Who decides when Winter Rules (Preferred Lies) go on and off and what criteria are used?

The Competition and Handicap Committee are responsible for the placing and lifting of preferred lies, in consultation with the greens staff. Preferred Lies are to enable qualifying competitions to take place over the winter period; they are not related to course protection or preservation. The period during which Winter Rules or Preferred Lines can be used by courses in England is specified by England Golf as 1st October through to 30th April. Within this period Clubs may introduce a Local Rule allowing Preferred Lies if it is felt necessary to allow fair conditions for qualifying competitions. Outside this period, if preferred lies were felt necessary, special permission would need to be sought from Hampshire County Golf.