Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs

Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs General Conditions and Local Rules

A.  GENERAL CONDITIONS

1.  All Championships and Tournaments conducted by the CUGC shall be governed by the Rules of Golf of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and subject to these General Conditions and Standing Local Rules; together with any event specific Rules, Safety Information and Pace of Play Regulations issued at a Tournament.  These provisions replace any Local Rules and Conditions published by the Host Club including those printed on the normal Club Scorecard.  Except where it may be advised to the contrary, all Singles Stroke Play events shall be Qualifying Competitions as defined by the CONGU Unified Handicapping System.

2.  All competitors must be of Amateur Status as defined by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and meet the eligibility criteria of the Championship. 

3.  The Tournament Committee reserves the right to fix and/or alter starting times to ensure the proper conduct of an event.  Each Player must start at the time established by the Tournament Committee.  Players should note that other than in “Exceptional Circumstances”, reference the guidelines set out in Rule 6-3a and Decision 6-3a/1.5; start times will not be varied due to individual lateness .  

4.  All players must report to the Event Registration Desk before play in each round, scorecards will normally be issued at that time.  Immediately following completion of their round, players must settle any doubtful points with their marker and if necessary the Tournament Committee; scorecards should be returned by the individual players in their playing groups to a Member of the Tournament Committee at the Event Registration Desk.  Any cards not returned by the player himself within thirty minutes ofcompleting his round may be entered as a “Nil-Return” at the sole discretion of the Tournament Committee.  Players are reminded that they alone remain entirely responsible for the entry of the correct playing handicap on the scorecard, that the card is signed by both the player and his marker and for the accuracy of the gross score returned at each individual hole.  In Matchplay the result of a Match is deemed to be officially announced when recorded at the Event Registration Desk; in Strokeplay the Tournament is deemed to be closed when the result has been officially announced at the event presentation ceremony.

5.  Pace of Play :-  Slow play can become an increasingly serious problem during Tournament Play and is a significant area of complaint raised by many players.  All CUGC events are therefore subject to Pace of Play Monitoring; guidelines and where relevant specific timing criteria will be issued at each applicable event.  Failure to maintain an acceptable pace may result in all, or specific individual members, of a group being timed, and where necessary penalties applied, details are provided with event pace of play requirements. 

6.  If in any Championship or Tournament it becomes impossible to complete the Championship or Tournament in accordance with the Conditions thereof because of adverse weather conditions or other circumstances, which in the opinion of the Tournament Committee make it impossible or impractical to do so, the Tournament Committee shall be empowered to vary such Conditions to the extent necessary to achieve a result within the time available. 

7.  Player’s Equipment and Golf Balls :-

a.)  All competitors will be required to play with golf balls which are on the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews List of Conforming Golf Balls current at the date of the Championship.

b.)  Any driving club (post 1999 manufacture) carried by the Player, must have a clubhead, identified by model, and loft, that is named on the List of Conforming Driver Heads published by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews current at the date of the Championship.

c.)  For each and every Competition run by or for the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs and for each days play, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only.  If, during a Stipulated Rounda player uses a distance measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other Conditions that might affect his play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.  Note also :

i.)  Trolleys having a distance-measuring capability may be used; provided that any other features which are non-conforming eg a display indicating temperature; is securely taped over or effectively disabled throughout a Stipulated Round.

ii.)  Multi functional devices such as “Smart Phones” with a “DMD Application” may be used.  The player however, remains entirely responsible to ensure that the features of the device and its use during the stipulated round conforms with the guidance of the R & A current at the time of the event.  Where such a device is used, the sanction of Condition d.) below is excluded, but only in relation to the use of the device as a DMD.

iii.)  Players may use conventional Course Information booklets.  Although the practice is not recommended, Putting Alignment Charts may be used during a Championship Stipulated Round.  Players intending to employ them, must however ensure that their method of use conforms entirely to the detailed requirements published by the R & A, reference Equipment Decision ES2012-0479.

d.)  Mobile phones, (including pagers and similar devices); other than in responding to a genuine emergency situation, their use is considered to be potentially distracting and discourteous to other players, and is likely to breach the policy of the Host Club.  They must not therefore be used by any player or caddie during the play of any Championship Stipulated Round, for the purpose of making/sending or receiving calls, text and other data communications or to access stored data e.g. music files etc.  Subject to note 7c.ii) above a mobile phone may be used as a DMD.

The penalty for a breach of Equipment/Ball Conditions, a.) through c.iii.) is Disqualification under the Applicable Rule.  If a serious breach of Condition d.) occurs, or where there are repeated breaches, a player may be disqualified under Rule 33-7 for a “Serious Breach of Etiquette” and/or barred from entering or continuing to play in Cheshire Championships for such period as the Tournament Committee may decide.

8.  Players shall walk at all times during a stipulated round unless permitted to ride by the Tournament Committee.  The CUGC have adopted England Golf’s policy with respect to the use of buggies for people with disabilities.  See www.englandgolf.org Transportation Policy.  The penalty for breach of these transportation conditions is disqualification.

9.  Caddies; there are no restrictions on the use of caddies, except in the Boys Championship, Junior Championship and Junior Club Team Championship, where they are not allowed,also other persons may not carry item’s of the player’s equipment in these events, however the incidental provision of drinks and food is permitted.  Players are reminded that they remain responsible for the actions of their caddies throughout any Stipulated Round.

10.  All disputes shall be settled by the Tournament Committee (3 to form a quorum) whose decision shall be final. 

11.  Except where otherwise provided In the Conditions of a particular Championship or Tournament, (as set out in the County Handbook and the Notice of the Event) all ties in Strokeplay events shall be decided on the last 18, 9, 6, 3 or 1 holes in that order. If a tie still arises it shall be decided by reference to the last 6, 3 or 1 holes of the first nine holes of that final round. If a tie still arises, each of the preceding rounds played shall be treated in the same way (taking each round in the reverse order to that in which they were played) until a decision is reached.  In the exceptional circumstances of a tie remaining the Tournament Committee may draw lots to decide the order.  Where a two tee start is used, any card play-off will remain based on the normal card order of holes.

12.  A player shall not knowingly make use of any drug to enhance his performance.  Attention is drawn to the list of proscribed drugs issued by Sport England.  Any competitor who during the course of an event, including practice days, misbehaves by, for example, swearing, throwing clubs, or causes damage to the golf course or clubhouse, or acts in any manner which might bring the game or the CUGC into disrepute, will be the subject of enquiry under the County Disciplinary Procedure.   All players must familiarize themselves and comply with all applicable regulations of the Host Club/CUGC regarding dress code, use of mobile phones, both on and off the course; conditions for Practice etc.  Competitors shall not wear shorts during any Stipulated Round of a Championship.  Competitors are reminded that they are similarly responsible for the conduct of any caddie they may use.  Repeated or serious breaches of these regulations may also result in the player being disqualified from the event in progress under Rule 33-7.

13.  Any competitor who :-  Withdraws from an event after the draw has been published, or for whatever reason fails to appear on the tee at his appointed starting time, or having qualified to continue in an event, fails to do so.  Must, without delay, furnish to the Tournament Committee an explanation, in writing, to the satisfaction of the Tournament Committee.  If he does not do so, he will be debarred from entering or taking part in any CUGC event for such a period as the Tournament Committee may decide 

14.  Entry to appropriate CUGC Tournaments is open to “Boys” who meet the specific eligibility criteria.  Any entry submitted by a boy is only accepted on the basis that both the boy and his parents or guardian understand and agree to the terms of the “County Junior Golf Policy and Operating Practices”, which shall apply to his participation in the event.  These documents are available for inspection on the County Website; www.cheshiregolf.org.uk .  The parent or guardian of any Boy wishing to enter a Championship, who has not been required to submit a “CUGC Player Information Form” during the current season , should ensure that the CUGC is made aware of any appropriate medical or other information, which could be reasonably required in the event of an emergency. 

15.  Practice Rounds :  Arrangements must be made directly with the Club, any free or reduced cost practice facility agreed with the Club is only available to Competitors playing in a Championship, as denoted on the Draw Sheet a copy of which is supplied to the Club.  One ball only may be played during practice rounds, with the following exceptions, if a player misses the green with his shot to the green, he may play one additional shot or where the Rules of Golf apply (e.g. provisional ball).  A player may practice putting (but notchipping or bunker play) provided play is not delayed.

B.  STANDING LOCAL RULES :  

1.  Where under these, or an event specific Local Rule, play is prohibited from any area, or condition; the player must take relief under the applicable Rule.

2.  Out of Bounds (Rule 27-1.) :

A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies in, on, or beyond a boundary of the course defined by a white marker line, a trench or by a line projected at ground level between the “inner course side” of consecutive white stakes.  Where both a line or trench and stakes occur at a boundary, the line or trench defines the out of bounds, the stakes are used to indicate the presence of the out of bounds.  Where a trench and a white line occurs, the line defines the out of bounds.  Otherwise a ball is out of bounds when all of the ball lies beyond a boundary or on any area defined as follows :

a.)  Where a fence forms a course boundary and when the supporting posts protrude from the fence (not struts angled onto the course), a line projected at ground level between the nearest “inner course side” of the posts defines the boundary.  Otherwise a ball is out of bounds when it lies beyond any boundary fence or wall.  Any netting or similar material directly attached to a boundary fence is deemed to be part of that fence.

b.)  Where a hedge forms a boundary of the course, the out of bounds shall be determined by an imaginary plane projected vertically from a line at ground level following the centreline of the hedge plantline.

c.)  Except where denoted in any event specific Local Rule, a ball lying on or beyond any pathway, drive or surfaced car park area surrounding the Clubhouse is out of bounds.

d.)  Except where denoted in any event specific Local Rule, a ball lying on any practice putting green or practice area which is otherwise within the marked boundaries of the course is out of bounds.  Any such putting or pitching green on which practice is permitted before or between rounds shall be a “Wrong Green” during the “Stipulated Round”.

3.  Water Hazards (Rule 26.) :

3.1  Water hazards are defined by yellow stakes or lines.  Lateral water hazards are defined by red stakes or lines.  Where both stakes and lines occur, the line defines the boundary, stakes indicate the presence of the hazard.  Except where denoted in any event specific Local Rule stakes defining or indicating a water hazard are obstructions and may be moved but only when it can be done without unreasonable effort, delaying play or causing damage. 

3.2  Where the margin of a water hazard is not clearly specified by a line or posts, the general break of the ground will be taken as the boundary.  All bridges and crossings within the general line of a water hazard are deemed to lie within the margin of the hazard unless defined otherwise in an event specific Local Rule.

4.  Ground Under Repair (Rule 25-1) :

The following are considered to be areas of “Ground Under Repair”, relief from these conditions may be obtained under Rule 25-1.

a.)  Any area encircled by a white or blue line, defined by posts or denoted by a specific notice.

b.)  “Cultivated” heather and or flower beds within the boundaries of the course.  New tree or bush plantations when the entire area is bounded by indicating lines or stakes.  Play is prohibited from all these areas, or where the player’s stance or area of intended swing is affected.

c.)  Vehicle/tractor wheel ruts, but only where there is specific indentation of the underlying area of ground; disturbance or compression of the surrounding grass or vegetation alone does not warrant relief without penalty under this Rule.

d.)  Any area of damaged ground that is considered by a Rules Official to be abnormal. 

5.  Obstructions (Rule 24.) :

The following features are clarified as being “Immoveable Obstructions”, relief may be obtained under Rule 24-2.

a.)  Individual staked trees, young trees having protective sleeves and other trees or shrubs indicated by a form of marking specified in any event specific Local Rule.  Play is prohibited from any position close to such a feature where interference with the player’s stance or area of swing occurs.

b.)  All “artificially surfaced” paths, roadways, standings and “constructions” on the course except where a feature has been declared an integral part of the course under any event specific Local Rule.  For the avoidance of doubt, Immoveable Obstructions lying within the limits of a water hazard retain their status as Obstructions, although relief under Rule 24-2 is not available the player may “ground” his club on such an Obstruction.

c.)  Note : Due to Safety considerations loose stones or rock chippings arising directly from and in the immediate area of a feature defined in b.) above; may be treated as “Moveable Obstructions”, rather than as “Loose Impediments”.  The provisions of this clause do not apply to stones etc arising, on or around, other naturally occurring paths etc; such stones may only be treated as Loose Impediments.

d.)  Where a white lined area adjoins an Immoveable Obstruction, it is considered to be “tied in” and part of the obstruction, not a separate condition.

e.)  Stone filled, drainage ditches or channels not otherwise marked as Water Hazards.

f.)  In addition to the relief available from an Immoveable Obstruction close to a Putting Green under Rule 24-2.  If a ball lies off the Putting Green but not in a hazard, and an Immoveable Obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball, intervenes on the line of play to the hole; the player may take relief as follows :  The ball must be lifted and dropped at the nearest point to where the ball lay that i.) is not nearer the hole, ii.) avoids interference and iii.) is not in a hazard or on a Putting Green. The ball may be cleaned when lifted.  Relief is also available under this Local Rule if the player’s ball lies on a Putting Green and an Immoveable Obstruction within two club-lengths of the Putting Green intervenes on his line of putt.  The player should proceed as above but the ball must be placed.  The ball must be placed at the nearest point as defined but this may be on the Putting Green.

Stones in bunkers are “Moveable Obstructions, Rule 24-1 applies. 

6.  Practice (Rule 7-1.) : 

In Matchplay, on any day of a competition, practice on the Championship Course is prohibited before the player’s first match and between matches.  When a match is completed, except when specified, a player may play out any remaining holes, providing that nothing is done which may delay other players, or delay the progress of the Championship.  In Strokeplay, the provisions of Rule 7-1 apply.  Where an area within the boundaries of the course is defined as a recognized practice area under an event specific Local Rule, the area may be used by players for practice on any day of a competition. 

7.  Limitation of Relief :

A player may not obtain relief under the provision of these or any event specific Local Rules if it is clearly unreasonable for a stroke to be played because of interference by anything other than the condition covered by the applicable Local Rule, or if such interference would only occur through the use of an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play. 

GENERAL PENALTY FOR BREACH OF A LOCAL RULE :  (Where not specified under the Rules of Golf) 

Matchplay – Loss of Hole;  Strokeplay – Two Strokes. 

CUGC Tournament Committee Issue :  February 2014.                            

Further information and results can be found on the County website www.cheshiregolf.org.uk

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