Play is governed by the most current Rules of Golf and Decisions on the Rules of Golf, and where applicable, by the following Local Rules, Conditions and Definitions.

Unless otherwise provided, penalty for breach of a Local Rule is two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.


  • EMBEDDED BALL: Through the green, a ball that is embedded in its own pitch mark in the ground may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not closer to the hole.


  • GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Enclosed white lined areas define ground under repair offering relief without penalty. Other areas of ground under repair include, even if not so marked, French drains (trenches filled with stone or the like) determined either visually or by probing where covered by grass.


  • STONES IN BUNKERS: Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies).


  • BALLS & CLUBS: Only balls and clubs on the USGA’s latest List of Conforming Balls and Clubs may be used. Penalty: Disqualification. 
    NOTE:  Implementation of the USGA’s Grove Rule will not be in effect for any VGA events at this time.


  • TIME OF STARTING: See Rule 6-3.


  • PACE OF PLAY: Players are referred to Rule 6-7 concerning pace of play. The pace of play for each event shall be posted at the event. Violations of pace of play shall be subject to the modified penalties permitted by note 2 to Rule 6-7 as follows for match/stroke play:  First occasion - loss of hole/1 stroke penalty.  Second occasion - loss of hole/2 stroke penalty. Third occasion – disqualification.   If a ruling or some other legitimate delay occurs which causes the group to lose position with respect to either the allotted time and/or the preceding group, players are expected to make up the time and/or position.


  • CELLULAR TELEPHONES: The use of cellular telephones is strongly discouraged.  If the use of a cellular phone becomes disruptive, player(s) in question will be subject to disqualification under Rule 33-7.


  • DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES: A player may obtain distance information by use of a distance-measuring device.  If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., elevation changes, wind speed, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3.


  • UNBECOMING CONDUCT: Vulgarity, throwing equipment in anger, destruction of property, verbal or physical abuse to any person, or other conduct which in the opinion of the committee is detrimental to the game or the competition may result in a penalty of disqualification under Rule 33-7.


  • DISCONTINUANCE OF PLAY: A suspension of play for a dangerous situation will be signaled by one prolonged air horn note.  Players must discontinue play immediately and leave the golf course.  All practice areas are closed during suspension for a dangerous situation.  All other types of suspension will be signaled by three consecutive air horn notes.  Resumption of play will be signaled by two short air horn notes, repeated.


  • SPIKES: Shoes with traditionally-designed spikes (regardless of composition, such as ceramic or plastic) or spikes, regardless of design, comprised either entirely or partially of metal are prohibited under penalty of disqualification.


  • NO SHOW POLICY:  Players failing to appear for an assigned tee time without notifying the VGA may be subject to suspension from play in future VGA tournaments for one year. NO SHOWS also include players who fail to turn in score cards or who withdraw during play without a valid reason and without notifying an official and personally surrendering their score card to that official.


  • RETURNING SCORES: Immediately upon completion of the round, the player must report to the scoring area. It is the player’s responsibility to verify the hole-by-hole scores on the score card, ensure that the card is signed by the scorer (marker) and attested to by the player.


  • PLAY-OFF: If a play-off for medalist, qualifying or alternate positions is required, the play-off will begin at the time and the hole designated by the Committee after all players have completed the stipulated round. If conditions do not allow a play-off to occur or continue, the result will be determined by a matching of score cards as follows: low/best score for last nine holes, or if still tied, low/best score for last six holes, or if still tied, low/best score for last three, or if still tied, low/best score on last hole or if still tied winner will be determined by lot.


  • LOCAL RULES: These rules and any local rules distributed by the committee supersede any local rules printed on the host club’s score card, or otherwise posted.


  • RESULTS OF COMPETITION: When all scores have been posted on the official scoreboard and approved by the committee, the result of the competition is deemed to have been officially announced.


  • THE COMMITTEE:  The Committee in charge of the competition shall consist of the VGA Executive Director, Chairman of the VGA Rules Committee and such other persons identified as such by either of them who are present at the course at the time Committee action is required. The decisions of the Committee are final.





Revised March 2016