What about Rules for our events?
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 in green below to maintain a sensible pace of play.
In this section, we will attempt to clarify some things that were observed or overheard in recent outings.
It is important that we all play by the same rules. Our handicap system gives all members a VGC handicap
index which is converted to a course handicap for the course and tees that we are playing.
Some people say it is not important, but if we are to run our tournaments so that everyone plays on an
equal playing field, then it is important.
There are no gimmies. All putts 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.
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 if from knee height only.
Picking Up on a Hole
Know the game that is being played. If it is a team event and not all scores count, you may pick up.
The score that is put on the scorecard is the score that you probably would have had had you completed the hole.
It is not double par; it is not your maximum allowable score. It is followed on your scorecard by an ‘X,’
which says that you picked up. All competition scores are corrected for maximum allowed strokes prior to posting.
You do not have to make that adjustment.
Pick-ups are not permitted in individual games (low gross, low net). If you pick-up in individual games, you are
disqualified from the competition and cannot be considered for a prize. Of course, this will not effect your chances of winning any closest to the pin or long drive contests. When playing stableford or quota points however, you can pick
up if your score is greater than the score which will not give points on the hole.
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. You will add one penalty stroke to your score. Thus, if you've hit
your second shot out-of-bounds, you will be playing your 4th shot for that hole (3rd plus 1 penalty).
However, if you find your original ball, there is no penalty; you just play the hole out with that ball.
If you cannot find your original ball or it is definitely out-of-bounds, you resume play using the provisional 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.
If a provisional ball was not hit, the next shot must be taken where the previous shot was made.
This applies through the green.
However, in VGC competitions, in order to maintain pace of play, we have adopted
a USGA-suggested "local rule" as follows:
If a ball is lost or out-of-bounds and no provisional has been played, drop a ball at the nearest edge of
the fairway no closer to the hole than the area it was lost or last crossed the out-of-bounds line and add
two penalty shots to your score for the hole.
Please note that a ball cannot be lost in a penalty area (water hazard or sand trap).
In these cases please proceed as per the penalty area / hazard rules.
Pace of Play
The simple rule here is to keep up with the group in front of you.
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 – play. If there is a situation where one cart is having trouble, you may want to
split temporarily. Guaranteed, they will catch up, but in the meantime, you are saving time by splitting.
When appropriate, pick up and put the score you would have had on the card followed by an 'X'.
If it is an individual stroke-play game, however, know that this action will disqualify you from the tournament.
If you have any questions, feel free to discuss your concerns with any member of the Executive Board.