Do you play winter rules in the spring? Osprey Links is a great golf course, but it takes time every year for the course to get up to summer playing conditions. So, I play winter rules until I feel that the course ready. Some years, winter rules last until June and other years I will play certain holes using winter rules until fall. It really depends on when the course conditions improve. Having said that, winter rules for tournaments are determined by tournament committee just in case you think I am might take advance of the field. Sit tight, there is more to the winter rules story.
For those of you who play in warm climes, winter rules offer a player to more the ball to the closest playable piece of ground. Sometimes it is within inches, other times we have to more feet. I realize that most of you are rolling your eyes and thinking “What The Heck!” Winter rules is not to gain an advantage, but to protect the course from undue damage.
Early in the spring, our course is very delicate. The last thing that it needs is a bunch of players chewing up the dirt and fresh grass when it is trying to take hold. Also, there are many wet areas (that do not fall under the casual water rules) that also need to be protected. Gouging trenches with my wedge is really a bad idea for many reasons.
As the course starts to improve, my use of winter rules starts to diminish. In short order I only use winter rules in the fairway. Then not at all. There are a couple of instances where I do not use winter rules. First, if I am in a divot, I play it where it lies. Second, if my ball is in a good place to play, I play it down. Lastly, the closer I am to the green, the less likely that I will use winter rules because I could gain a tremendous advantage and that is just not right.
Winter rules are a thing. I try to minimize using them a much a possible, but at the beginning of the year, it is important to protect the golf course. Hence, I feel comfortable using them when I think they are needed. It is just part of golf in the northern climes.
Do you use winter rules?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!