The Committee may set its own standards of player conduct in a Code of Conduct adopted as a Local Rule (see Rule 1.2b). If the Committee does not set a Code of Conduct, it is restricted in penalizing players for inappropriate conduct to using Rule 1.2a. The only penalty available for an act that is contrary to the spirit of the game under that Rule is disqualification (see Section 5H(4) for more information).
In setting a Code of Conduct, the Committee should consider the following:
The Committee may include the following within a Code of Conduct:
The Committee may provide in the Code of Conduct that a warning will be given for the first breach of the Code and not a penalty, unless the Committee considers the breach to be sufficiently serious.
A Committee needs to determine whether the Code of Conduct applies to a player's caddie, and whether the player can be penalized under the Code for actions of his or her caddie during the round.
It would not be appropriate to penalize a player under a Code of Conduct for a breach of a spectator code by the player's family or supporters. For example, in a junior competition where family members are not allowed to walk on the fairway, or within a specified distance of the competitors, the player should not be penalized for any breach by a spectator.
When determining the sanctions and penalty structure that will apply, the Committee should consider the following:
The following model penalty structures give an example of how the Committee may choose to penalize breaches of a Code of Conduct in the Local Rule.
The Committee may decide to implement such a penalty structure without a warning or sanction for a first breach, or it may provide different penalties for each item within the Code of Conduct. For example, certain breaches may result in a one-stroke penalty, with other breaches resulting in the general penalty.
Model Penalty Structure
Under Rule 1.2a, a Committee may disqualify a player for serious misconduct for acting contrary to the spirit of the game. This applies whether or not there is a Code of Conduct in place for a competition.
When deciding whether a player is guilty of serious misconduct, the Committee should consider whether the player's action was intentional and whether the act was significant enough to warrant disqualification without first giving a warning and/or applying other penalties when a Code of Conduct is in place.