Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ask Linda #1320-Lift, clean, and replace

In my group, we have golf events in which we offer a trophy for the lowest 2-day total (using handicaps, of course). We try to play one each month. Therefore, we play in all kinds of weather. We hardly ever play preferred lies (winter rules), but we do play lift, clean and place (LCP).  I usually make the call by stating LCP in the short grass (fairway) only. And I include the wrong fairways, as well! 
Now, some of the group watching the final round at Colonial [May, 2015] questioned me about the rule because the PGA stated, on that day, that LCP included the rough! (through the green).
I have responded it is NOT an official USGA rule but only a club rule. Therefore during our events we play LCP in the fairway only.
Needless to say, I have been challenged by some!
Am I correct to state LCP is a club rule in which the area of LCP is determined by the club official and NOT by the rulebook? And does fairway include the wrong fairways as well?
Please help! This verbal abuse needs to end!  :-)
Lou from Arkansas

Dear Lou,

First, a clarification. "Preferred lies" and "Lift, Clean, and Place" are two expressions for the same procedure (players mark, lift, clean, and place the ball within a certain distance determined by the Committee, e.g., one club-length). I believe you are talking about "Lift, Clean, and Replace," which allows the player to mark, lift, and clean his ball, and then replace it on the spot from which it was lifted. Please read about these two Local Rule in Appendix 1, Part A, #3b and #3c.

The decision to Lift, Clean, and Replace is at the discretion of the Committee in charge of the competition. If the Committee at your golf course (which may very well be you) decides that conditions are such that it would be appropriate to allow players to lift, clean and replace the ball, it must state not only that players have permission to do so, but where they may do so. In other words, you may advise players that they are entitled to lift, clean, and replace on all closely-mown areas (which will include the fairways of holes they are not playing). Alternately, you may limit the area to “only the fairway of the hole you are playing,” or limit it even further to specific holes. You (the Committee) may also decide to allow players to lift, clean, and replace “through the green,” which would be all areas of the golf course (including the rough) except the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played and all hazards.

Whether to adopt this Local Rule, and where to allow its implementation, is a Committee decision. This Local Rule can be found in Appendix I, Part A, #3c.

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