The emphasis of our events is Fun, Fun and more Fun.
However, we need some guidelines to make the events fair.
Competitions are generally played to the USGA Rules of Golf with a few "Local Rules" added to maintain a sensible pace of play.
It is important that we all play by the same rules. Our handicap system gives all members a VGC specific handicap index which is converted to a course handicap for the course and tees that each golfer is playing. We attempt to run our tournaments so that everyone plays on an equal playing field.
View Rules Below
The ball must be played as it lies
All balls must be played as you find them or a penalty drop taken under the rules of golf.
The only exceptions to this are under VGC "local rules" as follows:
A ball in a divot on the fairway may be lifted, cleaned and placed within 1 club length no nearer the hole.
A ball in a footprint within a sand trap may be lifted, area raked and ball dropped at the same spot.
Remember that a drop is from knee height only.
There are no gimmies (not even hovering over the edge of the hole). Balls must be holed out. If you are thinking about holing a missed putt by swiping at it, think again, because if that swipe misses, it costs you and your team a stroke.
If you pickup on a hole, place an 'X' on that hole instead of a number (Exception for GHIN purposes, likely score, see below). For VGC, Really, only the X is needed as any number is ignored. If you pickup (anywhere), you will be gived a NET triple bogey on the hole for the purposes of scoring. You will not be disqualified if you pick up!!!
Speed of Play: Know the game that is being played. If it is a team event and not all scores count, you may be able pick up if you are having a bad hole.
The Handicap Administrator will ensure that a maximum net double bogey is applied prior to using the score to adjust your handicap index. You do not have to make that adjustment.
Likely Score (for GHIN purposes): If you use a likely score on the scorecard, please follow it with an 'X' on your scorecard, which says that you picked up.
Guidelines for determining a likely score when you pick-up (only needed for GHIN purposes): If you are on the green, assume a 2 putt (unless its really long).
If you are off the green within your wedge distance, assume 1 shot to the green plus a 2 putt. If you are outside wedge distance or in a bunker, assume 4 or more strokes.
If you are unsure, continue playing.
Lost Ball or Ball Hit Out-of-Bounds
In both instances, there are stroke and distance penalties involved. If you think you have hit the ball out of bounds or into an area where you might not find it, announce that you are hitting a provisional ball, and then hit a second ball from the same location.
The provisional ball can only be used if you can not find your original ball or if you find it out of bounds. Take a 1-stroke penalty to your score for the hole and play the provisional ball.
However, if you find your original ball in-bounds, there is no penalty; you just play the hole out with that ball.
Note: By hitting a provisional ball when you were unsure where your first ball landed, you save time. It is never approved procedure to just drop another ball in the vicinity of the lost or out of bounds ball. Normally, If a provisional ball was not hit, the next shot must be taken where the previous shot was made (i.e tee box for tee shots).
In VGC competitions, we have introduced a "local rule" to maintain pace of play as follows:
If a ball is lost or out-of-bounds and no provisional has been played, drop a ball 1 club length into the fairway (yes, on the fairway) nearest to the point of loss or where last crossed the out-of-bounds line and no nearer the hole and add two penalty shots to your score for the hole.
Pace of Play
It is important for us to remember to play “ready golf” and keep the pace of play going. It does not matter who is farthest from the hole, either on the fairway or on the green. If you are ready and not interfering with others in your group – go ahead and hit your shot. If one cart is hunting for a ball, the other cart should play their shots before helping to look.