) or place a ball-marker to mark that original spot, and then replace the original ball or another ball on that spot (see Rule 14.1 and 14.2).
If the player’s conditions affecting the stroke were worsened while play was stopped, see Rule 8.1d
Penalty for Playing Ball from Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 5.7d: General Penalty under Rule 14.a.
Have you noticed that over the last 6 months that your handicap index has increased?
If you have - don’t despair, as in most cases your index is probably just following a trend that occurs every winter, which in this case shows that the average Handicap Index for men has gone up from 13.91 in March to 14.21 in August, and from 20.39 to 20.74 for women.
This trend is due largely to golfers playing less, coupled with less favourable weather and course conditions.
There is some good news in all of this, in that it is likely going to improve again in the summer!
We have asked John Cockayne, the renowned golf journalist and golf professional to contribute to future HNA newsletters, and the following is his introduction.What’s in a word?
Well, in terms of handicap, wherever you look the definitions are so similar that they can be summarised as follows:
‘a set of conditions, or circumstances that make progress or success difficult’.
Hardly the description intended, one would think, at the time of the first national golf handicap system, which was unveiled in the United Kingdom in 1911.
Much has changed since then, even to the level where the word ‘handicap’ in many situations is no longer considered politically correct, and where disadvantaged, disabled, to name but two options, are considered more appropriate, in relation to people with physical and mental disabilities.
The other aspect in golf with the term ‘handicap’, in its most general sense, is probably a case of perspective, and whether you see your glass being half-empty, or half-full, which will likely depend on the handicap of the player, or players, you are competing against!
For example, if you are an 18-handicap, playing against someone off 4, then it would be fair to say that you are being advantaged, or enabled in terms of this match-up.
Conversely in this same combination, in all probability the lower handicap could consider him or herself to be disadvantaged, especially if the higher handicapper is a having a particularly good day on course – which can happen!
If you are playing against the course itself, i.e., in a medal format or similar, then everyone, irrespective of their handicap, should be able to feel ‘advantaged’, as allowances are being made in their favour against the golf course.
Everyone that is, except for the plus handicap golfers!
One member at Southbroom, on KZN’s South Coast, where I was the head professional for some years in the 1980’s, put it succinctly, when after we had exchanged scorecards on the first tee, and were waiting for the fairway ahead on the first hole to clear, remarked: ‘how does it feel to be 4 over par today, before you have even hit your first tee shot?!’
Excluding this very small niche of ‘elite’ golfers, perhaps the term ‘golf benefit’, might be a more effective description?
Whichever moniker we think might be better, for the basis of this discussion – golf handicap it shall be!
How can we best summarise what a golf handicap is and its purpose?
Perhaps the R&A (Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland and one of golf’s two ruling bodies – the other being the USGA (United States Golf Association) – might shed some light on the matter?
Developed by The R&A and USGA in close co-ordination with existing handicapping authorities, the WHS provides golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability, with handicaps calculated in the same way wherever they are in the world.
OK – so this refers to the system adopted globally in 2020, but is not really enlightening, so perhaps the following summary might be more effective –
A golf handicap is the numerical measure of a golfer's ability, or potential ability, and is employed to enable players of differing ability levels to compete against each another effectively.
OK – so that it good for players at one club, or in a particular country, but what happens when golfers travel, and how fair is their handicap in a different region or country?
The history of the golf handicap shows that the rules governing handicap systems, have varied from region to region, with a number of different systems in force around the world.
Because of incompatibilities and difficulties in comparing handicaps equitably between the different systems, golf's governing bodies, the USGA and The R&A, working with the various handicapping authorities, devised a new World Handicap System (WHS), which began its global roll-out in 2020.
Just like your own golf game this is a work in progress! – but the endgame is clear and along with the continuing improvements to the system, it now offers a much more accurate and transparent system, allowing handicaps to become portable globally.
Over the next few issues of the HNA Newsletter, we shall be exploring how the handicapping system has evolved, from its earliest days, into a very ‘clever’ mathematical intervention, which enables all players, whatever their golfing abilities, to compete on a pretty equal terms wherever they go on course together, whether as partners or opponents.
This discussion will be hosted by HNA Newsletter’s new guest editor – John Cockayne.” Handicap Network Africa.