The eagle eyed amongst our Members will already have noticed from the Captain's Committee Minutes and the Club Notice board that the local rules have been updated. This latest change comes as a direct result of an incident in last years US Open when the ultimate winner, Dustin Johnson, was penalised two shots at the end of his round for accidental movement of his ball on the putting green. This incident, which caused a fine old kerfuffle at the time, has led to the R&A together with the USGA putting together a new specimen local rule and which your Committee has decided to adopt - it says
LOCAL RULE FOR ACCIDENTAL MOVEMENT OF A BALL ON A PUTTING GREEN
When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1. This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.