A few questions came up this weekend about the E-3 Rule implemented for our Club Championship, then subsequently Tuesday play. The rule was implemented hastily, prior to the Championship, because many areas in our fairways had deteriorated significantly because of the very hot weather. The rules committee wanted to review this once again, to ensure all was appropriate for the WWGA at this time, so missed implementing this officially prior to Tuesday's play day this week.
The last paragraph in the document emailed to you was added to show examples of cases when you would want to move the ball and ended up being the focus paragraph. (We will be removing this paragraph.) When the E-3 rule is in effect, you can move your ball, again fairway only, to a preferred lie. We are recommending within one club length at all times. There may be the rare condition, that one club length is not enough, but this should be rare.
Moving forward for Tuesday play, and the balance of our WWGA tournaments, this rule be in effect. For your reference the USGA '' verbiage is:
The USGA Model Local Rule for E-3 is
Purpose. When occasional local abnormal conditions might interfere with fair play, the affected parts of the course can be defined as ground under repair. But adverse conditions such as heavy snows, spring thaws, prolonged rains or extreme heat can sometimes damage the course or prevent use of heavy mowing equipment.
When such conditions are widespread on the course, the Committee can choose to adopt a Local Rule for “preferred lies” (also known as “winter rules”) to allow fair play or help protect the fairway. Such a Local Rule should be withdrawn as soon as conditions allow.
The use of this Local Rule outside the fairway in the general area is not recommended as it may result in a player receiving free relief from areas where a ball might otherwise be unplayable (such as in areas of bushes or trees).
Model Local Rule E-3
“When a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less 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.
· Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: [Specify size of relief area, such as one club-length, one scorecard length or 6 inches from the reference point, but with these limits:
· Limits on Location of Relief Area:
· Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
· Must be in the general area.
Again, many states experience extreme weather conditions occasionally and sometimes these weather conditions can damage large parts of a course or restrict mowers from cutting the grass. When such conditions are widespread on the course, the Rules Committee has the authority to implement Model Local Rule E-3 “Preferred Lies,” better known as “Lift, Clean and Place.” Up until about three weeks ago, our fairways were in pretty good shape, but the high heat from the last few weeks has changed the fairway conditions significantly, hence the reason for this local ruling.
This is your choice whether to implement the E-3 rule or not. If you choose to play the ball down, throughout your round, this is okay, but players are not penalized if they choose the E-3 option at this time.
If you have any questions, please let us know.
Woods Women's Golf Association (WWGA)