Local Rules and Conditions of Competitions (updated April 2022)
All play is governed by the USGA Rules of Golf & Decisions, and where applicable, by local Rules as stated on the Notice to Competitors.
JGA Policies & Rules
CONDUCT: Each player is to conduct themselves with dignity and abide by all the rules. The following are grounds for immediate removal from the JGA program.
- Conduct that is detrimental to the JGA.
- Failure to follow the instructions of a JGA official.
- Abuse to the host course facilities and properties. Damage to course or equipment and littering.
- Hitting of golf balls in any area not designated for play.
- Deliberate hitting of golf balls into the preceding golf group.
- The use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, or any type of tobacco products.
- Abusive language or profanity.
- Throwing of golf equipment.
- Gambling and/or cheating.
DISQUALIFICATION: A player disqualified for conduct will be suspended from JGA and reinstated upon committee review.
DRESS CODE: Members, parents, and spectators are required to wear proper golf attire at all JGA events. Shirts with collars are required and shirttails for boys must be worn inside pants and shorts. Girls may wear a top that does not have a collar providing it is part of a coordinated golf outfit and it does not need to be tucked in. Players not meeting the above conditions will be asked to either conform to the dress code or asked to leave. Entry fee will not be refunded.
GARMENTS NOT PERMISSIBLE: Short shorts or running shorts, any clothing items made of denim, bicycle or exercise shorts, see-through clothing, tube or tank tops, and clothing containing words phrases, symbols, or pictures, which could be considered obscene, profane, drug, alcohol, or tobacco-related.
SPECTATORS: Spectators are permitted to follow playing groups and may rent golf carts to do so, providing the host facility allows such rental. Spectators must abide by the rules of the JGA and those of the host facility. Spectators must stay on cart paths where they are available and in the rough when paths are not available. Spectators must stay at least 30 yards from the players and may not communicate with a player, except to offer words of encouragement. Spectators are not to ask players their score on a hole or total score until the player has departed the scoring area after submitting their scorecard. NOTE: Spectators and players violating this rule will be considered to have violated the USGA Rule 10.2a relating to advice. Penalty for violating the rule on advice is 2 strokes. Flagrant violation is disqualification.
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. (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/her play (e.g., gradient, wind-speed, temperature, etc.) the player is in breach of USGA Rule 4.3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used. 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.
JGA CHAMPIONSHIP: To be eligible to play in the three-day championship, the player must have played in two JGA events.
General Rules of Golf
OUT OF BOUNDS: Defined by inside points, at ground level, of white stakes, lines, fences, posts, railings.
PENALTY AREAS: Defined by yellow or red lines or stakes. If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by JGA, it is treated as a red penalty area. (Rule 17.1)
GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Defined by white lines. Other areas of ground under repair, even when not marked, include: French drains (trenches filed with stones or the like), fire ant hills, unusual damage to the course caused by wet conditions and vehicular traffic. (Rule 16.1)
OBSTRUCTIONS AND INTEGRAL PARTS OF THE COURSE: Roads and cart paths that are artificially surfaced are considered an obstruction. All other roads or paths are considered an integral part of the course and there is no relief without penalty.
EMBEDDED BALL: The embedded ball rule is in effect at all times in the general area. (Rule 16.3)
DOUBT OF PROCEDURE (Rule 20.1c(3)): When during the play of a hole a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, the competitor may, without penalty, play a second ball. After the situation which caused the doubt has risen, the competitor should, before taking any further action, announce their intentions to their marker or fellow competitor their decision to invoke this Rule and the ball which he will score if the Rules permit. The competitor must report the facts of the situation to the Committee before returning his scorecard even if the score is the same with both balls. If the competitor fails to do so he will be disqualified.
PUTTING GREEN: On the putting green, the player should mark their ball with a ball marker or small coin by placing behind the ball in a line to the hole (USGA definition of Ball-Marker).
IDENTIFYING MARK ON BALL: Each player is responsible for placing an identifying mark on their ball in a way that allows it to be identified as theirs. If the player cannot identify their ball, it is considered a lost ball. (USGA Rule 7.2)
PACE OF PLAY:
The player must play without undue delay, USGA Rule 5.6b and JGA Pace of Play guidelines. Each group has 15 minutes to play per hole which includes time to walk between green and tee. Players are allowed a maximum of 40 seconds to play a shot unless they are the first to play and will be allowed 50 seconds. Time begins when the player reaches the teeing ground and it is safe to play. Time for others in group begins when the previous player strikes their ball. The first group is considered to be out of position when they exceed the allotted time at any place on the course. Any subsequent group is considered out of position when they have exceeded the allotted time, and is more than 15 minutes behind the group ahead of them. Penalties: First Breach, 1 stroke penalty to each player in group. Second Breach, 2 stroke penalty to each player in group. For any subsequent offense, disqualification.
SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE PACE OF PLAY:
- The player whose ball is closest to the hole shall tend the flagstick for the other players. It is at the players discretion if they would like to remove the flag. The first player to chip or putt the ball inside of the ball belonging to the person attending the flagstick, shall mark his or her ball, and will tend the flagstick for the rest of the players. NOTE: The flagstick may be placed just off the putting surface when all players do not require it.
- Continuous putting is optional, providing the player will not be standing in the line of a putt of a playing partner.
- First person to finish the hole is responsible for making sure the flagstick is replaced.
- All players should immediately leave the green after finishing the hole.
- Please place your golf bag on the side of the green (not on the green) nearest to the next hole.
- Play “Ready Golf” when you can.
- Plan your shot before you get to your ball.
- Keep your pre-shot routine short.
- Keep up with the group in front of you.
- Look over your shot while other player is playing (especially on the green)
- Be ready to hit when it is your turn to play especially on the putting green.
SUSPENSION OF PLAY DUE TO A DANGEROUS SITUATION: All practice areas are closed during suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open. Players who practice on closed practice areas will be asked to cease doing so and failure to comply may result in disqualification. USGA Rule 5.7
SIGNALS FOR SUSPENSION OF PLAY: Suspension for a dangerous situation:
- One prolonged siren or air horn blast. Players must immediately stop play, mark the position of their ball if possible and seek safe shelter. Violation of this rule is disqualification.
- To resume play there will be two short air horn blasts.
COURSE EVACUATION: The Committee will determine if circumstances require a course evacuation. Directors, volunteers, and spectators with carts will assist with a full course evacuation. Nobody can ride on the back of the golf cart.
SCORING: 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.
SCORECARDS: A scorecard is deemed to be returned when the player has left the scoring table.
STARTING TIMES: All players in the assigned tee time must be on the teeing ground at the assigned time. Any player not on the teeing ground at the assigned time will be allowed to play if the player’s flight has not completed teeing off. Penalty for being late but arriving within five minutes after the flight is finished teeing off is: 2 strokes. Penalty for arriving at the teeing ground after five minutes is: Disqualification. USGA Rule 5.3
EQUIPMENT: All golfer must carry their own equipment. However, a player can use a pull cart only if permitted 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 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. Please check the NOTES section of tournament info on Blue Golf if the host facility will allow pull carts.
GOLF CARTS: Junior golfers are not allowed to sit or ride in a golf cart unless authorized by an official.
PRACTICE: For every tournament, practice of any stroke between holes is prohibited for reasons of safety and pace of play.
DISQUALIFIED PLAYER: A player disqualified from a tournament for any reason will not be eligible for the following tournament at the discretion of the Executive Director.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES: During a round, a player must not listen to or watch content of any nature on a personal audio or video device. First Breach – 2 strokes. Second Breach – Disqualification
SHORTENED TOURNAMENT: If a tournament has to be shortened such as for bad weather, The JGA Committee will decide the number of holes played in each flight that will determine finishes and awards.
Conditions of Competitions
GOLF BALLS: The ball the player plays must be named on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by the USGA. Penalty for breach of condition is disqualification. The one ball rule is not in effect.
DRIVER HEADS: Any driver the player carries must have a clubhead, identified by model and loft that is named on the current List of Conforming Driver Heads issued by the USGA.
THREE AND FIVE HOLE DIVISIONS: Flights for Three Hole and Five Hole will have an assigned marker in each group. The maximum number of strokes in a bunker or hitting into a penalty area is three. Drop the ball with a one stroke penalty where the player has a clear shot. Rule E-5 will be implemented for Lost Ball and Out of Bounds. They will receive a one stroke penalty. The maximum number of strokes allowed per hole for Three Hole division is 8. The maximum number of strokes allowed per hole for the Five Hole division is 10.
GIRLS A AND B, GIRLS’ JUNIOR and BOYS C DIVISIONS: The maximum number of strokes to be taken on a hole is 10. They mark on their score as 10X and will forfeit any medals. The player does not have to take the maximum score.
ALL DIVISIONS EXCEPT 3 AND 5 HOLE: JGA will implement Rule E-5 for Lost Ball and Out of Bounds for all divisions (except three and five hole divisions) at the discretion of JGA. Please check with the starter at each tournament if Rule E-5 will be used that day. There is a TWO stroke penalty if the player uses it. They always have the option of doing stroke and distance. If the player hits a provisional ball then the player cannot use Rule E-5.
RULE E-5 (If being used):
When a player’s ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to out of bounds, the player may proceed as follows rather than proceeding under stroke and distance.
For two penalty strokes (one penalty stroke for three and five hole divisions), the player may take relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (USGA Rule 14.3).
Two Estimated Reference Points:
a. Ball Reference Point: The point where the original ball is estimated to have:
- Come to rest on the course, or
- Last crossed the edge of the course boundary to go out of bounds.
b. Fairway Reference Point: The point of fairway of the hole being played that is nearest to the ball reference point, but is not nearer the hole that the ball reference point.
For purposes of this Local Rule, “fairway” means any area of grass in the general area that is cut to fairway height or less.
If a ball is estimated to be lost on the course or last crossed the edge of the course boundary short of the fairway, the fairway reference point may be a grass path or a teeing ground for the hole being played cut to fairway height or less.
Size of Relief Area Based on Reference Points: Anywhere between:
- A line from the hole through the ball reference point (and within two club-lengths to the outside of that line), and
- A line from the hole through the fairway reference point (and within two club-lengths to the fairway side of that line).
But with these limits:
Limits on Location of Relief Area:
- Must be in the general area, and
- Must not be nearer the hole than the ball reference point.
Once the player puts a ball in play under this Local rule:
- The original ball that was lost or out of bounds is no longer in play and must not be played.
- This is true even if the ball is found on the course before the end of the three-minute search time (see Rule 6.3b).
But the player may not use this option to take relief for the original ball when:
- That ball is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in a penalty area, or
- The player has played another ball provisionally under penalty of stroke and distance (see Rule 18.3).
A player may use this option to take relief for a provisional ball that has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds.