Teebirds Golf Rules (for more mature golfers—adjusted for new 2019 USGA rulings)

The following rules (with apologies to the USGA ) are designed to speed play and to accommodate the TeeBird’s more “mature” golfing talent.  Some call these “minister’s rules” as they are more “forgiving.” 

1.  Play "ready golf.” Hit first if you are ready whether on the teebox, fairway, or green!

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2.  Lift and clean is always permissible.

3.  You can move your ball one grip length to improve your lie except on the green.  The ball must not be moved closer to the hole and the ball must stay in like condition (a ball in a bunker, hazard, or rough, must be played from the bunker, hazard or rough).

4.  Putts are a gimme if within the grip of the putter (line the top of your putter with the edge of the hole, if within the grip length, it’s a “gimme.”). 

5.  NEW Always remove the flag during our league play.  Under new USGA rules, yes,  you may leave the flag in the hole for putting; but for league play our ISU Pro, Laura, strongly recommends to take the flag out to speed play and eliminate confusion. 

6.  Maximum score on any hole is double par (e.g., 6 for a par 3, 10 for par 5, etc.). When you reach double par, please pick up your ball and stop play.  This will help speed up play for all of us.

7. If any part of your ball is in the fairway or on the green, it counts as fairway or green.

8.  For individual play games only, any player may take a “mulligan” off the first tee without a stroke penalty; however, you must play the mulligan ball. 

9.  Sand trap options:  (a) When there is standing water in a sand trap, a player may choose to remove the ball out of the trap without incurring a one-stroke penalty. (b)Any other time, a player may take a one-stroke penalty and choose to declare their ball in a sand trap as “unplayable.” In both of the above options, a player must decide to take a drop prior to attempting to hit out of the trap. The player then drops the ball no closer to the hole, on the ball’s line of flight into the sand trap.   (The new USGA rules declare a 2-stroke penalty lifting out of the trap; TeeBirds only one stroke.)

10.  New USGA rule gives you 3 minutes to look for a lost ball, not 5 minutes.

11.  New USGA rule. There is no penalty if a player “accidentally” causes the ball to move in the fairway, penalty area, or green.

12.  New USGA rule. If you hit your ball out of bounds you DO NOT need to go back to the tee or where you last hit to replay the shot.  Drop your ball where it went out of bounds (drop from the knee) and take 2 strokes penalty.


Officially sanctioned by the TeeBird Planning Committee

 April 28, 2010 (Revised April 2011; revised 2015; revised April 2016; revised May 2019)


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