RDGA Conditions of Competition


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 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 are out of position may be timed. A player whose turn it is to play must 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 at 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 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 ---------------------1 stroke                     1 stroke  
                                2nd offense ------------------- 2 strokes                    Loss of hole  
                                3rd offense -------------------  Disqualification     Disqualification   

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).


NO PLAY ZONES - All flower beds and ornamental plantings are deemed to be Ground Under Repair, No Play Zones, even if not so marked.  Play is prohibited from all such areas.  Players are required to take relief under Rule 16.1f. 




FOOTWEAR – USGA Model Local Rule G-7 is in effect.  During a round, a player must not wear shoes with traditional spikes having single or multiple points designed to penetrate deeply into the surface of the ground (regardless of whether made of metal, ceramic, plastic or other materials) or spikes of any design that are entirely or partially made of metal, if such metal may come in contact with the course.


ELECTRONIC DEVICES – USGA Model Local Rule G-8 is in effect.  “Rule 4.3a(4) is modified in this way:  During a round, a player must not listen to or watch content of any nature on a personal audio or video device.”  Therefore, the use of cellular [“smart”] phones, IPODS, radios, and all other electronic devices is prohibited during a round. Use of such equipment may also constitute a serious breach of etiquette subjecting the player to a penalty of DISQUALIFICATION under the RDGA Code of Conduct and Rule 1.2b.   (Exceptions:  Electronic devices, including cell phones, that measure distance only are permitted and phones otherwise may be used only to report a medical emergency, to obtain weather information, or to obtain information on the Rules of Golf.)


CLUBSUSGA Model Local Rule G-9 is in effect.  If a player’s club is “broken or significantly damaged” during the round by the player or caddie, except in cases of abuse, the player may replace the club with any club under Rule 4.1b(4).  When replacing a club, the player must immediately take the broken or significantly damaged club out of play, using the procedure in Rule 4.1c(1).  A club is “broken or significantly damaged” when: (1) the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented) or (2) the club face impact areas is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched) or (3) the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed or (4) the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or (5) the grip is loose.  EXCEPTION:  A club face or clubhead is not “broken or significantly damaged” solely because it is cracked.


PENALTIES FOR BREACH OF EQUIPMENT RULES:  First breach – General penalty; Second Breach – Disqualification.




USGA Model Local Rule D-7 is in effect. Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b applies, except that when a ball played from the putting green accidently hits:  the player, the club used by the player to make the stroke, or an animal defined as a loose impediment (that is, worms, insects and similar animals that can be removed easily), the stroke counts and the ball must be played as it lies.


USGA Model Local Rule E-11 is in effect.  If it is known or virtually certain that a player’s ball hit a power line or tower or a wire or pole supporting a power line, the stroke does not count.  The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6 to see what to do).


USGA Model Local Rule E-12 is in effect.  Ball Played from Outside Relief Area When Taking Back-On-the-Line Relief.  When taking Back-On-the-Line relief, there is no additional penalty if a player plays a ball that was dropped in the relief area required by the relevant Rule (Rule 16.1c(2), 17.1d(2), 19.2b or 19.3b) but came to rest outside the relief area, so long as the ball, when played, is within one club-length of where it first touched the ground when dropped.

This exemption from penalty applies even if the ball is played from nearer the hole than the reference point (but not if played from nearer the hole than the spot of the original ball or the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area).

This Local Rule does not change the procedure for taking Back-On-the Line under a relevant Rule.  This means that the reference point and the relief area are not changed by this Local Rule and that Rule 14.3c(2) can be applied by a player who drops a ball in the right way and it comes to rest outside the relief area, whether this occurs on the first or second drop.


USGA Model Local Rule F-5 is in effect.  Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be taken under Rule16.1.  The player also has these extra options to take relief when such immovable obstructions are close to the putting green and on the line of play:

Ball in General Area.  The player may take relief under Rule 16.1b if an immovable obstruction is: On the line of play, and is:  Within two club-lengths of the putting green, and within two club-lengths of the ball.

Exception - No Relief If Line of Play Clearly Unreasonable.


USGA Model Local Rule F-7 is in effect.  If a player’s ball lies in or touches a seam of cut turf or a seam interferes with the player’s area of intended swing:  (a) Ball in General Area or (b) Ball on Putting Green, the player may take relief under Rule 16.1d. BUT interference does not exist if seam only interferes with the player’s stance. 

All seams within the area of cut turf are treated as the same seam in taking relief.  This means that if a player has interference from any seam after dropping the ball, the player must proceed as required under Rule 14.3c(2) even when the ball is still within on club-length of the reference point.


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:  April 15, 2022                                                                                 Revised:  February 1, 2022