Brett Vale Golf Club

Enjoy the best of Golf at Brett Vale


Course Status

Course open - buggies / trolleys allowed Updated: 22nd Jun 2024

Local Rules

These are the current local rules. Please check notice board in the Club House for other current local rules.

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Out of Bounds

  • Post with white tops – out of bounds is defined by the line between the course-side points, at ground level, of the posts with white tops. Posts which define OOB must not be removed and no free relief from them is available.
  • Hedges – where hedges bound the course, OOB is defined by the line between the course side points at ground level of the trunks or protective sleeving of the plants that form the hedge.
  • A ball coming to rest on or beyond the road to the left of the 14th and 16th holes is OOB, even if it comes to rest on another part of the course which is in bounds for other holes.
  • When playing the 5th hole a ball is OOB if it comes to rest beyond the white posts between the 5th and 4th holes.

Penalty Areas (Rule 17)

Definition: A penalty area is any body on the course (whether or not marked by the committee) including a sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course ( even if not containing water) and any other part of the course the committee defines as a penalty are by red or yellow marker posts, see rule 17 for relief options.

The edge of the penalty area is defined by the line between the outside points of the posts at ground level and the posts are inside the penalty area.

  • Penalty areas are defined by Red posts or red/yellow capped posts.
  • If a boundary has not been defined by stakes it is defined by its natural boundaries- that is where the ground slopes down to from the depression that can hold the water.
  • A ball is in a penalty area even if the area is improperly marked by the committee.

Status of Bridges over Penalty Areas

  • When a ball lies in a penalty area and a bridge interferers with the swing or stance, the player is NOT entitled to free relief. (Rule 16.1a)
  • The bridges around the 5th hole all cross ”open water course” penalty areas. A ball lying on a bridge on the 5th hole is considered to be lying in the penalty area if it lies within the edge of the penalty area as defined in the Local Rule 2, and no free relief is available.
  • The stone bridge on the 11th hole does no cross an open water course, therefore none of the bridge is considered to be within the penalty area. A ball lying anywhere on the bridge is considered to be lying in the general area and free relief is available under rule 16.1a

Status of Putting Green When Temporary Putting Green is Used

When a temporary putting green is in play on any hole, the putting green that has been replaced is a wrong green and free relief for interference must be taken under rule 13.1f.

Status of Practise Putting Green or Temporary Putting Green

All temporary greens when cut are to be treated as a wrong green even when not in use and relief must be taken under rule 13.1f.

Preferred Lies ( only if relevant if a general notice has been posted indicating that preferred lies are in operation

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 appoint : Spot of the original ball.
  • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference point: 6 inches from the reference point, but with these limits….
  • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
  • Must be in the general area

In proceeding under the Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing ball under Rule 14.2.

Relief from Aeration Holes

If a players ball lies in or touches an aeration hole:

(a) Ball in general area. The player may take relief under rule 16.1b. If the ball comes to rest in another aeration hole the player may take relief again under this Local Rule.

(b) Ball on Putting Green. The player may take relief under rule 16.1d.

But interference does not exist in the aeration hole only interferes with the players stance or, on the putting green, on the players line of play.

No Play Zones / Staked Trees

The area defined by the chain link surrounding the oak tree left of the 11th fairway ia a no play zone that is to be treated as an abnormal course condition. Free relief must be taken from interference by the no play zone under rule 16.1f.

Young trees which are staked or are protected by a sleeve around the trunk are no play zones.

  • If a players ball lies anywhere on the course other than in a penalty area and it lies on or touches such a tree, or a tree interferes with the players stance or area of intended swing, the player must take relief under rule 16.1f.
  • If the ball lies in a penalty area, and interference to the players stance or area or intended swing exists from such a tree, the player must take relief either with a penalty under rule 17.1 or with free relief under rile 17.1e(2)

Ball Deflected by Power Line

If it is known or virtually certain that a players ball hit a power line or tower or a wire or pole supporting a power line during the play of holes 1, 7, 8, 13, the stroke does not count. The Player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made (see rule 14.6 for what to do).

Abnormal Course Conditions Rule 16

Ground Under Repair is defined by any area encircled by a white line. The Player can take relief under rule 16.1b

Areas in bunkers where sand has been removed by the movement of water resulting in deep furrows through the sand are Ground Under Repair. The player can take relief under relief under rule 16.1c.

Immovable Obstructions (incl. those close to Putting Greens ( i.e. fixed sprinkler heads))

Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be taken under rule 16.1.

Ball in general area. The player may take relief under rule 16.1b if an immovable obstruction on the line of play, and is:

  • Within two club-lengths of the putting green, and
  • Within two club-lengths of the ball

Exceptions – No relief if line of play clearly unreasonable, There is no relief under this local rule if the player chooses a line of play that is clearly unreasonable.

Fence behind 13th green

The fence behind the 13th green is an immovable obstruction and free relief under Rule 16.1 is available if the nett interferes with your area of intended swing or your stance. You do not get free relief if the net merely interferes with your intended ball flight.

  • NB there is no free relief from the hedge
  • There is no relief from the fence under this Local Rule if it is clearly unreasonable to make a stroke at your ball. E.g. if the hedge itself prevents you from making a stroke.
  • Your reference point is the nearest position where the fence does not interfere with your swing or stance.
  • Your ball must be dropped within 1 club length of this point, not closer to the hole….you cannot drop “as far back away from the fence as you like” in order to be able to play over the fence.

Damage by animals

In the general area, relief from animal holes is allowed under Rule 16.1b.

Definition of ‘ animal hole’: Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments ( such as worms and insects).

The term animal hole includes:

  • The loose material the animal has dug out of the hole
  • Any worn-down track or trail leading into the hole, and
  • Any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground.

Animal Dung

At the players option, goose dung may be treated either as:

  • A loose impediment that may be removed under Rule 16.1, or
  • Ground under repair from which relief is allowed under Rule 16.1.

If dung is found on the putting green, the player may also remove it remove the line of play. If doing so improves the line of play or other conditions affecting the stroke, there is no penalty under rule 8.1.a.

All Roads and Paths Treated as Obstructions

All roads and paths in the general area, even if not artificially-surfaced, are treated as immovable obstructions from which free relief is allowed under Rule16.1.

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a local rule is the general penalty.

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Noakes Road, Raydon , Ipswich, IP7 5LR | Phone: 01473 310 718 | Email:

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