Suspension of play due to dangerous conditions
The Starter may suspend play when lightning or other dangerous conditions threaten player safety. You may also suspend play if you believe there is danger from lightning. You are in the best position to decide. Do not wait for the Starter to suspend play if you feel unsafe. You should take advantage of Rule 5.7a which allows you to stop play when you reasonably believe there is danger from lightning, but you must report to the Starter as soon as possible.
One long blast – repeated once after 30 seconds.
Discontinue play – Dangerous situation
Three short blasts – repeated once after 30 seconds
Discontinue play – Other situations
Two short blasts – repeated once after 30 seconds.
Signals to suspend play will be given from three positions:
- On the veranda
- On Hawkesbury Valley Way near the Rum Corps entrance
- Near the Greenkeepers Shed
Rules issues when the Starter suspends play – Rule 5.7
- Suspension of play is permitted when:
- The Starter has suspended play
- A player believes there is danger from lightning
Bad weather is not of itself a good reason for discontinued play
- Procedure when play has been suspended by the Starter:
One long blast: Stop play immediately, unless you have commenced your backswing.
Three short blasts: you may discontinue play immediately or continue play of the hole, provided you do so without delay. Play must be discontinued after the hole is completed.
- Lifting a ball after play has been discontinued.
The ball may be left where it is or lifted. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. If the player lifts the ball and fails to mark the position of the ball before listing it, he incurs a penalty of one stroke
- Procedure when play is resumed:
- If the player has lifted the ball, he must place the original ball or a substituted ball on the spot from which the original ball was lifted.
- If the player has not lifted his ball, he may lift, clean and replace the ball, or substitute a ball, on the spot from which the original ball was lifted. Before lifting the ball, he must mark it’s position.
- If the player’s ball or ball-marker is moved (including by wind or water) while play is discontinued, a ball or ball-marker must be placed on the spot from which the original ball or ball-marker was moved.
Note 1: If the spot where the ball is to be placed is impossible to determine, it must be estimated, and the ball placed on the estimated spot.
Note 2: Players who suspend play on their own initiative may resume when they believe it is safe unless the Starter has subsequently suspended play
Danger from Lightning
You should be aware that if you are on a golf course during lightning activity there is a real danger of being struck by lightning.
If you believe there is a danger from lightning, you should stop play immediately and seek shelter.
When club officials are made aware of lightning activity in the area, they may decide to suspend play. The following Suspension of Play siren codes are used to notify players of a suspension of play:
|Discontinue play immediately||One, 3 second blast, repeated after 30 seconds|
|Discontinue play||Three, 1 second blasts, repeated once after 30 seconds|
|Continue play||Two, 1 second blasts, repeated once after 30 seconds|
(These codes are also displayed on the back of the scorecard for quick reference)
All players are required under the Terms of the Competition to immediately comply with any warnings given and are strongly urged to follow the advice given below. Players who suspend play on their own initiative may resume when they believe it is safe unless the Starter has subsequently suspended play.
When you believe there is a danger from lightning you should not wait for the Starter to suspend play. You should not rely on the Starter to suspend play. Firstly, there is no guarantee the club officials will be able to suspend play (they may all be out on the course with you). Secondly, the danger from lightning is better determined on the spot, rather than in the Golf Shop, possibly a kilometre away from where you are on the course.
You should take advantage of Rule 5.7a which allows a player to discontinue play when “he or she reasonably believe there is danger from lightning but must report to the Starter as soon as possible”.
When a thunderstorm threatens, get inside a home or large building, or inside an all-metal vehicle (certainly not a golf buggy). This may not be practical when you are playing golf, therefore you should take action as soon as you recognise the danger.
If there is no time to reach a safe building or a vehicle, follow these rules:
- Do not stand underneath a natural lightning rod such as a tall, isolated tree.
- Avoid being the highest object in the surrounding landscape. E.g. don’t stand on a hilltop, on a tee surrounded by open water or on an open fairway.
- Get away from tractors and other metal course equipment.
- Get off and away from golf carts, motorcycles, scooters, and away from your golf clubs.
- Stay away from wire fences, metal pipes, rails, and other metallic pathways that could carry lightning to you from some distance away.
- Avoid standing in small, isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
- In the trees, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
- In open areas, go to a low place such as a gully
- If in a group, spread out, keeping people several metres apart.
- If you’re hopelessly isolated in a level paddock and you feel your hair stand on end, indicating that lightning is about to strike – crouch down, feel close together with your head tucked down. Do not lie flat on the ground.