Some Of Our Favorite Offbeat Local Rules

early every golf course has unique features needing special governance, also known as Local Rules. When traveling, keep an eye out for Local Rules posted on bulletin boards, scorecards or signs. They could save you a stroke or two, or—like these odd ones we collected here—make you smile.


When shots miss the fairway and rough at Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah, they often land on volcanic rock. A Local Rule allows golfers to carry and use a 15th club—a “rock club”—to avoid damaging their regular clubs.


If a ball flies to the right of the O.B. stakes on the fourth hole at Hanover Country Club in Abbottstown, Pa., even if it comes back into play when landing, it’s out. Winthrop (Minn.) Golf Club has a similar “internal aerial out-of-bounds” on its sixth hole. A ball that goes to the right of a flagpole 200 yards off the tee is O.B. (Both are protecting adjacent holes.)


In Alberta, animals run past golfers as if the course were a shooting arcade. Banff Springs’ Local Rules state that “any shot striking an elk or other animal may be replayed without penalty.” Jasper Park Lodge also extends the rule to all creatures: “Any shot striking wildlife may be replayed without penalty.”

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