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The intention of this guidance is to provide a single reference document for Committees running Pitch & Putt competitions under the umbrella of I.P.P.A. It is a reduced and adapted copy of the R&A publication “Guidance on running a Competition” (available for reference online at www.randa.org). Golf, thus Pitch & Putt, is essentially a self-regulating game. The players are responsible for knowing the Rules and are expected to apply them correctly. However, at times golf can be a complex game and competitions need to be run Conditions of Competition and Local Rules must be drafted, the course must be set up carefully and marked accurately and the Rules must be applied without fault or favour to all players. Reference is made throughout this document to “the Rules of Golf” and to the R&A publication “Decisions on the Rules of Golf”, as, it is assumed that any Committee running a golf competition will have access to the current edition of these essential publications.
The Committee must establish the conditions under which the competition is to be played. As they will be in charge of all aspects involved, the members of the Committee must be clear as regards their authority to give decisions on matters such as Rules disputes, suspensions of play, etc.
Often the Committee will pass duties of running the competition to the Club professional or starter. These individuals are not automatically members of the Committee; therefore, it is advisable to clarify their role in advance.
The Conditions of Competition are the foundations on which a competition is built as, among other things, they specify who is eligible to enter, how a player may enter and what format the event will take.
It is vital that the conditions are established in advance of the competition and that they are clear and carry precise guidance so that the Committee can deal with any situations that may arise and take the corresponding actions.
Firstly, the Committee must decide who may participate in the competition and if it will have a restricted field in order to decide on a procedure if it receives more entries than it can accept. A “first come first served” policy can be adopted, or alternatively, the Committee may accept the players with the lowest handicaps.
If entry is restricted by age (i.e. junior/senior events) than any condition in this regard should be unambiguous.
For a junior competition it is recommended that entry should be restricted to those persons who have not reached 18 years of age by 1st January in the year that the competition is to take place. With any other age limit, it is recommended that the player must have reached the minimum age by the first day of the competition.
Normally, players will have to complete an entry form that must reach the Committee by a certain date by post or by other methods of communication such as fax or email. This will mean that the entry fee cannot accompany the entry form other than by credit card, which has implications for the administration of entries. The entry form should include all players’ personal data and the corresponding fee amount.
While many competitions will have a traditional format, the Committee creating a new event must decide on the form of play it wishes to adopt.
(a) Match Play - If the competition is to be played on the basis of match play, it can be singles, threesomes, foursomes or four-ball match play but it will always be played on scratch basis.
The method of determining the field in a match play competition may vary. It may be that the field is restricted to a certain number, so there may be stroke play qualifying preceding the match play stage or the Committee may accept all entries and tailor the draw accordingly.
(b) Stroke Play- If the competition is to be played on the basis of stroke play, it can be singles, foursomes or four-ball stroke play, but it will always be played on scratch basis. The Committee must decide how many rounds are to be played and whether or not the field is to be reduced at any stage of the competition.
5. Times of Starting and Group
Under Rule 33-3 of the Rules of Golf, it is the responsibility of the Committee to establish the times of starting and, in stroke play, to arrange the groups in which competitors play.
(a) Starting Times - When there is a ‘cut’, players should be made aware of when starting times and groupings will be made available, where the relevant information will be posted and, if appropriate, the telephone number they should contact for information.
If players are travelling to play in the event it may be helpful to email or fax a draw sheet to the hotels where the players are staying and have this displayed in a prominent place.
Appropriate starting-time intervals are a vital ingredient in helping to produce a satisfactory pace of play. If the intervals between matches or groups are insufficient the players in each group will be forced to wait constantly for the group in front to clear the putting green. This will result in players losing their rhythm and being on the course for unnecessarily long periods of time.
Committees frequently make the mistake of using short intervals in order to get as many players on to the course in as short a space of time as possible and to prevent the last starting time being too late in the day. However, this has the opposite effect with rounds taking an excessive amount of time leading to frustration for players and officials.
The Committee may wish to operate a two-tee start. Such a method of starting is useful when there is a large field as it allows more players onto the course more quickly but it totally depends on the course.
(b) Groups - The Committee determines the groupings in stroke play, which will usually be in twos or possibly threes. Playing in fours is not recommended as it could have a detrimental effect on the pace of play.
Normally the groups on the first two rounds are the same with a group having one earlier and one later starting time. In the third round it is customary for the groups to be based on the competitor’s scores after 36 holes. If there is an even number of competitors, those with the highest and next to highest aggregate tee off first, and so on, with the competitors in first and second place teeing off last.
In determining the order of the draw for players with the same aggregate scores, normally the player with the lowest previous round score will play later. If players have the same aggregate score and the same previous round score, usually the first player to return the previous round score will go out last.
In competitions of 36 holes played in one day, the Committee should try to allow players sufficient time to rest and take refreshment between rounds and determine the time they expect groups to complete a round and add one hour on to that time to give the duration between the two starting times. This means that there will still be sufficient time between rounds even if play falls behind the pace scheduled.
In match play competitions, players may be required to play two matches in one day. If an early match requires extra holes to determine a result this may mean that the winning player has little time before his next match. Such a situation is not uncommon, and the Committee should decide in advance if it is prepared to give players a minimum period of time between matches in such cases. For example, the Committee may provide that a player is entitled to 15 minutes from reporting his match score until he is required to tee off again. Obviously, this may require the alteration of starting times and the order of the draw, but it would seem unreasonable for a player to be disadvantaged due to having played extra holes in his first match of the day.
“The player must start at the time established by the Committee.” It is important to note that all players in a group must be present and ready to play at the time established by the Committee, and that the order of play is not relevant.
It is necessary to have an appointed starter who will be in a position to register lateness on the tee and take the appropriate action if he is a member of the Committee or to report to any of them, who will handle the communication of a penalty to a player – not the starter
The Rules of Golf do not legislate for the allocation and adjustment of handicaps and the R&A does not administer any handicapping scheme. Such matters are within the jurisdiction of the National Union, Federation or Association of the country where the competition is being played and any queries concerning handicapping should be directed accordingly. I.P.P.A. has not yet established a handicap system to cover all associated countries specific requirements, thus, until a proper and unanimous assent is reached; all competitions must be played on scratch basis.
7. Decision of Ties
“The Committee must announce the manner, day and time for the decision of a halved match or of a tie”. It is essential that such decisions are taken in advance of the competition and established in the conditions, being a hole-by-hole sudden death play-off, the most recommended to determine the winner and runner up. Play offs must be played under the Rules of the same format the Competition has been played (i.e. “A halved match must not be decided by stroke play. A tie in stroke play must not be decided by a match”).
Subsequent tied positions will classify “ex aequo” and as I.P.P.A. no Handicap System yet, if these positions are to be awarded a prize, the following formula will apply:
* 18 holes competition: best scores on the last 9th, 12th, 15th, 16th & 17th holes.
* 36 holes competition: best score on the las 18th ,27th ,30th ,33rd ,34th, & 35th holes
* 54 holes competition: best score on the las 27th,36th,45th,48th,51st, 52nd & 53rd holes
Should the tie persist, it will have decided by a draw.
The last holes above paragraphs refer to will always be the last holes from the course, no matter which hole the players have teed off.
The Committee should announce in advance the prizes that are to be awarded in the Competition and be aware of the regulations concerning prizes that an Amateur player may accept without breaching their Amateur Status.
Practice provides that a player may practice on the competition course before a round on any day of a match play competition, but a competitor in stroke play must not practice before a round or play-off on any day of a stroke play competition or test the surface of any putting green on the course by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface. However, the Note to Rule 7-1 states: “The Committee may, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), prohibit practice on the competition course on any day of a match play competition or permit practice on the competition course or part of the course (Rule 33-2c) on any day of or between rounds of a stroke play competition.”
In match play competitions with large fields playing over consecutive days it may be desirable to prohibit practice on any day of the competition in order to allow the green staff sufficient time to prepare the course without interruption.
If a Club has no practice facilities it may be necessary to allow competitors in a stroke play competition to use a part of the course for practicing and, therefore, such a condition must be introduced.
The Rules of Golf do not place any restriction on who may serve as a caddie, but the Committee may prohibit or restrict caddies in the conditions of competition (see Note to Rule 6-4), especially in junior competitions. For I.P.P.A Tournaments, we suggest to make this restriction due to the special conditions of pitch & putt courses.
11. Advice in Team Competitions
The Committee may, in the conditions of a team competition (Rule 33-1), permit each team to appoint one person who may give advice (including pointing out a line for putting) to members of that team, but he/she must be identified to the Committee beforehand. It should be noted that if the person so nominated is a playing member of the team, advice may not be given while he is actually playing a stipulated round (except to his partner). He may give advice to other team members before playing or after his own round has been completed (Decision 8/2). Restrictions can also be applied to the appointment of the team captain and on his conduct and specify if he/she is part of the match or the competitor’s side, i.e. he is not an outside agency.
Generally, Local Rules are introduced to clarify the course marking (e.g. clarifying the boundaries of the course, ground under repair, etc.) or to provide relief from local abnormal conditions that are not covered by the Rules themselves. Appendix I to the Rules of Golf suggest specific matters for which Local Rules may be advisable. It is the duty of Committees to interpret their own Local Rules and, if a doubt arises about the applicability or interpretation of a Local Rule, it is the responsibility of the Committee to give a decision.
It is important to note that Local Rules may not be introduced or altered after a stroke play round has started. All competitors in a given round must play under uniform Rules. However, it is permissible to alter the Local Rules for different rounds in an event consisting of more than one round, although this should be avoided if at all possible. I.P.P.A. Competition Committee highly recommends appointing a referee for all Tournaments in order to assist the Committee in such duty.
Prior to a competition, and once the assessment of the course has been made by an I.P.P.A. authorized person, it is the responsibility of the Committee to ensure that it has been properly and completely marked. If the Committee takes the time to accurately define the boundaries of the course and the margins of water hazards and clearly marks any areas which are to be treated as ground under repair, it reduces the possibility of awkward Rules situations arising and helps all golfers adhere to the Rules.
I.P.P.A. Competition Committee highly recommends appointing a referee for all Tournaments in order to assist the Committee in such duty.
It is important that, prior to a competition, the Committee has a clear idea of how it wishes the course to play. Each hole should be evaluated in terms of distance, tee position and hole location in an attempt to provide a good test of sport. Establishing the correct course set-up will involve visits to the course months in advance of the competition to ensure that desired green speeds, rough heights and fairway widths are agreed upon and understood well in advance of the competition.
It should be the aim of the green staff and the Committee to have the condition of the course virtually identical from the first practice day to the last day of the event. Significant changes in course conditions between practice and the event itself, particularly in relation to the putting greens, are undesirable.
1. The Rules of Golf
Participants in a competition expect to be treated as fairly as possible and the only way this can be achieved is if the Rules are strictly applied to all concerned. There is no more certain a way to damage the reputation of a competition than by poor management. It may be difficult and unpleasant to be punctilious in the enforcement of the Rules, but to avoid taking such action can set dangerous precedents and create major difficulties in the long term.
However, it must be stressed that authority should only be used for the purpose of promoting fair play under equal conditions
It is advisable for the Committee to set up a registration procedure for players and give them all necessary information concerning the competition or advise them of any amendments to previously published information. In addition, the registration procedure will give the Committee an early indication if a player is not going to appear. If a player has failed to register, the likelihood is that he will fail to appear for his starting time and the Committee can make the necessary provisions.
While a player cannot be penalized under the Rules of Golf for failing to register, a Committee may introduce a Condition of Entry in this respect.
Committees are advised to appoint one of their members or an official to be available at the course while players are starting, and to empower this person to settle any problems that may arise regarding starting times, provision of markers etc.
The main responsibilities of the starter are to ensure that the players start at the time established by the Committee and, in stroke play, to issue each competitor with their score card containing the date and the competitor’s name.
However, there are a number of other duties that a starter must perform which should be issued to him by way of a simple instruction sheet:
* Five minutes before a game is due to start, the starter should call the names of the players and ask them to come forward to the starting tee. If a player does not come forward soon after his name is called, there is time to try to locate the player concerned prior to the starting time.
* When the players arrive on the tee, they should be given their own score card by the starter, a copy of the Conditions of Competition and Local Rules and any other Notices to Players or information not contained within the Conditions or Local Rules and advise them how they can recognize rules officials on the course.
They should also make the recording policy clear to the players, i.e. in stroke play, the competitors must return their cards to the recorder as soon as possible on completion of the round and, in match play, inform the players of who is responsible for reporting the result of the match to the recorders (usually the responsibility is given to the winner of the match).
* When it is time for the group to start, the starter should announce the match as briefly as possible and should not allow players to tee off prior to their official starting time as this is likely to have repercussions in terms of pace of play. If there are delays on the first tee he should ensure that the Committee is aware of this.
* In stroke play, the starter should ensure that there are at least two members of the last group present before sending out the penultimate group so that one competitor is not left without any fellow-competitors
In case of inclement weather, it is desirable for a covered area to be installed on or near the first tee (or tees if a two-tee start is in operation) for the starter, and each starter should be furnished with the following, if possible:
* A table
* Rules of Golf books and small pencils.
* Blank Score cards for the players’ personal use in stroke play and match play
* Conditions of Competition
* Local Rules
* Any additional notices to players
* Hole location sheets, if available
* A clock, set with the clocks in the locker room, dining area, pro shop and practice areas.
* Permanent marking pens, to enable players to put identification marks on their ball.
4. Issuing Score Cards and Recording Scores
In stroke play, it is the Committee’s responsibility to issue for each competitor a score card containing the date and the competitor’s name, or in foursome or four-ball stroke play, the competitors’ names. It is important that the task of recording scores is given to a responsible person or group of persons as any errors that occur during the returning of score cards can have serious consequences and can undermine all the good work which has been put into a competition. The method of receiving score cards may vary depending on the nature of the competition. It is common for Golf Clubs to use a “ballot box” where completed cards are returned, whereas in most events there is a recorder’s office or tent. Where a ballot box is in use, the Committee may consider the card returned when it is dropped into the box. Irrespective of method used, it is essential that the Committee make it clear when a competitor is considered to have “returned his card”, after which point no alterations may be made to it. (E.g. A player’s score card is deemed officially returned to the Committee when he has left the recording office/area.”)
The routine for a recorder should be as follows:
* If the competitors are entering an office or tent, ask each competitor to check his scores hole by hole, and suggest that they wait until the official has checked the card before departing.
* Read the name on the score card back to the competitor to ensure that his scores are on the correct score card.
* Check to see that both the competitor and the marker have signed the card and that the competitor’s signature corresponds with the name on the card
* Check the addition of the scores recorded and settle the gross total score for the round.
In addition to their recording duties, recorders should make a note of, but not comment on, any verbal complaints from the players. In due course, this information should be relayed to the Committee. The recorders should also note the time of finish for each group on a draw sheet. Although the necessity for setting up a detailed recording system is not as essential in match play competitions as it is for stroke play, it is important that players know where they should report the result of a match and with which player this responsibility lies, e.g. the winner of the match.
Depending on the nature of the competition, the Committee may wish to provide a scoreboard giving round scores in stroke play or round by round winners in match play. If at all possible, the scoreboard should be located near the 18th green, or near the Tournament office to be easily and properly seen by all players.
6. Rules OfficialsIf it is feasible, the Committee should have a number of representatives on the course to observe play, be available to give rulings and otherwise assist players. Obviously, anyone assigned to the course as a Rules official should be knowledgeable about the Rules. Prior to the competition, it is advisable for a meeting involving all Rules officials to be held. At such a meeting the chief referee may run through the Local Rules, Conditions of Competition, etc. and answer any queries that may arise. Such a meeting will assist in ensuring that any abnormal conditions on the course are handled consistently and that any specific policies are clearly understood. However, if it cannot be the case, a player is entitled to a ruling, even if this means proceeding under Rule 3-3 in stroke play and seeking a decision once the round is completed. Therefore, the Committee should appoint someone who is knowledgeable in the Rules to be present during the competition to resolve Rules problems. No Committee member or official should give a decision on a Rules matter unless he has been authorized by the Committee to give final decisions in its name.
7. Inclement Weather and Suspensions of Play
A Committee must be prepared for inclement weather and players and those involved in running the competition must be able to recognize the signal that means that the Committee has suspended play.
A competition need not be suspended simply on account of rain, unless the rain is so heavy that it would be unfair to require players to continue. Generally, play should not be suspended unless the course has become unplayable, for example, balls are moving frequently on the putting greens due to wind or holes are surrounded by casual water. Although a Committee should not suspend play unless absolutely necessary, it is the responsibility of the Committee to do everything possible to protect players from bad weather and lightning and, therefore, no chances should be taken in this respect.
The Committee has the option of suspending play and resuming from where play was discontinued or cancelling the round and replaying it entirely.
When the course becomes unplayable and play is discontinued, the Committee should keep open as many options as possible to maximize the chances of completing the competition on schedule.
Generally, when more than half of the field have completed their rounds, it would be unusual to cancel the round if the opportunity is available to suspend play and continue the following day.
Where it is feasible to reschedule the competition, the Committee should endeavor to do so. However, the Committee does not have the authority under the Rules to reduce the number of holes of a stipulated round once play has commenced on that round (e.g. from 18 to 9 holes). Consequently, if it is not feasible to reschedule the competition, the competition must be cancelled.
RULES AND REGULATIONS OF IGC: THE RULES OF PITCH & PUTT
Rules and Regulations are explained by IPPU, All IPPU authorized competitions are to take place in accordance with these Rules. IPPU instruct member Clubs and State Federations to follow these rules for competitions.
Indian Golf Circuit; the IGC defines Pitch and Putt with the following characteristics:
(a) Length of hole: Maximum of 90 meters.
(b) Length of 18 holes course: Maximum of 1,200 meters (combined length of all 18 holes).
2. Maximum of three clubs (one of which must be a Putter) permitted for use.
3. Use of a Tee on the Teeing Ground is obligatory.
4. The Teeing Ground for the hole to be played is common for all players
These rules and regulations are defined as under :
1. How to use these Rules (Page 3)
2. Conduct on the Course (Page 4)
3. Definitions (Page 5)
4. Part I General Play (Page 13)
5. Part II Equipment (Page 19)
6. Part III The Game (Page 20)
7. Part IV The Player (Page 26)
8. Part V General Rule (Page 26)
9. Part VI Forms of Play (Page 27)
1. HOW TO USE THESE RULES
It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with these Rules and use them whenever a question arises. If in doubt, play the course as you find it and play the ball as it lies.
Understand the Words
These Rules are written in a very precise and deliberate fashion. You should be aware of and understand the following differences in word use:
- May = optional
- Should = recommendation
- Must/shall = instruction (and penalty if not complied with)
- The ball = means that the ball may not be exchanged for another
- A ball = means that a ball may be exchanged for another
Know the Definitions
A good knowledge of the defined terms is very important for the correct application of the rules.
Penalties for breach of rules or incompliance with procedure : The penalty for a breach of a rule both in Stroke-Play and Matchplay competition is ONE STROKE except when otherwise provided.
Dropping a ball for relief : In accordance with relief options, the ball shall be always dropped within two club- lengths of the nearest point of relief, or in the place determined by the applicable rule, irrespective of whether the drop constitutes a penalty or not.
2. CONDUCT ON THE COURSE No one should move, talk or stand close to the line of play or directly behind the ball or the hole when a player is addressing the ball or making a stroke. No player should play until the players in front are out of range. Nevertheless, players should play without undue delay. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green and mark their cards at the next tee. Players should repair their divot holes and pitch mark damage to the green Players should avoid damaging the hole when removing or replacing the flagstick and the removal of the ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove the ball from the hole, nor should players lean on their clubs while on the putting green. Before leaving a bunker, players should smooth over all footprints and holes. A serious breach of etiquette or continuous disregard of these guidelines could result in a player being disqualified.
ADDRESSING THE BALL : The ball has been “addressed” when the player has taken the stance preparatory to making a stroke and has also grounded the club. However, in a hazard, the player has "addressed the ball" when the stance has been taken preparatory to making a stroke
ADVICE : Advice is any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining his play or method of making a stroke. Information on the rules and matters of public information is not advice.
BALL IN PLAY : A ball is “in play” as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. It remains in play (as the player's ball) until holed out, except when it is out of bounds, lost or lifted or another ball has been substituted in accordance with these rules. A ball so substituted becomes the ball in play.
BALL LOST : A ball is deemed “lost” on the course
a. if it not found or identified as his by within three minutes after the players side have begun to search for it; or
b. the player has made a stroke with a substituted ball under the rules with the corresponding loss of distance and one stroke penalty
BALL MOVED : A ball is deemed to have “moved” if it leaves its original position even if only a fraction of its circumference
BUNKER : A “bunker” is a hazard consisting of an area of ground where turf or soil has been replaced with sand or the like. A wall or lip of the bunker not covered with grass is part of the bunker. The margin of the bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards. A ball is in a bunker when it lies in or any part of it touches the bunker.
CASUAL WATER : “Casual Water” is any temporary accumulation of water or snow or natural ice on the course that is not in a water hazard.
COMMITTEE : The “committee” is the duly nominated committee of the club or association organizing the competition. The committee has no power to waive a rule of Pitch & Putt. The committee may establish Local Rules consistent with the Rules of Pitch & Putt.
COURSE : The “course” is the whole area within which play is permitted.
ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS : "Environmentally Sensitive Areas" are those areas of the course so designated and identified by stakes with red/green tops.
EQUIPMENT : “Equipment” is anything used, worn or carried by the player or playing partner.
FLAGSTICK : The “flagstick” is a movable straight indicator placed in the centre of the hole to show its position.
GROUND UNDER REPAIR : "Ground Under Repair" is any portion of the course so marked by order of the committee concerned or so declared by its authorized representative. Any grass, bush, tree or anything growing within the ground under repair is part of the ground under repair. It includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a green-keeper, even if not so marked. Stakes and lines defining "ground under repair" are within such ground. Such stakes are obstructions. A ball is in ground under repair when it lies in or any part of it touches the ground under repair. The margin of ground under repair extends vertically downwards, but not upwards. The committee may make a Local Rule prohibiting play from ground under repair.
HAZARDS : A "hazard" is any bunker or water hazard. A ball is in a hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the hazard.
HOLE : The “hole” must be 108 mm in diameter and at least 101.6 mm deep. If a lining is used, it must be sunk at least 25.4 mm below the putting surface unless the nature of the soil makes it impracticable to do so.
HOLED : A ball is “holed” when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole.
LINE OF PLAY : The “line of play” is the direction that the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke, plus a reasonable distance on either side of the intended direction. The line of play extends vertically upwards from the ground, but does not extend beyond the hole.
LINE OF PUTT : The “line of putt” is the line which the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke on the Putting Green. The line of putt does not extend beyond the hole.
LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS : The term “loose impediments” denotes natural objects not fixed or growing and not adhering to the ball, and includes stones not solidly embedded, leaves, twigs, branches and the like, dung, worms, insects and casts or heaps made by them. Sand and loose soils are loose impediments on the putting green but not elsewhere. Dew and frost are not loose impediments.
MARKER : A “marker” is one who is appointed by the committee to record a competitor’s score in stroke play. He is not a referee.
NEAREST POINT OF RELIEF : The "nearest point of relief" is the point on the course, nearest to where the ball lies, which is not nearer the hole, and where there is no longer the interference from which relief is permitted.
OBSTRUCTIONS : An "obstruction" is anything artificial, whether erected, placed or left on the course except:
a. Objects defining out of bounds such as walls, fences, stakes and railings,
b. Any obstruction declared by the committee to be an integral part of the course.
c. Any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds.
An obstruction is a movable obstruction if it can be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. Otherwise, it is an immovable obstruction.
OUT OF BOUNDS : "Out of bounds" is defined by all boundary fences and play outside these boundaries is prohibited. The committee may define and mark areas within the course as out of bounds. A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds. A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds. Objects defining out of bounds are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed. The out of bounds line extends vertically upwards and downwards.
OUTSIDE AGENCY : An “outside agency” is any agency not part of the match or, in stroke play, not part of the competitor’s side. Neither wind nor water is an outside agency.
PENALTY STROKE : A “penalty stroke” is one added to the score of a player or player’s side under the rules.
PRACTICE : “Practice” is defined as the deliberate striking of a ball in a manner the player may wish to replicate in the course of normal play.
PRACTICE SWING : A “practice swing” is not a practice stroke and may be taken at any place, provided the player does not breach the Rules.
PROVISIONAL BALL : A “provisional ball” is a ball played under these rules in place of a ball which may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds.
PUTTING GREEN : The “putting green” is all ground of the hole being played which is specially prepared for putting. A ball is on the putting green when any part of it touches the putting green.
REFEREE : A “referee” is one who is appointed by the Committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and apply the rules. He must act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him. The referee’s decision is final.
STANCE : Consists in a player placing his feet in position for and preparatory to making a stroke
STIPULATED ROUND : The “stipulated round” consists of playing the holes of the course in their correct sequence unless otherwise authorized by the Committee.
STROKE : A “stroke” is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball. A stroke shall be counted as soon as the downswing commences. But if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the club head reaches the ball he is deemed not to have made a stroke.
TEE : A “tee” is an artificial device, designed to raise the ball off the ground. The minimum height requirement of the device is 5mm.
TEEING GROUND : The “teeing ground” is the starting place for the hole to be played and is common to all players. If the starting place is a mat, the defined area of the teeing ground is the mat itself. Otherwise, the front and sides must be defined and the back of the teeing area shall be no more than two club lengths from the front.
THROUGH THE GREEN : “Through the green” is the whole area of the course except:
a. The teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played.
b. All hazards on the course.
c. Flower beds, staked trees, clearly defined vegetative areas and environmentally sensitive areas.
WATER HAZARD : A “water hazard” is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (whether containing water or not). All ground or water within the margin of a water hazard is part of the water hazard. If the margin of the water hazard is not otherwise defined, it shall be where the downward depression of the ground commences.
The margin of a water hazard extends vertically upwards and downwards. Stakes identifying water hazards and lines, beams, stones, walls, fences etc. defining the margins of water hazards are in the hazards and are deemed to be obstructions. The margins of such hazards are defined as the exterior points of the objects marking the hazard.
Stakes to identify and/or lines used to define a water hazard should be red.
Note 1. - The Committee may declare any part of the course to be a water hazard and may make a local rule prohibiting play from an environmentally-sensitive area defined as a water hazard.
WRONG BALL : “Wrong Ball” is any ball other than the player’s ball in play or his provisional ball.
1. THE GAME
a. The game of Pitch and Putt consists of playing a ball with a club from each Teeing Ground into the associated target hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with these Rules.
b. Except as otherwise allowed by the Committee the holes must be played in sequence, commencing at the first hole.
c. The ball shall be played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the rules.
On any day or days of a competition, or during the course of any format of competition itself, players must not practice within the boundaries of the course. This rule is valid both for Match play and Strokeplay competitions
Between the play of two holes a player must not make a practice stroke, except on the putting green of the last hole played provided he does not unduly delay play.
PENALTY: one stroke
Play in a different competition on the same day(s) does not constitute practice. Practice on a designated practice range and putting green prior to commencement of any round is permitted. Strokes played in continuing the play of a hole, the result of which has been decided, are not practice strokes.
Any movable obstruction may be removed without penalty.
a. If the ball moves, caused by the removal of the obstruction, it must be replaced.
b. If the ball lies in or on the obstruction, the ball may be lifted and the obstruction removed. The ball must through the green or in a hazard be dropped, or on the putting green be placed, as near as possible to the spot under the place where the ball lay in or on the obstruction, but not nearer the hole.
c. Except when the ball is in a water hazard, a player may obtain relief when a ball comes to rest on or near an immovable obstruction so as to interfere with a player's stance or swing.
* Through the green, lift the ball and drop without penalty within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief - though not nearer the hole.
* Bunker, lift the ball and drop in the bunker without penalty as above.
* Green, lift the ball and place it without penalty at the nearest point of relief.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 3b: one stroke
4. CASUAL WATER
If a player's ball lies in or touches casual water or when such a condition interferes with the player’s stance or swing, the player may obtain free relief. Procedure:
* Through the green, lift the ball and drop without penalty within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief - though not nearer the hole.
* Bunker, lift the ball and drop in the bunker without penalty as above.
* Green, lift the ball and place it without penalty at the nearest point of relief.
PENALTY: one stroke
5. ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
a. A ball having entered an Environmentally Sensitive Area must not be recovered if recovery requires a player’s entry to that area.
b. A ball having entered an Environmentally Sensitive Area must be replaced by dropping a ball within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief without penalty.
c. A ball having entered an Environmentally Sensitive Area and which is recoverable by a player without entry to that area shall be lifted and dropped within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief without penalty.
d. If a wire barrier marking an Environmentally Sensitive Area, intervenes with a player's line of play, the player may drop the ball within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief without penalty.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 5a: one stroke
6. GROUND UNDER REPAIR FLOWER BEDS AND STAKED TREES
a. The Committee may declare any flower beds, clearly defined vegetative areas or staked trees (if the tree or stake interferes with the player's stance or swing) as Ground under Repair for the purposes of this Rule.
b. Playing from “ground under repair” is permitted except when prohibited by a Local Rule.
c. A ball that comes to rest in or touches a composted flower bed, clearly defined vegetative area or by a staked tree (if the tree or stake interferes with the player's stance or swing) or Ground Under Repair, or when such a condition interferes with the player’s stance or swing, the player may obtain free relief.
* Through the green, lift the ball and drop without penalty within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief – though not nearer the hole.
* Bunker, lift the ball and drop in the bunker without penalty as above.
* Green, lift the ball and place it without penalty at the nearest point of relief.
PENALTY: one stroke
7. SAND BUNKERS
a. Before making a stroke at the ball in a sand bunker the player must not
* Touch the ground or the sand with a club.
* Touch or move a loose impediment in the bunker.
* Any movable obstruction lying in the bunker may be removed.
b. A stroke which does not leave the ball clear of the sand is not of itself a breach of Rule, but to smooth irregularities before playing a second or any further strokes in the sand is a breach of the Rule.
PENALTY: one stroke
8. WATER HAZARDS
a. A ball in a water hazard may be played without penalty, but the player must not
* Touch the ground or water in the hazard with a club.
* Touch or move a loose impediment in the hazard.
* Any movable obstruction lying in the water hazard may be removed.
b. If a ball is in or is lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:
* Play a ball, as nearly as possible, to the spot from which the original ball was last played; or
* Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped
* Drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard.
PENALTY: one stroke
9. THE TEEING GROUND
a. The ball must be played off the defined teeing ground or mat by placing it on a tee.
b. If a player, when starting a hole, plays a ball from outside the teeing ground / mat, he shall incur a penalty of one stroke and shall then play a ball from within the teeing ground / mat.
c. If the ball falls off the tee or is knocked off by the player while addressing it, it shall be re-teed without penalty. If a stroke is made at the ball in these circumstances, the stroke shall be counted and the ball played as it lies.
PENALTY: one stroke
10. THE PUTTING GREEN
a. A ball on the putting green may be marked and lifted.
b. On the putting green:
* Loose impediment may be removed by picking it up or by brushing it aside provided that nothing is pressed down on the line of play. Damage caused by the impact of the ball may be repaired.
c. If the marker interferes with the line of play of an opponent, if so requested it should be placed one or more club head(s) length, to either side of its original position. If the marker is so placed to either side, it must be replaced in its original position before the ball is replaced.
d. If a player's ball when played on the putting green strikes another ball also on the putting green, the player shall incur a one stroke penalty and his ball is played as it lies. The moved ball must be replaced in the original position.
e. The player’s ball must not strike the flagstick either placed in the hole or having been removed from the hole when the ball is played from the putting surface.
f. A ball lying on a putting green other than that of the hole being played it must be lifted and dropped without penalty within two club-lengths of the nearest point of relief - though not nearer the hole.
g. When any part of a ball overhangs the edge of a hole, the owner of the ball may wait 10 seconds to determine whether it is at rest. If by then the ball has not fallen in the hole, it is deemed to be at rest and shall be played accordingly.
h. If any old hole plug interferes with the line of putt then the ball may be marked, lifted and placed at the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole, without penalty. PENALTY: one stroke.
i. No club except a putter may be used on a green except if during the normal course of play the club is damaged. The player may finish the stipulated round with either of his other clubs or substitute the putter for another without causing undue delay.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 10 i: one stroke
a. A player shall have a maximum of three clubs (conforming to recognized specifications),
b. One of which must be a putter.
c. Foreign material must not be applied to the club face.
d. A club may be replaced, without causing undue delay only if it has become unfit for use in the normal course of play. The replacement must not be made by borrowing any club which another player playing on the course has selected for play.
e. Partners may share clubs, provided that the total number of clubs used by single player does not exceed three.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 11 a / e: one stroke for each hole with a maximum penalty of three strokes per round PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 11 b / c: disqualification
2 THE BALL
a. The ball shall not be less than 1.68 inches (42.67mm) and must conform to recognized specifications.
b. A ball must have the manufacturer's name and Identification number or brand clearly legible. Players can use their own marks on the ball but these marks must be distinguish and approved by the referee
c. Foreign material must not be applied to a ball or otherwise manipulated. PENALTY: disqualification
d. If a ball is damaged as a result of a stroke, the stroke is cancelled and the player must play another ball without penalty as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played.
1 PLAYING THE BALL
a. The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scooped, scraped or spooned.
b. The first player to play from the first teeing ground / mat is decided by the order of the draw (e.g.: order of handicap), if there is no draw, by lots. Thereafter the side with the lowest score will play first at the next teeing ground / mat.
c. Before commencing play (or when the ball is changed), each player should clearly identify the player's ball to their marker/opponent.
d. When the balls are in play, the ball furthest from the hole should be played first.
e. A player must hole out with the ball played from the teeing ground unless a rule permits him to substitute another ball (a ball damaged, lost or irrecoverable).
f. If a player’s club strikes the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, the player shall count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.
g. A player shall not improve, or allow to be improved, the player's line of play or the lie of the ball and shall not move, bend or break anything fixed or growing except as may occur in the course of fairly taking up the player's stance.
h. Except when either a loose impediment or the ball touches or lies in a hazard, loose impediments may be removed.
i. A ball embedded in its own pitch mark through the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole.
j. A player may clean his ball without penalty during play of a hole if the ball has been marked and lifted
* On the green, or
* When plugged, or
* Otherwise, in accordance with these Rules. A player may not clean his ball if the ball has been marked and lifted because it is assisting or interfering (off the green) with play or other than to the extent necessary.
* For identification, or
* To determine if it is unfit for play.
k. If the position of a ball, in any place on the course, interferes with the stance, swing or line of play of another player, the ball must be marked and lifted if so requested and subsequently replaced. The ball shall not be cleaned.
l. A player, playing from a wrong teeing ground / mat, shall cancel the shot(s) played and must play from the correct teeing ground / mat. The player shall incur a penalty of one stroke. Should the error not be rectified before play of the next hole commences, he is disqualified.
m. If a player plays a stroke/s with a wrong ball, the player shall incur a penalty of one stroke, and then play his own ball. Should the error not be rectified before play of the next hole commences, the player shall be disqualified. Shots played with a wrong ball are not to be counted.
n. If a ball, having been struck, is known to have gone out of bounds or to be lost, the player shall add a one stroke penalty and must play a ball as nearly as possible to the place from which the original ball was last played:
* From the teeing ground / mat the use of a tee is obligatory.
* From through the green or from a hazard the ball must be dropped.
* From on the green the ball must be placed.
o. A Provisional Ball should be played if the player considers the original ball may be lost (though not in a water hazard) or out of bounds and has so declared to the marker/opponent and identified the provisional ball to that person. If the original ball is in fact lost or out of bounds, the provisional ball becomes the ball in play and the player adds one penalty stroke to the score. If the original ball is neither lost nor out of bounds, the provisional ball must be abandoned, without penalty, and the strokes played with it shall not count. Failure to so abandon the provisional ball constitutes playing with the wrong ball.
p. The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course, except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether the ball is unplayable. If the ball is deemed to be unplayable, the player must, under penalty of one stroke:
i) Play a ball as nearly as possible to the place from which the original ball was last played:
• From the teeing ground / mat the use of a tee is obligatory.
• From through the green or from a hazard the ball must be dropped.
• From on the green the ball must be placed.
ii) Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or
iii) Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
If the unplayable ball is in a bunker, the player may proceed under clause i), ii) or iii). If playing under clause ii) or iii), a ball must be dropped in the bunker.
PENALTY: one stroke.
2. BALL MOVED, DEFLECTED OR STOPPED
a. When a player’s ball in play and at rest is moved by the player, his partner or their equipment, the player shall incur a one stroke penalty and the ball must be replaced.
b. If a ball in play and at rest, moves after the player has addressed it, the player shall be deemed to have caused it to move and shall incur a one stroke penalty, and the ball must be replaced. A ball shall be considered to have moved from its original position if it has moved only a fraction of its circumference.
c. If a ball at rest is moved by anything not part of the play, other than wind, or by another player or his equipment, it must be replaced without penalty.
d. If the ball moves after any loose impediment has been touched by the player or the player's partner, it shall be replaced incurring a one stroke penalty, except on the Green where the ball must be replaced without penalty.
e. If a ball in motion is stopped or deflected by anything not part of the play, other than wind, or by another player or his equipment, the ball shall be played as it lies.
f. If a ball in motion is stopped or deflected by the player or the player's partner, or their equipment, a penalty of one stroke is incurred and the ball must be played as it lies.
g. If a ball at rest through the green is struck and moved by the ball of another player it shall be replaced at the position from which it was moved and the other ball shall be played as it lies. PENALTY: one stroke
h. A player must not take any action to influence the position or the movement of a ball except in accordance with the Rules. In the case of a serious and intentional breach of this rule, the penalty is disqualification.
3. RELIEF SITUATIONS
a. A ball to be dropped under the Rules shall be dropped by the player in person. The player shall stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it to either side not nearer the hole. PENALTY: one stroke.
b. A dropped ball must be re-dropped, without penalty, if it
* Roles and comes to rest more than two club lengths from where it first struck a part of the course.
* Rolls into and comes to rest in a hazard.
* Rolls out and comes to rest outside a hazard.
* Rolls onto and comes to rest on a green.
* Comes to rest out of bounds.
* Comes to rest nearer the hole.
* Comes to rest where the initial interference still exists.
If the ball when re-dropped comes to rest in any of the above positions, it must be placed as near as possible to the spot where it touched the ground when re-dropped.
c. If a ball lies through the green and its position interferes with the stance or swing of another player, then the ball shall be marked. The ball must not be cleaned. PENALTY: one stroke.
a. The player shall start at the time laid down by the committee.
b. The players shall remain during the round in the group arranged by the committee.
c. The use of a caddie is not permitted at any time.
d. The player is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his card. After completion of the round, the player must ensure that both he and his marker (one who records the player’s score) sign the score card and return it to the committee as soon as possible.
e. Agreement to waive Rules: Players must not agree to exclude the application of any rule or to waive any penalty incurred. PENALTY: disqualification.
f. If a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually played, or fails to record a score for any hole, the player shall be disqualified. A score higher than actually played shall stand.
g. A player must not give / ask for advice, except to / of the player's partner. PENALTY: one stroke
h. Players of the same group should hand in their scorecards to the competition organization simultaneously.
Where these rules do not provide for a specific situation, or if any point in dispute is not covered by the Rules, the Committee should, upon deliberation, make a decision in accordance with equity.
* A match consists of one side playing against another over a stipulated round unless otherwise decreed by the committee.
* In match play the game is played by holes. A hole is won by the side that holes its ball in fewer strokes. In a handicap match the lower net score wins the hole.
* A hole is halved if each side holes out in the same number of strokes.
* A match is won when one side leads by a number of holes greater than the number remaining to be played.
* A player may concede an opponent’s next stroke at any time provided the opponent’s ball is at rest. The opponent is considered to have holed out with the next stroke and the ball may be removed by either side.
* A player may concede a hole at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that hole.
* A player may concede a match at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that match.
Forms of Match play:
Single Match Play - A match in which one player plays against another.
Four Ball Match Play - A match in which two players play their better ball against the better ball of two other players.
Foursome Match Play - A match in which two players playing as partners against two other players, and each side plays with one ball. The partners must play alternately from the teeing grounds/mats and alternately during the play of each hole.
* A Stroke Play competition consists of playing a stipulated round unless otherwise decreed by the committee.
* The competitor or side playing the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest strokes is the winner. In a handicap competition, the competitor or side with the lowest net score for the stipulated round or rounds is the winner.
Forms of Stroke play:
Single Stroke Play - A Stroke Play competition in which each player plays against the other competitors
Four Ball Stroke Play - A Stroke Play competition in which two players, playing as partners, score with their better ball
Foursome Stroke Play - A Stroke Play competition in which two players, playing as partners, play with one ball. The partners must play alternately from the teeing grounds/mats and alternately during the play of each hole.
Stableford competitionsA Stableford competition is a form of Stroke Play. The scoring in such a competition is made by points awarded in relation to a fixed score at each hole.
Hole played in……………………………………………. points
More than one over fixed score or no score returned........ 0
One over fixed score…………………………................... 1
Fixed score …………………………………………….... 2
One under fixed score ………………………………. ….. 3
Two under fixed score …………………………….……... 4
Three under fixed score ……………………….………....5
Four under fixed score …………………….……..............6
The winner is the competitor who scores the highest number of points. The marker is responsible for marking only the gross number of strokes at each hole where the competitor’s net score earns one or more points.