Preffered lies are now in place throughout the district.
Contrary to popular opinion, preferred lies are not specified by the R&A, it’s up to each club to decide the distance the ball may be moved.
The standard is six inches (always not nearer the hole), although some clubs specify a score-card length and the PGA Tour stipulates within a club length – no wonder their scores are so low!
PGA Tour golfer Ryuji Imada would have been advised to check to avoid his 26-stroke penalty at a recent tournament in China. Imada assumed he could prefer the lie within a club length, but local rules stated the distance was one scorecard.
When this was brought to his attention, he informed tournament officials before signing his card and received 13 two-stroke penalties for each preferred lie, bumping his score for the round up from -2 to +24!
Incidentally, Fixby has a local rule which states that balls may not be preferred on par threes.
To take advantage of a preferred lie, the ball must first be marked with a tee, coin or similar-sized object before it can be lifted, cleaned or moved.
Failure to mark the ball’s position or moving the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, incurs a one-stroke penalty.
You can only prefer your lie once. If you pick up the ball again and move it, you incur a penalty stroke and must replace the ball (Rule 18-2a).
Generally, there is no free relief for a ball embedded in the rough, as relief for an embedded ball is restricted to closely-mown areas (Rule 25-2). However, if the conditions merit it, a committee can choose to extend relief by local rule for an embedded ball to anywhere through the green. Check with your club.