Spectator Rules

Stay Behind the Ropes!

1.  JGA events are played under USGA Rules of Golf and local rules specified in the JGA Handbook or at the tournament.

2.  Spectators may rent golf carts at the discretion of the host facility. Cart rental and price are controlled by the host facility, not by the JGA.

     The following rules govern the use of carts and are in addition to those of the host facility:

   a. No player shall sit or ride in a golf cart unless authorized to do so by a JGA Official except during a course evacuation.

   b. Carts must be operated in a safe manner at all times and must remain on the cart paths and approved areas at ALL times.

   c. Carts may only move forward (from tee to green) except in the case of a course evacuation.  Avoid situations where the cart must be placed in reverse.

   d. Carts must not move while competitors are playing a stroke.

    e. Carts are not to be driven near or onto the banks of the greens.

    f.  Only two (2) people are allowed to ride in a cart except during a course evacuation.  Under no circumstance is ANYONE to stand or ride on the back of a cart.

   g. Carts are to be returned to the cart area immediately upon returning to the clubhouse area.  They are not to be parked around the scoring area or left at the scoring area.  People leaving carts outside of the cart return area will not be permitted to rent carts at future events.

    h. Spectator carts will be used to assist with a course evacuation of all players and spectators.  If necessary, carts may leave the cart paths during a course evacuation.

    i. Spectators violating any of the above will be asked to leave the course immediately and will not be allowed to rent carts at future events.  Violators will not receive any form of refund or credit on the cart rental.

 3.   The JGA Board of Directors want the tournaments to be enjoyable experiences for the junior golfers and spectators, alike, so we ask that you help by adhering to the following rules:

   a. Spectators must remain on the cart paths or in the rough (when cart paths are not available) at all times, including while searching for a lost ball.

    b. Spectators are NOT permitted on the fairways with the players at any time or for any reason AND must keep at least 30 yards from all players, once play has begun.

   c. Spectators are expected to adhere to the JGA Code of Conduct, including the Dress Code.

   d. Spectators are “observers” only and may NOT:

  1. communicate in any manner with the players during competition
  2. interfere with any JGA Official performing their duties
  3. interfere with the assigned scorekeepers in any way

   e. Spectators may assist in the search for a player’s ball in order to help speed play, however, carts must remain on the cart paths while the search is conducted on foot.

    f.  Positively NO COACHING OR CADDYING is permitted.

    g. The penalty for a player receiving advice from a spectator is two (2) strokes and the penalty is added to the score of the hole where the violation occurred [USGA Rules of Golf:

        Rule 8.1]. A second violation of this rule will result in the player receiving an additional two (2)-stroke penalty and the spectator being asked to leave the course.

    h. Spectators that violate any JGA Rule, such as the “30-yard rule”, subject the player to a “non-golf” breach of the rules penalty.  Players in violation of a JGA Rule (non-golf rule) will be suspended and the player and spectators must leave the course [USGA 2012-13 Decisions on the Rules of Golf: Decision US 33-8/101].  Players suspended or disqualified from a tournament for any reason are not eligible for the following tournament.  The offending spectators will not be allowed to attend another tournament the remainder of the season.

NOTE: Compliance with these rules is the responsibility of both the spectator and the player, though it is the player who will receive the penalty.

A good rule of thumb is “ no conversations with the players once play has started other than words of encouragement”.  This will help to avoid any appearance of providing assistance.


4.  If a competitor is doubtful of his rights or the correct procedure during the play of a hole he may, without penalty, complete the hole with two (2) balls. The competitor must announce his intentions to his marker (scorekeeper) or fellow-competitor that he intends to play two (2) balls and which ball he wishes to count if the Rules permit. If he fails to do so, the provisions of Rule 3-3 (ii) apply.  The competitor must report the facts of the situation to a JGA Rules Official at the scoreboard prior to signing and submitting the scorecard.  If the competitor fails to do so, he/she is disqualified. (USGA Rules of Golf 3-3)

5.  The player whose ball is closest to the hole shall tend the flag stick for the other players. The first player to chip or putt the ball inside of the ball belonging to the person attending the flag stick, shall mark his or her ball, and will the tend the flag stick for the rest of the players.  Continuous putting is optional, providing the player will not be standing in the line of a putt of a playing partner.  NOTE: The flag stick may be placed just off the putting surface when all players do not require it.  The first player to hole their ball shall pick up the flag stick and replace it carefully in the hole as soon as the last player has holed out.  All players, scorekeepers and spectators are to leave the green immediately so as not to delay play.

6.  Players are to place their golf bag in a position towards the tee of the next hole of play, taking care as to not placing it on the putting surface of the green.

7.  On the putting green, the ball should be marked with a ball marker or small coin by placing behind the ball in a line to the pin.  Do not use other objects such as a tee (USGA Rule # 20).

8.  Each player is responsible for placing an identifying mark on their ball in a way that allows it to be identified as theirs. If you cannot identify your ball as yours, it is considered a lost ball. (USGA Rule # 27)

9.   Players MUST confirm their score after each hole with the player keeping their scorecard.  All the players in the playing group (and the scorekeeper if applicable) must be present when submitting the scorecards to the scoring table.

If you do not agree with your score, consult a JGA Official BEFORE signing and submitting your scorecard.

10. Parents are REQUIRED to assist the JGA, in a capacity to be determined by the JGA, two  times during the first seven (7) tournaments, and one time during the Championship if you have  a child in the Championship.  Parents assigned to score keeping are permitted to score for  their own children.  Every effort will be made to assign parents completing the assisting  requirement on the date they selected on the signup form.  Failure to assist the JGA as required will result in the junior not being allowed to participate in the JGA Championship or the following season.  NOTE: It may be necessary to ask you to assist more than twice and ask for your understanding.

11. All junior golfers must carry their own equipment.  However, use of your own pull cart is  permitted if allowed by the host facility.  Players using a pull cart agree that in the event of  a course evacuation they could be asked to remove their bag from the cart and that the cart will be left on the  course.  The cart may be retrieved by the player once it is safe to do so.

The JGA, its Officers, and Directors cannot be held responsible for missing or broken carts  left on the course.

NOTE: A notice will be placed in the “NOTES” section of the tournament Info on the BlueGolf  tournament page if a host facility will not allow pull carts.

12. Local Rule for every tournament: Practice of any stroke between holes is prohibited for reasons of safety and speed of play. Stones may be removed from bunkers (sand traps) if they present a safety hazard.

13. Local Rule for 3 & 5 hole divisions ONLY:

      a. A penalty of one stroke will be added to the score for a ball hit “out of bounds” or for a “lost ball”.  In both situations, a ball is to be dropped closest to where the ball crossed the boundary line or where the ball is believed to be lost.

      b. The maximum number of strokes for a bunker (sand trap) is three (3) strokes. After the third attempt to get out of a bunker, the ball is to be placed to the left or right of the bunker, whichever gives the player a clear shot.  A one-stroke penalty is to be added to the score on the hole for placing the ball.

     c.  The maximum number of balls hit into a water hazard by a player is three (3) .  After the third ball is hit into the water, a ball is to be placed to the left or right side of the hazard; whichever gives the player a clear shot.  A one-stroke penalty is to be added to the score on the hole for placing the ball.

     d. MAXIMUM NUMBER OF STROKES PER HOLE for 3-Hole division ONLY is eight (8).  This includes penalty strokes.

  14. LOCAL RULE for Girls A and B division: The MAXIMUM number of strokes to be taken on a hole is 10. The player MUST pick up their ball when they reach the maximum and their score is to be recorded as 10 x.

  15. DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES: Local Rule for every tournament: For all play in a JGA sponsored and conducted tournament, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only (but NOT a mobile phone).  However, if, during a stipulated round, a 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, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.  The use of a distance-measuring device that is capable of gauging or measuring other conditions that might affect play, even if such a function is not used, is prohibited.  For example, if a golfer uses a distance-measuring device that also has a compass and factors in changes in elevation, that golfer would be disqualified even if he or she uses the device solely for distance information and does not use the compass or elevation-change information.

  16. LATE FOR STARTING TIME: Any player who is late reporting to the Starter of his or her division will be penalized two (2) strokes. The two-stroke penalty will be added to the player’s score on the first hole. If the entire division has completed teeing off, the player will be disqualified from the tournament.

 17. Note: Players disqualified from a tournament for any reason are not eligible for the following tournament.


1. UNDUE DELAY: A player shall be subject to penalty if he/she unduly delays play. A standard rate of time for an eighteen hole round is 4 hours & 30 minutes (15 minutes per hole).  The time you are to complete the play of a hole is marked on each scorecard. Any group that is out of position (more than 15 minutes behind the group ahead, and over the time allowed for their position on the course will receive a one-stroke penalty.  There will not be any warning prior to the penalty.  You are automatically on the clock when you tee off.  Players must catch up and regain their proper position on the course.  Players will not be transported to catch up.

INDIVIDUAL SLOW PLAY TIMING PROCEDURES: Players will have 40 seconds to play their shot.  It is reasonable for a player to have a few extra seconds for trouble shots.  The player with the honor on the tee has an additional 10 seconds for preparation.  Timing commences for the next player when the previous player has struck the ball.  On the putting green, the 40 seconds commences when the player who putted either marks or holes his ball.

FIRST VIOLATION – Any player who exceeds 40 seconds when it is clearly their turn to play (50 seconds for the player with the honor) will be given a warning.

SECOND VIOLATION –  One Stroke Penalty

THIRD VIOLATION – Disqualification

USE OF iPOD, MP3, CELL PHONE, ETC.  The use of the above items during play will result in the player being DISQUALIFIED.


Junior golfers and spectators are required to wear proper attire at all JGA tournaments.

Shirts with collars or golf designed mock turtle-neck shirts, provided they are allowed by the host course, are required to be worn by everyone at the tournament site and the shirttail must be tucked into the pant, short, or skirt. Exception: Ladies may wear a top that does not have a collar providing it is part of a coordinated golf outfit.

Note: Mock turtle neck shirts with the JGA logo conform to the type of mock turtle neck shirts permitted.


  • Short Shorts and Running Shorts
  • Bicycle Shorts and Exercise Shorts
  • Jeans and Denim Products
  • See-through clothing without proper undergarments
  • Tube Tops, Tank Tops, and Crop Tops
  • Clothing with words, phrases, symbols, pictures, which are obscene, profane, drug or alcohol-related
  • Playing members must wear proper golf footwear.  Flat sole sneakers are permitted.  Golf shoes must have non-metal spikes.
  • Hats must be worn with the bill facing forward


All food and beverages are to be purchased from the host club.  Food purchased outside the club is not to be consumed at the host club.

Any Member, Parent, or Spectator who does not abide by these rules will be asked to leave the golf course property immediately.

Continued violations will result in dismissal from the JGA program and subject to the review of the Board of Directors.  No refunds will be given for anyone dismissed from the program.


When potentially dangerous weather is in the area a horn will sound one long blast. All players are required to immediately mark the position of their ball (it is suggested a golf tee be used) and seek the nearest shelter from the threatening conditions.

When it is determined the conditions no longer exist and play is to resume, a horn will sound two (2) short blasts.  Players are to proceed to the previously marked ball position, replace their ball, and continue play.

The JGA uses a lightning detection service to monitor dangerous weather conditions. There are times when lightning is in the area but may not be visible to the eye.  Once play has been suspended, seek shelter immediately; JGA volunteers and spectators will then be transported as possible.


Violation of this rule: Disqualification

Note: Players disqualified from a tournament for any reason are not eligible for the following tournament.

If an event cannot be completed, the Committee will decide the number of holes played in each flight that will determine finishes and awards.