What’s in a Name? – The Seniors Section

The AGM for the Parklands Vets Section was held in the clubhouse this morning and one of the most significant changes agreed at the meeting was a change of name. Forthwith, the Section will be known as the ‘Seniors Section’. The section continues to be a mixed section. Along with the name change, there was a new constitution agreed, a copy of which will be placed in the clubhouse for members to read at their leisure. Happy golfing.

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New Rules of Golf for 2019

If you are playing golf tomorrow or later this week, don’t forget that the new Rules of Golf apply from midnight tonight. So if you have done nothing about learning the changes, you will need to spend some time familiarising yourself with the changes before you turn up for your next competition. Good luck


The new Rules of Golf 2019 take effect on 1st January 2019. The key changes include:

New Definitions: 
  • Penalty Area – an area from which relief with a 1 shot penalty is allowed (formerly ‘Water Hazard’). Still defined as either yellow or red.
  • Relief Area – the area in which the ball must be dropped (and come to rest) when taking relief under a rule.
  • Reference Point – the point from which the size of the Relief Area is measured.
  • General Area – anywhere on the course except Teeing areas, Penalty areas, Bunkers and Greens (formerly ‘Through the Green’)
  • Temporary Water – formerly ‘Casual Water’
Pace-of-play support
  • Encouragement of Ready Golf  in Stroke Play.
  • Recommended maximum 40 seconds to play a shot.
  • Reduced search time, alternative to stroke & distance and putting with the flagstick in the hole (see below for more details)
  • Players may agree to play out of turn in Match Play.
Elimination of ‘Ball Moved’ penalties
  • No penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball.
Relaxed Putting Green rules
  • No penalty if a ball hits an unattended flagstick in the hole.
  • Players may repair damage to the green, whether their ball is on the green or not. This includes old hole plugs, spike marks and damage made by shoes, animals and maintenance practices.
  • No penalty for touching the line of putt.
  • A ball resting against the flagstick is deemed holed as long as part of the ball is below the surface of the ground.
  • Interference by a Wrong Green now includes the player’s stance.
Relaxed Bunker rules
  • No penalty for moving loose impediments (stones, leaves, etc.) in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with hand or club (but not directly in front or behind the ball or in making a backswing or practice swing).
  • An extra relief option for an unplayable ball, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two stroke penalty.
Relaxed rules for Penalty Areas
  • Expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed
  • No penalty for moving loose impediments, touching the ground or water or taking a practice swing in a Penalty Area.
Simplified way of Taking Relief
  • New procedure for taking relief by dropping in a specific Relief Area.
  • Ball dropped from knee height and must stay within the Relief Area.
Lost Ball & Provisional Ball
  • A ball is Lost if not found within 3 minutes of commencing search, although a reasonable amount of additional time is allowed to get to and identify a ball that has been spotted within the 3 minutes.
  • Provisional Ball may be played after the player has moved forward, at any time up to the end of the 3 minute search period.
  • The honour on the tee is determined by the player with the lowest gross score on the previous hole.
  • No need to announce the intention to lift a ball to identify it or to determine if it is in an abnormal condition (ball must be marked first).
  • A ball may be marked by holding a club behind or to the side of it.
  • Natural objects may be moved to see if they are loose or unattached. If they are found to be attached they must be replaced as close as possible to their original position.
  • No penalty for a multiple hit or if the ball accidentally hits a player.
  • Relief for an embedded ball is available anywhere in the General Area. The Relief Area is 1 club length from a point directly behind the ball.
  • No “opposite side relief” from red Penalty Areas (unless there is a local rule in place – not applicable at MGC).
  • A player may keep using and/or repair any club damaged during the round, no matter what the damage and even if the player damaged it in anger.
  • A player is not allowed to replace a damaged club, except when it is damaged by an outside influence or by someone other than the player or caddie.
  • A new form of Stroke Play called ‘Maximum Score‘ where the maximum score for a hole is set at a specific number (e.g. 8), or twice the par of the hole, or nett double bogey. For example, if the maximum score for a hole is set at 8 and you lose your ball and decide not to complete the hole, your score is entered as 8. Similarly, once you have played 7 (or less) shots you can pick up your ball and record 8 on the scorecard. For CONGU Qualifying Competitions the maximum score must be set at a minimum of 5 over par (equivalent to the ‘stableford adjustment’ of net double bogey for a player receiving 3 shots on the hole).

Click on the photos on the right to see explanations of some of the major changes,

or https://www.randa.org/RulesEquipment/Rules/20RulesMustKnows

or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chPOtfLUHC0


Click to go to the Official Rules of Golf website, which is made up of 6 parts, including:

  • The Rules of Golf (full version) which is intended for those who administer the game and who need to answer the variety of questions that can arise in relation to golf competitions.
  • The Rules of Golf (Player’s Edition) which is intended for you, the golfer. It contains the Rules situations that occur most commonly on the course and is an abridged version of the full Rules. Although its text is edited, it gives the same answer that is in the full Rules of Golf and so it is a functioning Rule book.
  • Definitions – over 70 defined terms that form the foundation around which the Rules are written.
  • Interpretations – provided only for aspects of the Rules that are considered to require additional clarification (replaces the old ‘Decisions’ book).
  • Committee Procedures – practical guidance for those involved in running day to day play at golf courses, including defining Penalty Areas and defining Local Rules.


The Rules of Golf Modernisation website  contains detailed descriptions, documents and videos about the new rules, as well as a link to download the 2019 Rules app for iOS and Android.

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Joe Gray RIP

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Joe Gray who was a former member of Parklands Golf Club and who will be remembered by many of the regulars who played golf in the Sunday morning Men’s Competitions.  Joe died peacefully on Christmas Eve. Joe’s funeral is Tuesday 8th January at West Road crematorium at 3.00pm. The full notice from the Chronicle – GRAY JOSEPH COLLINGWOOD Joe (Wideopen) Peacefully in hospital on December 24th, aged 68 years. Dearly loved husband of Val, dear stepdad of Tracey, father-in-law of Ian, a much loved ‘grandad Joe’ to Christopher, dear brother of Michael and brother-in-law to Kath. Friends please meet for service at the West Road Crematorium on Tuesday January 8th at 3.00pm. Family flowers only please donations in lieu may be sent for Cancer Research UK C/o Melrose Funeral Services, 39 Market Street, Dudley, NE23 7HS

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Vet’s Players of the Year

The Vets players of the year were announced at the Annual Dinner and Presentation night last Wednesday.

The photograph shows Peter Clark receiving his trophy as the men’s winner. The Lady winner was Mary Wright who could not attend to collect her trophy on the night. Well done to you both.

All the photographs of the presentation can be viewed by clicking the following link to launch Flikr



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Vets Dinner and Presentation Night

With 70 members and partners sitting down to dine on a 3-course meal last night, Parklands was filled to capacity. The Vets annual dinner and presentation night was well attended and well organised, and Lynn and the staff worked hard all day to prepare and serve a traditional Christmas fare. The trophy presentation was well attended with most of the winners collecting their trophies on the night. A generous amount of donations ensured a wide distribution of raffle prizes. Thanks to all who helped to make the occasion go so well.

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Men’s Presentation Evening

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Lady Chairman’s Charity – Thank You to Our Members

Yesterday our Lady Chairman (and Northumberland County Captain), Candy Brown, had the great pleasure of handing over a cheque for £600 to the Maggie’s Centre at the Freeman Hospital. The proceeds from donations from her Chairman’s day at Parklands were combined with the County Event for the Durnell Trophy held in June, which always go to the county captain’s chosen charity.
She picked Maggie’s Newcastle as her charity this year as it is such a warm and happy place that supports so many people. Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends “I have fond memories of my times there with my best friend, also called Maggie, who sadly is no longer with us.”

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Northumbria Junior Golf League Presentation

The Presentation Evening for the Northumbria Junior Golf League was held last Sunday night at Whitley Bay Golf Club. To cap off a great year for our junior team, we were proud to see one of our team players, Ben Jones, receive the Frank Dobson Award Junior for League Player of the Year 2018 – well done Ben – a superb achievement.

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Rules of Golf 2019 – R&A

We are all aware that the changes to the rules of golf which will come into effect on the 1st January will make many of us have to unlearn the past and embrace some quite fundamental changes. The term Water Hazard disappears and is replaced with Penalty Area; we can remove objects from bunkers without having to distinguish between natural and man-made objects; we can take relief from bunkers if we can’t play out (for the cost of two strokes) and many more. Most of the rules are common sense and are designed to speed up the game. The one which will be the most difficult to manage will be – only 3 minutes to look for the ball (currently 5 mins). We all can relate to instances where the 5-minute rule has been broken, so to impose 3 minutes on yourself will take a lot of self-discipline.

I can thoroughly recommend the R&A app available for iPhone or Android.

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Lest We Forget

If you have played the course in the last week, you will have noticed the fitting tribute made by our green staff on the 11th green …. well done guys, proud to be seen at Parklands.

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