Local Rules - UPDATED June 13, 2023

Local Rules have been updated.  See bottom for revisions.

  1. Out of Bounds (Rule 18 - Interpretations (usga.org))

A ball is out of bounds only when all of it comes to rest:

  1. Beyond the course side edge of any boundary wall, fence, road, hedge trunk or any white stakes that defines out of bounds throughout the course.
  2. Beyond the course side edge of any boundary wall, fence, road, or hedge trunk (Hole 2 hedge trunks left side, Hole 3 White stakes left side, Holes 10-11 sidewalk on right side, Hole 13 White stakes right side, Hole 14 hedge trunks behind hole and Hole 18 White stakes right side).
  3. Inside the fenced oil yards along the right side of Hole 1.


  1. Bridges and Paved Paths in Penalty Areas (Rule 17 - Interpretations (usga.org))

Penalty Areas are defined by yellow stakes or red stakes.  Bridges over and paved paths through penalty areas are considered immovable obstructions, but because the immovable obstruction is in a penalty area, no relief is given.  The ball can be played from the bridge.  If your ball lies on a bridge across a penalty area you also have the option to play under rule 17.


  1. Dropping Zones

If a ball is in or it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in a penalty area at hole #2 or #15, the player may:

1.  Proceed under Rule 17 (Rule 17 - Interpretations (usga.org)); or

2.  Drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, in the designated Dropping Zone. There are designated drop zones to the right of the 2nd green and to the right back of the 15th green.


  1. Immoveable Obstructions (Rule 16 - Interpretations (usga.org))

1.  Bridges and Cart paths that are paved or bricked running through the course. Note: All other paths, maintenance paths or tracks and patches of bare ground are integral parts of the course.

2.  All floodlights through the course and the signs identifying the areas that native plants are growing. If it is known or virtually certain that a player’s ball hits a floodlight pole or a sign identifying an area that native plants are growing during the play, the stroke does not count. The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made. (Ref E-11)

3.  Protection of young trees identified by stakes, if such a tree interferes with a player’s stance or area of his intended swing.

4.  Brick distance markers on teeing grounds and in the center of the fairway at 150 and 200 yards.

5.  All identification stakes & signs, except white stakes or boundary walls defining out of bounds.

6.  Metal/wooden posts and chains/ropes restricting entry or guiding traffic that cannot be easily removed by hand.

7.  All structures and equipment relating to watering or electrical distribution system (including black irrigation hoses).

8. The fence surrounding the out of bounds at the oil yards along the right side of hole 1


  1. Integral Parts of the Course

All desert, rough and rocky wasteland, and unpaved maintenance paths or tracks within the course, the ball must be played as it lies or invoke rule 19 (Rules and Clarifications (usga.org))


  1. Environmentally Sensitive Area (Rule 16 - Interpretations (usga.org))

Cemeteries on holes #9 and #18 are to be treated as an environmentally sensitive area.  They are marked with green and white stakes.  Players are to treat this marked area as Ground Under Repair.  Players are entitled to a free lift and drop one club-length from the nearest point of relief from where the ball crossed the margin of the ESA.


  1. Alternative to Stroke and Distance for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds (E-5)

This rule applies to general/casual play rounds only. It does not apply to any form of Competition Play.


When a player’s ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds, the player may proceed as follows rather than proceeding under stroke and distance.


For two penalty strokes, the player may take relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3 - Rules and Clarifications (usga.org)):


Two Estimated Reference Points:

a. Ball Reference Point: The point where the original ball is estimated to have:

  • Come to rest on the course, or
  • Last crossed the edge of the course boundary to go out of bounds.

b. Fairway Reference Point: The point of fairway of the hole being played that is nearest to the ball      reference point, but is not nearer the hole than the ball reference point.

For purposes of this Local Rule, “fairway” means any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less.

If a ball is estimated to be lost on the course or last crossed the edge of the course boundary short of the fairway, the fairway reference point may be a grass path or a teeing ground for the hole being played cut to fairway height or less.


Size of Relief Area Based on Reference Points: Anywhere between:

  • A line from the hole through the ball reference point (and within two club-lengths to the outside of that line), and
  • A line from the hole through the fairway reference point (and within two club-lengths to the fairway side of that line).        


Once the player puts a ball in play under this Local Rule:

  • The original ball that was lost or out of bounds is no longer in play and must not be played.

   But, the player may not use this option to take relief for the original ball when:

  • That ball is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in a penalty area, or
  • The player has played another ball provisionally under penalty of stroke and distance (see Rule 18.3 - Rules and Clarifications (usga.org)).

   A player may use this option to take relief for a provisional ball that has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds.


  1. Pace of Play and “Maximum Score” Stroke Play (Rule 21.2 - Rules and Clarifications (usga.org))

To encourage an acceptable Pace of Play, all golfer are expected to play the “Maximum Score” form of Stroke Play and “pick up” when they reach the maximum. The maximum allowable stokes taken on any hole shall be Two Times Par (6,8,10 strokes for par 3,4,5 respectively). The score recorded for Handicap Purposes shall be the “most likely score” or net double bogey, whichever is less. Rules for Competition play may vary and will be specified in the Conditions of Play for each Competition. No penalty but possible suspension of RHGC member privileges may be imposed for violations.


  1. Ground Under Repair (Rule 16 - Interpretations (usga.org))

Areas of Ground under Repair, GUR, are identified by an encircling white line and identified as GUR. Additionally, green mats utilized to protect the ground in high traffic areas are to be treated as GUR.


     10. Pin Positions

Color coded flags are used to identify the location of the hole on the green:

  • Red – front
  • Yellow – middle
  • Blue – back


     11. Motorized and Pull Golf Carts

Motor Carts are not permitted to be driven on or within 10 yards of greens or tees, between greens and greenside bunkers or beyond any no cart signage. Pull carts are not permitted on tees or greens including fringe areas. No penalty but possible suspension of RHGC member privileges may be imposed for violations.


     Penalty for Breach of Local Rules (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Stroke play – “General Penalty” - Two Strokes
  • Match play – “General Penalty” - Loss of Hole

Recent Revisions:



February 28, 2023

Update to Out of Bounds, Immovable Obstructions, Golf Carts and links to official rules

May 22, 2023

Removal of “No Play Zones” local rule, that defined newly planted tree areas to be treated as an abnormal course condition.  

June 13, 2023

Removal of Out of Bounds to the right of the pathway on Hole 12.