What is Smiley Golf? Smiley Golf is defined as a round of golf played with authentic Smiley golf balls.

Authentic Smiley Golf Balls Authentic Smiley golf balls can only be purchased by emailing dave@smileygolf.net. Players that meet Smiley Golf Player Eligibility Requirements can purchase one dozen Smiley golf balls and those balls will be registered in their name.  Each one dozen Smiley game balls will include a Unique Identifier Number that will be issued as authorization for use of those 12 balls by that player only.  The registration will also include the name of the golf course selected by the player at which they intend to establish the Smiley Golf Course Record and the division  in which they will be playing.

Smiley Golf Player Eligibility Requirements Only elite level Professional and Amateur players with an established USGA handicap index of 5.4 or lower are eligible to purchase Smiley golf balls and play Smiley Golf.

Smiley Golf Rules Smiley Golf follows the rules of a standard round of golf as approved by The United State Golf Association and R&A Rules Limited – with one exception.  That exception being players are allowed to “lift, clean and place” Smiley on every shot that they play including shots from the fairway, rough and sand traps (but does not include shots from a water hazard).

“Lift, Clean and Place” RulesIf you have ever played in a “Scramble” format or played “Winter Rules” you will follow the same general procedure.  After hitting a tee shot and when you arrive at your ball, place a tee in the ground to mark the location of your ball.  You can lift and clean the ball (if necessary) and then replace the ball within one club-length (left or right but no closer to the hole) of its original location.  When placing the ball on the ground you should “aim” Smiley’s smile and eyes straight towards the fairway/green.  The intent of marking and placing the ball is to first and foremost “aim” Smiley so that the flight pattern for each shot will be consistent.  With the one club-length “bump” rule it is acceptable to remove your ball from a divot (or any other “bad lie”) and it is expected that you will replace your ball on each and every shot on the best lie possible.

Changing “Cuts”Players may not use the one club-length “bump” to change cuts of grass from rough-to-fairway, fairway-to-fringe or fringe-to-green.  When hitting from the rough you can still “lift, clean and place” your ball within one club-length of its original location (left or right but no closer to the hole) and you can still improve the lie to the best possible position within that area.

Sand Traps Players will be able to “lift, clean and place” shots played from a sand trap.  That includes greenside and fairway sand traps.  When hitting a shot from a sand trap a player can still “lift, clean and place” the ball within one club-length of its original location (left or right but no closer to the hole) and you can improve the lie to the best possible position within that area.  The one club-length “bump” CANNOT be used to extricate your ball from the sand as the ball must be replaced in the sand.  With the one club-length “bump” rule it is acceptable to remove your ball from a “plugged lie” in a sand trap and it is expected that you will replace your ball on the best lie possible.

Water Hazards The “lift, clean and place” provision CANNOT be used for a ball located in a water hazard.  Any ball located in an area that is designated as any type of water hazard (i.e. water hazard, lateral hazard etc.) must be played “as it lies” and the ball CANNOT be touched and the lie CANNOT be improved.   Even in cases where the ball is in a dried creek bed or it is sitting outside of the actual water (in mud or grass), if the ball lies within the borders of the hazard stakes then the shot must be played “as it lies”.  This rule also includes a Local Rule prohibiting play from an environmentally-sensitive area.

Putting Green On the Putting Green your ball is marked and replaced just as you would during a standard round of golf.