Conditions of Competition


Applicable to all RDGA tournaments:

Play shall be governed by the Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and The R&A, the RDGA Code of Conduct, and the following Local Rules. Players shall ignore all local rules printed on the local scorecard.  Complete text of Rules may be found in the Rules of Golf, effective January 1, 2019.  Penalty for breach of any of the following Local Rules is the General Penalty (Match play:  loss of hole; Stroke play:  2 strokes) unless otherwise stated.
PRACTICE – On any day of competition, practice before or between holes and competition rounds on the competition course is prohibited in match play and stroke play. [Note to Rule 5.2 (1st breach:  General Penalty; 2nd breach:  Disqualification)].


PACE OF PLAY - All players must play without unreasonable delay [Rule 5.6]. Players are expected to maintain the pace of play as allotted on the official scorecard. In the absence of mitigating circumstances, any group exceeding the allotted time and, in the case of second or subsequent groups, out of position, may be warned and advised to pick up its pace. Individual players in the group contributing to the group’s slow play may be subject to penalty. 
       In the sole discretion of a Rules Official, the individual players in a group that has been warned that it is out of position may be timed. A player whose turn it is to play shall play his stroke within 40 seconds of the point in time when he has reached his ball in play and the way ahead is clear.  The starting of the 40-second timing interval shall be in the sole discretion of the Rules Official.
  Out of Position - In the absence of mitigating circumstances, the first group to start will be considered out of position if, at any time during the round, the group is behind its allotted time. 
       Any following group will be considered out of position if it (a) is taking more time than the allotted time to play AND (b) arrives at the tee of a par 3 hole and the hole is clear, OR fails to clear the tee of a par 4 hole before the preceding group clears the putting green, OR arrives at the teeing ground of a par 5 hole when the preceding group has already reached the putting green. 
  Penalty - The penalty for undue delay of play shall be: 
                                                  Stroke play                Match play  
  1st offense ------------------- Warning                    Warning  
  2nd offense -------------------1 stroke                     Loss of hole*  
  3rd offense ------------------- 2 strokes                   Loss of 2 holes*  
  4th offense ------------------- Disqualification         Disqualification   
            *The status of the match shall be adjusted by the number of holes indicated.


GROUND UNDER REPAIR - Defined by White Lines. Rule 16 applies. 
  French Drains are deemed to be Ground Under Repair even if not so marked. 
  Areas marked as Ground Under Repair that are immediately adjacent to cart paths are deemed to be part of the cart path and relief may be taken under Rule 16.1 (Abnormal Course Condition). 
       All flower beds and ornamental plantings are deemed to be Ground Under Repair even if not so marked.  Play is prohibited from all such areas.  Players are required to take relief under Rule 16.1.


EMBEDDED BALL RULE - Rule 16.3 applies.  In the General Area* only, a ball which is embedded in its own pitch mark in the ground, other than sand, may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped in accordance with the relief procedure in Rule 16.3b.  * The General Area is the entire area of the course, except:  (a) The teeing area and putting green of the hole being played, (b) all bunkers on the course, and (c) all penalty areas on the course.

ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT - The use of cellular phones, "smart" phones (other than as distance measuring devices), pagers, beepers, IPOD's, "Walkman's" and other electronic devices during a competition round tends to affect pace of play adversely and may be distracting to other players.  Use of such devices during the round may constitute a serious breach of etiquette.  Consequently, use of such devices may subject the player to penalty under the RDGA Code of Conduct and Rule 1.2b.  (
Exceptions:  Phones may be used to report a medical emergency, to obtain weather information, or to obtain information on the Rules of Golf.)


FOOTWEAR - Metal spikes are prohibited.  Penalty:  Disqualification.


DOUBT AS TO PROCEDURE IN MATCH PLAY (Rule 20.1b applies) - In match play competition only, if a doubt or dispute arises between the players, a player may request a ruling under Rule 20.1b(2).  If no duly authorized representative of the Committee is available within a reasonable time, the players must continue the match without delay. The Committee may consider a request for ruling only if the player making the request notifies his opponent before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the match, before the result of the match is final (as determined by the Committee).
In stroke play competition only, if a player is doubtful of his rights or the correct procedure during play of a hole, he may, without penalty, complete the hole with two balls. Under Rule 20.1c(3)after the doubtful situation has arisen and before making another stroke, the player should announce to his marker or another player that he intends to play two balls and which ball he wishes to count, if the rules allow.  Before returning his score card, the player must report the facts to the Committee, even if he scores the same with both balls. If he fails to do so, he is Disqualified.
SUSPENSION OF PLAY / RESUMPTION OF PLAY (Rule 5.7b) - If it becomes necessary to suspend play, the Committee will signal the players as follows: 
Discontinue play — Three short blasts on air horn; repeated. Players may discontinue play immediately OR complete the play of the hole they are on. They may not tee off on the next hole until play is resumed by the Committee. 
Discontinue play for Dangerous Situation — One long blast on air horn. Players MUST discontinue play immediately.
  Penalty for breach: Disqualification. 
  When play is discontinued, the player may leave his ball in place OR mark its location before lifting it. 
Resume Play — Two short blasts on air horn; repeated. Players must resume play immediately from the spot where it was discontinued.  If the player had lifted his original ball when play was suspended, he must place a ball on the spot from which his original ball was lifted. If a player’s ball or its marker has been moved during the suspension of play (including by wind or water), a ball or ball marker must be placed on the spot where the original ball lay at the time of suspension.  If that spot is impossible to determine, it must be estimated and a ball placed on the estimated spot.
In stroke play only, upon completion of the competition round, the player must check the accuracy of the hole-by-hole entries on his scorecard and settle any doubtful points with the Committee. The player must then ensure that his card is signed by his marker(s), sign it himself, and return it to the Committee in the RDGA scoring area. The card is deemed to be returned when the player has left the scoring area without possession of his score card.

CLOSE OF COMPETITION — The competition is deemed to be closed when all results are posted on the scoreboard and the Winner(s) has (have) been announced.



Effective:  January 1, 2019                                                                               Revised:  December 17, 2018