Al Ain Golf Club Rules and Etiquette
Al Ain Golf Club is an 18-hole sand course located in the shadow of Jebal Hafit. It was established in 1991, and was the first golf course in the eastern region of the UAE. It is affiliated with St. Andrews Golf Association and has been affiliated with the UGA. . Actually, there is very little sand on the course as the course is on a gravel plain extending from the beautiful Hajar Mountains. It is not uncommon to find arrow heads and other artifacts while playing.
Due to the nature of our sand course, we do not use any water on the course for ascetic purposes, nor do we pump chemicals on the course. If you do happen to retrieve your ball from the water hazard, you will not come out with blue legs as we do not use coloring dyes.
We strive to create a minimal environmental footprint, and create a map for sustainable golf in the UAE. Today Golf in the UAE is responsible for many environmentally related issues. The lack of regulatory actions means that we ourselves are responsible for our course, our member’s health, the environment and our actions.
We do however put oil on the greens intermittently to create a putting surface, and are currently working on biodegradable substances that can give us the same properties as oil in creating a perfect putting area
Golf shoes with spikes are not allowed due to the texture of our browns (greens). Shoes with minimal sole indentations are recommended. Walk on the browns as if you are walking on thin ice.
This is a round piece of plastic artificial grass, which is used to hit the ball from when the ball comes to rest on the fairway. The mat should be made of AAGC approved materials. It shall be circular with a diameter of not more than 12 inches. It is advised that the mat should be in good condition, and that the ball be placed at least 2 inches from the edge of the mat. If the ball rolls off the mat, it can be replaced without penalty.
When the ball comes to rest on the fairway, it may be played off the mat. When the ball comes to rest in a position other than the fairway in play, it should be played as it lies. Except in a water hazard or out of bounds where it is deemed unplayable. When the rules state that the ball may be dropped, it should be dropped, not placed, to within two club lengths of the dropping point, no nearer the hole.
The fairway is marked by white markers. The markers are on the fairway and mark the edge. Hence, a ball touching a line indicated by the markers is on the fairway. Any new growth on the fairway is a moveable obstruction.
Out of Bounds
If the ball lands within an area marked by white marker posts, the ball is deemed out of bounds. These areas include the course boundary fence, the driving range, the course maintenance area, the area around the practice brown, and the area around the clubhouse. Regular rules apply for playing a ball which is out of bounds
The tee boxes, brush stands, fairway markers, and hole signs are immovable obstructions. Loose stones are loose impediments and may be moved from any part of the course without improving the balls lie. Sand and gravel are not loose impediments unless they are on the putting brown.
Putting Surfaces (Browns)
The areas of the course surfaced with oiled sand are called the browns, and shall be treated the same as putting greens. The browns should be brushed after each hole is played. Each brown has a brush and the brown should be brushed from the center out. Browns may be repaired or brushed before each stoke is played. Light sports shoes are recommended, and under no circumstances are spiked golf shoes to be worn.
Water hazards on the course are marked by red or yellow markers.
If your ball lands in a vertical hazard (yellow marker), you have 3 options:
- You can try to play it from the hazard, if possible. You may not ground your club.
- You can go back to the spot from where you hit the ball into the water, add a one stroke penalty, drop a ball on that spot and play from there.
- You may drop a ball under penalty of one stroke, behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the ball last crossed the hazard line directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped. You may go as far back on this line as you like as long you do not go out of bounds.
If your ball lands in a lateral water hazard (red marker), you have the three water hazard options above, plus two additional options. They are:
- You may drop a ball within two club-lengths of where it last crossed the hazard line, not nearer the hole.
- You may drop a ball within two club-lengths of a point on the opposite side of the lateral water hazard which is the same distance from the hole. *(This option seldom comes into play, and is not used often, but it is available and could save you strokes if you know how to apply it.)
The bund is the area on which the brown is built on. If the ball becomes stuck in the bund, the ball may be cleaned and placed within one club length from its original position, no nearer the hole. If the ball gets stuck on the inner part of the bund or the brown aspect of the bund, the ball may be placed on the brown no nearer the hole. If the ball gets stuck on the outer part of the bund, the ball may not be placed on the brown. Walking on the bunds is not allowed and is a breach of local rules.
Bunkers are spread out over the course. Thick ropes have been placed on the lip of the bunkers to stop the ball from rolling out of the bunker. If the ball gets plugged in the bund of the bunker, it may be placed next to the ball mark, and allowed to roll into a playable position.
For breach of local rules:
Stroke Play – 2 shot penalty, Match Play – loss of hole