(We repeat this text published two years ago.) In this time of the year, some golf courses still have snow but most of the golf courses are open.
We often see golf courses using temporary greens. I received many questions regarding scores and handicap. Some clubs use the regular size cup (4 inches and ¼), other use many other sizes up to a 1 foot barrel….this size should be used all year. It would be so good for my game!
How to deal with those temporary greens? If our ball lies in the closely mown area, we give ourselves 2 putts? On club length from the hole and it is a Gimmie?
Rules of Golf
Nothing in the Rules of Golf permits the use of Gimmies (only in my own book). If it is possible to cut the grass very short and the cup has a diameter of 4 ¼ inches, the competition can be played without any restriction……if the ball is holed.
Rules are different in the Handicap system. In most of the cases, the score of the hole played with a temporary green must not count in our official score. We must consider the adjusted score as follow: if we have a handicap of 18, you will mark a bogey on our score card. If our handicap is low enough not to have a stroke on that hole, you must mark a par on the score card. The corresponding stroke number is always available on the score card.
Aeration holes on the green
Very often, in the beginning of the year, we have many aeration holes on some greens. The regular rules says that we must play the ball where it lies.
In order to move the ball out of the small hole, the Committee must make a Local Rules to permit to replace the ball at the closest spot to get out of the hole when a ball is on a green. Without that local rule, we would be playing from the wrong place and add a 2 stroke penalty.