Preferred Lies

As we (in the northern hemisphere) move into the colder months and courses can’t be maintained in peak summer conditions “Winter Rules” are often brought into play on the 1st of October. Probably the most common of these is a preferred lie rule which should be based on the model local rule E-3. This is not a “Rule of Golf” but will be an almost ubiquitous local rule – please do check exactly how your club has put this into play before using it.

The text of MLR-E3 is below.

Note that:
– you can only place in the general area (so can move into the rough, but not onto a green)
– you may only place the ball once, so you can’t try different spots
– if the ball does not stay where you place it, you must try again

2 thoughts on “Preferred Lies

  1. When preferred lies apply in the general area, is there anything to stop player placing ball to rest on vegetation eg in a convenient intersection of briar shoots rather than on the ground underneath?


    1. If the convenient intersection is within the specified relief area then no – you may place the ball there. Do note however that preferred lies are normally restricted to the “the general area cut to fairway height or less”. In plainer language – on the fairway but not in the rough!


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