Important Golf Update

There has been a great deal of discussion by the Golf Committee and Greens & Grounds Committee regarding updates to the golf course, new rules of golf implementation and its impact on pace of play. We have narrowed our list down to highlight some key points that will make your golfing experience at Westborough CC even more enjoyable, all while keeping our golf course in pristine condition.


Through communication with the Competition Committee at USGA headquarters and our own research, we will be converting to premium flagsticks this year. These flagsticks will be tapered and much more receptive to the golf ball for players leaving the flagstick in while putting.
Keeping the flagstick in is an option that is new to the rules of golf for 2019. Research is estimating that by keeping the flagstick in for a foursome compared to taking it out can save approximately 10 minutes per round. (See below for additional details)

No Play Zone

The boundary of the creek that runs from hole #13 across holes #18, #17 and #14, is a penalty area no play zone identified by red paint. (1 stroke penalty) It is important that all players understand entering the area is prohibited. Players may not enter the area to retrieve a ball or for any other reason. You may recall we spent about $40K on native plantings to beatify the land along the creek. It is imperative we stay out of this area to assure these plants will serve the purpose we intended.  

Out of bounds local rule

For general play this year, we are adopting the USGA approved local rule for playing a ball hit out of bounds. This option allows the player to drop in a large area between the point where the ball is estimated to have gone out of bounds and the edge of the fairway of the hole being played that is not nearer the hole. The player gets 2 penalty strokes when using this option. (Note – the current stroke & distance option is still an option).
For tournament competition play, the local rule will not be in effect. The 6 tournaments where stroke & distance is the only option include (1) Member Guest Play/In (2) Men’s Club Championship (3) Two-Man Team Championship (4) Member/Guest (5) Member/Member (6) Mr. & Mrs. Club Championship.

Time allowed to search for a ball

The USGA rule for time allowed to search for a ball is 3 minutes.

Pace of Play

With these time savings options now in play through the rules of golf, our pace of guideline is for nine-holes to be played in two hours or less with an allotted “Sandtrap” break between nines of 5 minutes.

Additional information on Flagsticks                        

New rule number 13.2.a regarding flagsticks has been adopted worldwide and will forever change the way golfers enjoy our great game.  The stated intent of this rule is twofold; first to offer more options for players to lower their scores and next to improve pace of play for amateurs and pros alike.  Each individual will be allowed to choose their preference of whether to have someone attend the flagstick, to leave the flagstick in or to take the flagstick out. 
In an effort to ensure that we are providing Best In Class equipment and current expert information for our membership, we conducted research and consulted with a member of the Competition Committee from the USGA headquarter office.  Blake, from the USGA Competition Committee provided clarity and recommendations on how best to take advantage of this important new rule.  As a result of this research, we have placed an order for tapered, fiberglass tournament flagsticks, the exact kind that the USGA recommends for all their tournaments.  Blake informed us that the tapered, fiberglass, tournament flagsticks offer visual acuity at cup-level and the material is most receptive to the golf ball. Additionally, Blake told us that the USGA estimates that leaving the flagstick in will save approximately 33 seconds per hole which equates to about ten minutes per round.  This ten-minute saving can be very helpful in our efforts to abide by WCC Rule number 6.a which states that an eighteen-hole round at Westborough should not exceed four hours.
Should I Leave the flagstick in … or take it out?
Of course, this answer is entirely up to each individual golfer but we thought we would offer some expert food for thought.
Dave Pelz, arguably the most renowned expert in the art and science of putting over the past few decades, published a thorough study on this topic in the December 2018 issue of Golf Magazine.  We encourage you to read the study but after all of his analysis, he ended the article with one bold-face, large font sentence.  You will hole a higher percentage of putts when you leave the flagstick in.
We can’t wait to see you out on the course this spring … hopefully you will be sinking more putts, saving more time and enjoying our great game even more!

Golf Committee Chairperson
Jim Jost Jr.

Greens & Grounds Committee Chairpersons
John Slattery  & Denny O'Neill 

Head Golf Professional
Jimmy Bals