To protect the course we have ‘preferred lies’ or ‘winter rules’ at this time of year which means when our ball is on a closely mown area i.e. the fairway we can mark, lift and clean the ball then place it within 6 inches no nearer the hole that is not on a putting green and not in a hazard. You must mark the position of the ball before you lift it to have an accurate reference point for placing it again and once it is at rest when you place it you cannot replace it because you don’t like the lie you picked the first time! All our bunkers are out of play which means they no longer have the status of hazards rather they are treated as areas of GUR through the green. Drop the ball within one club length of the nearest point of relief no nearer the hole. It will be the luck of the draw whether this spot is behind or beside the bunker so leave the ball where it is while you are deciding where your nearest point of relief is and where you will be dropping the ball. Even though we have placing at the moment please continue to replace divots properly, putting them back into the ground from where they came and press them down as best you can. Our greens are in great condition but you must repair pitch marks to protect their surfaces. Make sure you always have a pitch repairer in your pocket not in you bag and repair a mark whether or not it is your own. We have a local rule in place that allows you to drop an embedded ball anywhere on the course apart from when a ball is embedded in a hazard. Remove the ball from where it has embedded and drop it as near to that spot as possible no nearer the hole. If it comes to rest nearer the hole redrop the ball. You may not press down the pitch mark made by the ball before you play your shot but may do so once you have played to repair the mark. If we have ‘placing everywhere’ at any stage it always means everywhere except in water hazards and in particular you have no free relief for a ball embedded in a grassy area within a water hazard at any time. You must proceed under the water hazard rule under penalty of one stroke. If by chance you hit the ball and only succeed in driving it further into the ground i.e. the ball is never airborne you cannot avoid a penalty stroke and you must proceed under the unplayable ball rule. Happy golfing everybody and show consideration for all golfers by looking after the course during difficult weather conditions.