Whilst we recommend that you should read the full local rules applicable in winter, we thought that a simple guide might help, as follows:-
There will be a more comprehensive explanation of the rule re the use of mats on the mens notice board.
If your ball is on the fairway, on the short-cut fringes of the greens, or even on a tee, you must do one of three things:
1. Mark the ball, lift it and place it on a mat as near to the marker as possible and play it from the mat.
2. Mark the ball, lift it and place it in the semi-rough or rough at the nearest side of the fairway and play it from there.
3. Use a putter and play the ball where it lies (you can lift, clean & replace the ball under this option).
You can use either side of the mat, but you can’t bend it to shape. You can use a tee-peg to fix it into the ground, but you can’t put the ball on the tee-peg. The ball must be placed in the middle of the mat, not on the edge.
In casual water
If the ball lies in “casual water”, anywhere on the course, then you’re allowed to mark, lift & clean it and then to drop it at the nearest point of relief from the casual water.
Mud on ball in rough
If the ball is just in the semi-rough, or in the rough, and it isn’t embedded in its own pitchmark, then you have to just play the ball as it lies, you’re not allowed to pick it up and clean it, even if it has lumps of mud on it.