When the Committee is required to prohibit play from environmentally-sensitive areas (ESA) that are on or adjoin the course, it should make a Local Rule clarifying the relief procedure. ESA’s are areas declared by an appropriate government agency or the like. The Committee does not have the authority to declare an area to be an ESA. If the Committee wishes to protect an area by preventing play from it, a local rule deeming the area to be ground under repair from which play is prohibited may be implemented. See Ground Under Repair section. If an area has been designated as ESA, the Committee must determine how to define the area. There are three choices, either ground under repair, water hazard or out of bounds. In order to declare an ESA as a water hazard, it must meet the definition of a water hazard, otherwise the Committee must deem the area to be ground under repair or out of bounds.
When an area is deemed to be ESA, the local rule must clarify how the area is defined and how the player must proceed.