The USGA Rules of Golf effective 2019 govern play. In addition, the USGA Local Rules and Terms of Competition (Hard Card) and supplemental HSV 2019 Local rules are in effect. 

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is: 

Match Play – Loss of Hole (General Penalty)

Stroke Play – Two Strokes (General Penalty) 

Exception: The Three Day Championship will have a separate “Terms of the Competition”.


Preferred Lies - Local Rule E-3, “Official Guide to the Rules of Golf”: Occasional local abnormal conditions such as wetness might interfere with fair play.  On the day of play, the Play Day Chairman may advise the starters to inform the players that the rule is in effect as follows:  “When a player’s ball lies in the general area, the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

  • Reference Point: Spot of the original ball, one club length no closer to the hole than the reference point and must be in the general area.

  •  In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.

Prohibiting use of Audio and Video Devices:

  • Rule 4.3a(4) is modified in this way: During a round, a player must not listen to or watch content of any nature on a personal audio or video device.

  •  First Breach: General Penalty. Second Breach: disqualification

However, it would not be a breach if a player briefly used a cell phone. 

Temporary Immovable Obstructions (TIO):

Relief is available under Model Local Rule F-23, “Official Guide to the Rules of Golf”. Examples are electrical fans and boxes, supporting wires and cables.

The player can choose to treat the TIO as if it were an immovable obstruction and use the relief procedure under Rule 16. This local rule also provides additional relief from line of sight interference. Line of sight interference exists when the TIO is located on a straight line between the ball and the hole. This includes a one club-length wide area (corridor) measured on the equal distant arc from the hole. 

Playing Two (2) Balls When Uncertain What to Do – Rule 20.1c(3):

  • When a player is uncertain how to proceed, she may play 2 balls after the uncertain situation arises and before making a stroke.

  •  She must choose which ball will count and announce her choice before making a stroke. If she does not choose, the ball played first is treated as the ball chosen.

  • She must report the facts of the situation to the Committee before returning her scorecard, even if she scored the same with both balls.  The player is disqualified if she fails to do so.