1. Rules of Golf
All Championships and Tournaments conducted by the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs (CUGC) shall be governed by the Rules of Golf of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) and shall be subject to these General Terms and Conditions and Standing Local Rules, together with any event specific Rules, Safety Information and Pace of Play Regulations issued under the authority of the Tournament Committee.
All players shall be required to play with golf balls and use equipment which conforms to R&A specifications. This includes all forms of distance measuring devices whether a function specific device or as part of an application in a smartphone or similar multi-function device.
Except where it may be advised to the contrary, all Singles Strokeplay events shall be Qualifying Competitions with scores reportable to the World Handicap System (WHS) developed by the R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA) and supported by the world’s handicapping authorities, including CONGU (which represents the four home countries of Great Britain & Ireland).
2. Amateur Status and Eligibility
All competitors must conform to the Rules of Amateur Status as set out by the R&A.
Each player must be a member of a golf club affiliated to CUGC which shall be their Home Club – entrants may not be able to play if their Home Club has not paid all due Affiliation Fees. No player may represent more than one club in a calendar year in any team or foursomes competition.
Each player must not have taken part in a Championship of another County or have represented another County (including friendly matches) during the current calendar year.
All entries must be made on the official On-line Entry Form which must be received, together with the relevant Entry Fee, on or before the specified closing date for the Championship/Tournament in question.
No Entry Fee will be refunded except (a) to any entrant who may be balloted out (and does not subsequently compete) or (b) at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.
All entries shall be subject to the approval of the Tournament Committee, which reserves the right to accept, refuse or cancel an entry, and the decision of the Tournament Committee shall be final.
Withdrawal by teams or players after the publication of the draw for any CUGC event, failure to appear on the tee at the due start time of any round in the event, or withdrawal during the event without good cause will be subject to the following penalties that have been sanctioned by the Tournament Committee.
(a) Withdrawal after publication of the draw
without the submission of evidence to confirm illness, injury or similar unexpected occurrence :
First offence – forfeiture of entry fee and the incident noted for a period of 3 years
Second offence within 3 years – as above and a one year ban from entering any CUGC event
Third offence within 3 years – forfeiture of entry fee and lifetime ban from entering any CUGC event
(b) Failure to appear on the tee at the due start time of any round
without the submission of evidence to confirm illness, injury or similar unexpected occurrence :
The penalties are as set out under (a) above for first, second and third offences within a 3 year period. The penalties apply in respect of any round in a multi-round tournament.
A player being early or late on the tee is covered by Rule 5.3a of the Rules of Golf.
(c) Withdrawal during an event
If this is requested, in the first instance a referee should be summoned to confirm that the withdrawal is as a result of injury or illness that prevents further participation in the event. Consideration should be given for example, as to whether the team/player could continue to mark the other team/player’s card for the remainder of the event.
If the above situation does not apply, for example (but not exclusively), if withdrawal is considered to be because of inclement weather or poor play, or if referee approval has not been sought, or has been refused, the following penalties will apply :
First offence – forfeiture of entry fee, the incident noted for a period of 3 years and a one year ban from entering any CUGC event
Second offence within 3 years - forfeiture of entry fee and lifetime ban from entering any CUGC event.
5. Code of Conduct
Players and caddies are expected to abide by the basic rules of behaviour as set out in the Rules of Golf and they should also be aware of the Terms and Conditions of the CUGC Code of Conduct (click here to view).
6. Prohibited Substances
A player shall not knowingly possess, administer or use any substance or method on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and, if found guilty of such an act, will be subject to Disciplinary Procedures as set out in the Anti-Doping Policy of England Golf ( www.englandgolf.org/governance/anti-doping/ ) to which reference should be made for further information, including access to the WADA Prohibited List.
7. Pace of Play
To address any potential issues arising from slow play, all CUGC events will be subject, where possible, to Pace of Play Monitoring. On these occasions, specific timing criteria on a hole by hole basis will be provided for the participants guidance either on-line or at registration, or both, taking account of the tournament format, course layout, tee starting times and any other factors that may impact upon the time taken to complete a round.. The monitoring will be undertaken by on-course referees with the objective of offering help and encouragement to avoid any problems arising – this may be to a group or individual golfers or both.
If a problem persists then it may be necessary on a group or player basis, to issue a warning or put the group/player “on the clock” and ultimately to consider the penalties set out in Rule 5.6a of the Rules of Golf.
Full information relating to Pace of Play can be found through the England Golf website at englandgolf.org.
8. Disability and Transportation Policy
It is a requirement during any round of a CUGC event that players (and caddies) shall walk at all times unless specifically authorised otherwise by the Tournament Committee or its representatives. However, a buggy may be used by a player (or caddie) who can provide, before the closing date for entries, either
(a) a current medical certificate of disability (or copy thereof),
or (b) a revalidation form of an existing medical certificate of disability
and in the first instance, the player (or caddie) should contact the CUGC secretary and intimate their intention to pursue this course of action. Further information regarding buggy use (for example, when it may be inappropriate to use a buggy, who may drive it, insurance cover etc.) can be found under the Transportation Policy at englandgolf.org, whose specifications, including the penalty for a breach of the Policy, CUGC has followed.
Exception – A player who will play, or has played, a shot under “stroke and distance” is always authorised to ride on motorised transport.
9. Registration Desk
For all CUGC events, all players must report to the Registration Desk prior to participating in each round when all information (pace of play, local rules, tee times, starting tee, etc.) will be presented/confirmed and thereafter their attendance is expected on their first tee in accordance with Rule 5.3a, failing which the appropriate penalties will be imposed. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to fix and/or alter starting times to ensure the proper conduct of an event.
Following completion of their round in a Strokeplay competition, players must again report to the Registration Desk to submit their Scorecard (in paper or electronic form as defined in the Rules), correctly completed and agreed with their marker as required in the Rules. The score is deemed to be officially recorded when the scorecard is submitted and the player exits the Registration Desk area. Any scorecards not submitted within 30 minutes of completing the round may be entered as a “Nil Return” at the sole discretion of the Tournament Committee. A player’s World Handicap Index will remain unchanged for the duration of each event until their participation in the event has been concluded.
In a Matchplay event, the result of a match is deemed final when it has been reported at the Registration Desk.
10. Entrants under age 18
Entry to any CUGC event is open to “Boys” who meet the specific eligibility criteria of the event. Any such entry is only accepted on the basis that both the Boy and his parents/guardians understand and agree to the terms of the “County Junior Golf Policy and Operating Practices” (accessible under www.cheshiregolf.org.uk/junior_golf_policy) that would govern his participation in the event. In addition, if a CUGC Player Information Form has not been submitted for the Boy during the current season, the parent/guardian should advise the CUGC Secretary as soon as possible of any relevant medical or other information that could reasonably be required should an emergency arise.
11. Adverse Conditions
If, during any event, it becomes impossible to complete that event in accordance with the pre-determined Terms and Conditions because of adverse weather conditions or other circumstances, the Tournament Committee shall be empowered to vary such Terms and Conditions to the extent necessary to achieve a satisfactory and acceptable result within the time available.
If it is necessary to remove temporary water from any putting green, Model Local Rule J-2 will come into effect as follows :
If a player's ball lies on the putting green and there is interference by temporary water on the putting green, the player may:
take free relief under Rule 16.1d, or
have his line of play squeegeed.
Such squeegeeing should be done across the line of play and extend a reasonable distance beyond the hole (that is, at least one roller length) and only be carried out by someone authorised by the Tournament Committee or its representative.
12. Deciding Tied Scores
Except where otherwise provided in the Terms and Conditions of a particular event (for example, specifying play-off holes), all ties in Strokeplay events will be decided on the lowest scores over the last 18 holes, then the last 9, 6, 3, and 1 holes in that order until a winner is determined. If it is still unresolved the lowest scores of the last 6, 3, and 1 holes of the first nine holes of that final round will be considered in order to determine the winner.
If it is still unresolved, each of the preceding rounds played shall be treated in the same way as the paragraph above, taking each round in the reverse order to that in which they were played. In the circumstances of it still being unresolved, the Tournament Committee may draw lots to determine the final order.
Where a two tee start is used, any resolution of ties following the above format will be based on the normal card order of the holes.
In Matchplay, tied matches will continue as “sudden death” up the 19th and following holes as necessary until a winner is determined.
13. Events Closed
In Strokeplay, the Competition/Tournament is deemed to be closed when the result has been announced officially at the event presentation ceremony.
In Matchplay, the result of a match is deemed to be announced officially when it has been recorded at the event Registration Desk.
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. In addition in those three events, other persons may not carry items of the player’s equipment or provide any advice or coaching, however the incidental provision of drinks or food is permitted.
Players should be aware that they remain responsible for the actions of their caddies throughout the progress of any round during an event.
Neither the host club nor CUGC are responsible for the loss of or damage to players’ equipment or personal possessions.
16. Photography Consent
By entering a CUGC event, a player :
- agrees to being filmed, photographed or recorded (images and/or sound) by or on behalf of CUGC or other authorised third party
- consents to these images being used in any film, recording, photograph or other media format for the promotion of CUGC activities, and
- acknowledges that no payment or compensation for the use of such images shall be payable to them.
Should any player object to these arrangements, they should advise the CUGC Secretary as soon as possible and appropriate actions will be taken to comply with their request.
17. Practice Rounds
Any request to play a practice round prior to a CUGC event must be made directly with the Host Club and any free or reduced cost facility agreed with the Club is only available to players in that event as detailed on the Draw Sheet, a copy of which will be held by the Club. Such arrangements will be subject to availability since such tee times will be limited by the Club.
During a practice round, only one ball may be played subject to the following exceptions :
- where the normal Rules of Golf apply, for example, playing a provisional ball
- another approach shot may be played to a green if the first approach shot missed the green
And, as long as play is not delayed, a player may practice putting but NOT chipping or bunker play.
18. Dispute Settlement
All disputes that cannot be resolved by other means will be considered by representatives of the Tournament Committee (three members to form a quorum) whose decision shall be final.
This Code of Conduct sets out the minimum standards of behaviour expected when participating in any Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs (CUGC) event, and players must ensure they are familiar with and understand the details set out below and meet these minimum standards at all times.
1. Code of Conduct
Breaches of the Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to, the following :
(a) Foul and abusive language
(b) Abuse of clubs or the course or clubhouse such as :
(i) throwing and/or breaking clubs
(ii) damaging course equipment, tee markers, flagsticks, rakes, etc.
(iii) inappropriate damage to the greens or teeing grounds
(iv) defacing or damaging on-course signage or clubhouse fittings
(c) Being disrespectful of other players, referees, spectators or members / representatives of the host club
(d) Failing to care for the course, for example
(i) not repairing pitchmarks, not raking bunkers and/or not replacing divots
(ii) pulling trolleys onto or across teeing grounds or greens
(e) Acting in a manner contrary to the spirit of the game of golf that may bring the game or CUGC into disrepute
(f) Mis-use of Social Media/smartphones such as
(i) excessive use of social media/smartphones during a round – this excludes use to report live on-course scoring
(ii) using critical or disrespectful language in any public forum towards CUGC or any parties mentioned in (c) above
(g) Failing to adhere to the rules and regulations relating to the host club e.g. dress code and the use of mobile phones.
Some breaches may be noticed personally by referees as they occur and the referees would be expected to take the appropriate action at that time. Otherwise, breaches may be reported to the Tournament Committee (or its representatives) by other parties and some enquiries may need to be conducted before action can be taken.
However, the following penalties have been authorised by the Tournament Committee to apply when any breaches as set out above have been confirmed :
First Breach – an official warning
Second Breach - General Penalty
Third Breach - Disqualification
Note that (a) any penalties imposed during a round will be carried forward to future rounds until such time that the event is concluded and (b) any breaches by the player’s caddie will result in penalties being imposed on the player.
3. Tournament Committee Decisions
Any decision of the Tournament Committee in relation to breaches of the Code of Conduct is final.
In addition, if any breaches are considered to amount to serious misconduct (or worse) because of :
- their severity
- their impact upon others, or
- an extended period over which many breaches have occurred (perhaps over more than one CUGC event)
any of which may have an impact upon the reputation of the game of golf or of the CUGC, the Tournament Committee reserves the right to take further action to address such situations. This could include referring the matter for review under the County Disciplinary Procedure but in either case, it could result in further and more serious penalties.