How to play on sand greens

 
LOCAL RULES FOR SAND GREENS       
 
The following Local Rules issued by Golf Australia will apply throughout Australia from 1 April 1992. The Rules of Golf as approved by R&A Rules Limited, so far as they are not at variance with these Local Rules, will apply, and they are to be read in conjunction with these special Rules for Sand Greens.
 
Etiquette                                                                                                                      
 
The last player to hole their ball on the putting green should empty the hole of sand and ensure that the flagstick is centred in the hole.
A fellow competitor or the opponent of the last player to hole out shall cause the sand within three smoother- widths of the hole to be smoothed or raked.
 
Definitions                                                                                                                   
 
Putting Green – The putting green is the sanded portion specially prepared for putting. The Committee shall define the perimeter of the putting green.  The term “Sand” in these rules shall mean all material used by the Committee.
Smoother – The smoother is the implement provided or approved by the Committee for use by players smoothing the putting green preparatory to putting. The blade of the smoother must not be less than 60cm in length.
Hole – For the purpose of Section II, Definition of the Rules of Golf, a lining having an inner diameter of 108mm (4¼inches) may be used provided that, when sunk, its upper edge is not more than 6mm (¼ inch) below the putting green surface.
Loose Sand – Sand and loose soil on a sand green is not a loose impediment.
 
Rules                                                                                                                            
 
1.SMOOTHING
When the ball lies on the putting green, or within one club length of the putting green, the line from the player's ball to the hole may be smoothed subject to the following considerations:
The smoother shall be DRAWN and not pushed.
The player is allowed a maximum of two smooths per putt. Where a rake and smoother are provided, the rake shall only be used for the first smooth, provided the final smooth is made with the smoother.
Ball on the Putting Green
The putting green shall be smoothed in one consistently weighted and continuous action once from a point beyond the spot where the player’s ball was lifted to the hole, and in the same line at least two club-lengths beyond the hole, or in the reverse order at the option of the player. If the player elects to make a second smooth, the second smooth shall be in the reverse direction of the first smooth.
Ball within One Club Length of the Putting Green
If a ball is within one club length of the putting green, the player may smooth in one consistently weighted and continuous action once from the defined perimeter of the putting green on a line from the ball to the hole, to at least two club-lengths beyond the hole, or in the reverse order at the option of the player. If the player elects to make a second smooth, the second smooth shall be in the reverse direction of the first smooth.
Use of Rake and Smoother (New clause 2000)
Notwithstanding the above clauses, if a rake and a smoother are provided by the club, the rake may only be used for the first smooth, and may be used from the near side of the hole (not from beyond the hole, so as to avoid damage). A second smooth, with the smooth edge, must then be made back in the opposite direction, beyond the hole as in
1.2.1 and 1.2.2 above.
 
 
The smoother shall be used in such a manner that there shall not be any ridge or heaping of sand which could operate to a player’s advantage. The player may be required by their fellow competitor or opponent, without penalty to the player, to remove any ridge or heap of sand. If the player’s ball is deflected by a ridge of sand at the edge of the smoothed portion, there is no penalty and the stroke may not be replayed.
The smoother may be used by the player, or any person authorised by them, but the player shall at all times be responsible for any breach of the Rules or Local Rules.
 

During the play of the hole, the player is permitted to remove weeds growing on the putting green.
In the smoothing of sand where a loose impediment causes a mark to be made on the surface of the sand which:
in the opinion of the opponent or the marker or a fellow competitor, will be of assistance to the player, the loose impediment may be removed and the surface shall be re-smoothed once only;
in the opinion of the player, will be detrimental to them, the loose impediment may be removed and the surface may be re-smoothed once only.
Damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball shall not be repaired other than in the normal course of smoothing as per Rule 1.2.
 
2.LIFTING, MARKING AND REPLACING THE BALL
The position of the ball shall be marked and lifted preparatory to smoothing by the player, their partner or by any person authorised by the  player.  It  shall  be  replaced  only  by  the player, their partner or the person who lifted it and it must be replaced at the spot from which it was lifted.
The player shall at all times be responsible for any breach of the Rules or Local Rules.
If the player does not wish to smooth the putting surface prior to playing a ball at rest on the green after any stroke, the ball may be lifted and placed within five (5 cms/2 inches) of where it last came to rest but not nearer the hole.
 
Before lifting the ball, two straight lines AB and AC are scratched in the sand as shown in Fig. 1. These lines should extend sideways from the ball. “A” is the marked position of the ball. When the smooth is completed, those portions of the lines represented by AD and AE in Fig. 2 will be obliterated.  “A” can readily be located by projecting the lines BD and CE until they meet.  The point of intersection will be “A” and the ball must be replaced on that spot.
 
3.BALL HOLED
A ball shall be deemed to be holed within the meaning of Section 2 of the Rules of Golf when it lies wholly within the circumference of the hole even if by reason of sand left within the hole all of the ball is not below the level of the lip of the hole.
 
4.EXCESS SAND IN CUP
Players are permitted to empty the hole of excess sand at any time subject to sand green Rule 1-3 above.
 
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF THESE SPECIAL RULES
Match Play – Loss of hole Stroke Play – Two strokes